Workshops & Consulting

Hemlock & Cedar Films offers a range of services, led by founder Megan Riakos. Megan is a regular speaker and panelist on filmmaking and gender equality and is a mentor and teacher, having taught at the University of NSW (UNSW), Australian Film Television & Radio School (AFTRS), Queensland University of Technology (QUT), National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA) Academy of Information Technology (AIT) and Actors Centre Australia (ACA). Megan is available for one-off workshops and events hosted by Hemlock & Cedar Films or can be hired for consulting contracts or sessional teaching work.

Please contact us for rates and more information.


All workshops can be delivered either online or in-person in various formats including a single 2 hour session, a full day course or multiple sessions over several weeks.

Screen Industry Practices for Actors
Working on a filmset for the first time can be a daunting experience for an emerging actor. This workshop will lay out what to expect by going through the actor’s journey from audition right through to premiere. This includes first day onset, an explanation of the various crew roles and how they collaborate with the actors, requirements for Additional Dialogue Recording (ADR) in post-production and much more. Megan will use examples from her background as a Producer & Director to help explain these processes.

Indie Filmmaking
Using her independent feature films as case studies, Megan will cover the pathways and pitfalls of indie filmmaking, including development, crowdfunding, production, marketing, festivals and distribution.

The Director’s Process
Under the guidance of feature film director Megan Riakos, participants will learn how prepare to direct a narrative film, including communicating your vision, collaborating with your crew, directing actors and what to expect in each stage of the filmmaking process.

Feminist Horror Workshop with Katrina Irawati Graham
With a focus on screen works written and/or created by women including Dark Whispers – Volume 1, Katrina’s workshop will dive headfirst into a genre typically considered both low-brow and androcentric. Delivering a much-needed feminist perspective, this workshop will re-frame the horror genre and invite participants to embrace tropes, investigate form, and subvert the dominant male gaze.

Developing Bold & Original Dark Genre Films with Briony Kidd
Whether you’re writing short films for the festival circuit or beginning to delve into longer form projects, it’s hard to develop strong genre projects without a clear understanding of your intention in terms of platform, audience, market and, most importantly of all, what you want to communicate. How can dark genre be a vehicle for personal or political expression? How can you make sure you’re offering something new and exciting within this highly competitive field? What influences and inspires you to create your best work? Presented by Hemlock & Cedar Films and led by screenwriting teacher, script consultant and festival director Briony Kidd, this workshop is designed to help participants sharpen and intensify their unique artistic vision.

Upcoming Events & Workshops

Pathways & Pitfalls of Indie Filmmaking led by Megan Riakos with guest speaker Enzo Tedeschi (online)
10am-2pm AEST | Sat 17 July 2021 | via zoom – Tickets available here

During this half day workshop, Megan Riakos will cover the pathways and pitfalls of low budget and indie filmmaking from inception to the screen. Using her features Crushed and Dark Whispers – Volume 1 as case studies, she will demonstrate practical approaches to development, crowdfunding, production, marketing, festivals and distribution. This workshop will also feature a segment with guest speaker, Enzo Tedeschi (The Tunnel, Event Zero, Deadhouse Dark) and a Q&A component with both Megan and Enzo where attendees can ask questions and advice about their own projects.


These workshops are presented by Hemlock & Cedar Films with funding support from City of Sydney. Discounts for WIFT Australia, Film Fatales, Screen Vixens and Screen Guild members as well as student and concession. For more information on Screen Workshop Series, click here.

Past Engagements

Panel event: Whispering Loudly – Female Voices in Contemporary Genre Filmmaking – Speaker

Virtual WIFT Panel: Spotlight on Female Creatives – Moderator

Raising Films Australia Screen Industry Forum – Speaker & Organiser

Indie Film World: Marketing and Distributing your film with Megan Riakos – Speaker

ABC News: WIFT NSW President Megan Riakos on Sexual Harassment in the Australian Screen Industry – Interviewee

Safer Workplace Strategies for the Screen Industry – Moderator & Host

Speaking Engagements

Please contact us to discuss speaking engagements.

Mentorship + Development

Please contact us to discuss a tailored package that works for you and your project.