creator, director, writer & editor
A graduate of The Actors Institute, London, Sally McLean’s work in screen production began with her three years working at the BBC in London for BBC Music & Arts. This led to her writing and producing her first feature film A Little Rain Must Fall (thought to be the first drama shot on DV in the UK) and forming her own production business, Incognita Enterprises, under the guidance of Honorary Patron, Sir Nigel Hawthorne KB, CBE, an association that continued until his passing in December 2001.
Sally’s latest work as Actor/Director/Writer is the award-winning web series Shakespeare Republic (streaming on Ozflix) which has been officially selected and screened at over 100 international film festivals, nominated for over 90 awards and won over 50 awards to date including Best Director, Best Web Series and Best Ensemble Cast in numerous festivals and industry awards. A highlight was being the recipient of the prestigious CINE Golden Eagle Award for Best Digital Series in the USA in 2017, which saw Sally join the ranks of fellow CINE alumni such as Steven Spielberg (the then CINE President) Oprah Winfrey, Ron Howard, Martin Scorsese, Jim Henson, Mike Nichols, Robert Altman, Spike Lee, Billy Crystal, Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese and Sydney Pollack, among others.
Her Shakespeare short film, Speaking Daggers, a spin off from the series, was selected for 22 international film festivals – winning 3 awards, as well as a “Highly Commended” Finalist nod from Sir Kenneth Branagh in his role as Jury President for the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s Shakespeare Film Festival in the UK in 2017.
Her work with Shakespeare Republic has been the subject of several academic presentations and plenary panels at Early Modern Literature and Shakespeare seminars and conferences in Australia, the UK and USA from 2016 to now. Her first published work on Shakespeare, an essay exploring her methodology behind Shakespeare Republic and Shakespeare performance in general, was published in the UK by Routledge Press in 2020 as part of the academic essay collection, Playfulness In Shakespearean Adaptations edited by Marina Gerzic and Aidan Norrie. The third season of Shakespeare Republic is currently being taught at Syracuse University, USA, has been discussed in papers presented at the Shakespeare Association of America Conference (USA) and BritGrad Conference (UK) and is also further explored in the upcoming Arden Shakespeare collection, Lockdown Shakespeare: New Evolutions in Performance and Adaptation edited by Gemma Kate Allred, Benjamin Broadribb and Erin Sullivan, to be published in July 2022.
Sally has additionally worked in production for Channel Nine, Endemol Southern Star and others on programs such as Comedy Inc, Big Brother, Australian Idol, The X-Factor and 1 VS 100 and is currently writer/director/producer for her first feature-length docudrama, Champion (The Story Of Franz Stampfl), due for release in 2023 and Till The Boys Come Home, a WW2 drama being adapted from her 2004 stage play PS I Love You, currently in development. Other industry activities include serving as an official Jury member in both acting and screen craft categories for the AFI Awards, AACTA Awards and ATOM Awards since 2010.
Sally continues to work as an actor in film & TV while developing several projects – Shakespeare-related and not – for the stage and screen.