Team




Sharlene George
Ngāti Māoate, Ngāti Tamarua o Takitumu, Ngāti Paerangi o Ngamaru
Managing Director

Sharlene is a founding partner of global production company, Sweetshop. Over the last 18 years she has focused on delivering world-class commercial production facilitated in multiple countries. Forging new markets and clients within these markets has become the core of Sweetshop’s business with eight offices across Auckland, Melbourne, Sydney, Bangkok, Shanghai, London, Los Angeles and New York.

As a New Zealand born Cook Islander, telling more indigenous stories is an extremely important part of Sharlene’s focus.

Gal Greenspan
Managing Director

Gal is a co-founder of Israeli based Green Productions along with Roi Kurland. He’s produced nearly a dozen critically acclaimed films including Scaffolding (Cannes Acid 2017, TIFF 2017, JFF 2017 Best Film award), Menashe (Sundance 2017, Berlinale 2017, distributed in the US by A24), Youth (Berlinale 2013), and Summer Vacation (Sundance 2013, shortlisted for Oscars®).

Gal is a firm believer that art and commercial success can live together. He brings in-depth experience in international co-productions and is focused on bringing Australian and New Zealand stories to global audiences.


Katy Roberts
Development Executive

Katy is a producer and production executive specialised in creative development and programming for global audiences.

Katy spent seven years at global youth media company VICE where she spearheaded the setup and growth of VICE Australia and New Zealand’s production departments and programming slates, before being tapped to lead VICE’s development for Asia Pacific as their Head of Development.

With an established background in documentary, Katy brings an interest in stories inspired by and borrowing from real life events and people.

Ester Harding
Development Executive

Ester is a screen producer. Her most recent role was with Screen Australia as a Development Executive. Prior to this, she produced with See Pictures the award-nominated short Remembering Agatha for writer, director and artist Emma Magenta (Adelaide FF / ABC Arts co-commission). Ester co-produced feature comedy Swinging Safari, for writer, director Stephan Elliott. She was a production executive on the adaptation of Tim Winton’s best-selling novel, Breath, for writer, director Simon Baker.

Her career spans drama, documentary (I Am A Girl, The Surgery Ship) and interactive projects (Storm Surfers ‘4D’, After Six-Four), together with teaching (MetroScreen, AFTRS, ICE) and community management (StoryCode, Screen Producers Australia NSW Chapter).

Rickylee Russell-Waipuka
Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Raukawa
Development Assistant

Rickylee is best known for her role as Chardonnay in Boy, directed by Taika Waiti as well as roles in Waka Warriors and This is Piki. With an established background in theatre, she has performed and toured extensively with Hawaiki Tū Haka Theatre Company, and throughout Canada facilitating and performing haka workshops at Sākihiwē Festival and Edge of the World Festival amongst others.

In late 2018, Rickylee began channeling her experience behind the scenes; leading her to join Sweetshop & Green in 2019. Rickylee is passionate about First Nations projects, and ensuring the appropriate voices are at the table when it comes to safe guarding culture.