Firefly Productions principal Jane Jeffes is an award-winning producer, writer and director with more than 20 years' experience in print, TV, radio and film. She has dual citizenship in the UK and Australia, family in the USA and Austria, has worked extensively on the Indian sub-continent and to a lesser degree in Africa and has travelled widely.
Jane is excited by journalism and story-telling that uncovers different cultures, perspectives and histories through personal story and makes us look again and question what we think we already know. She looks for character-driven stories of commitment, identity and motivation, people with stand up to be counted and interfaces between the personal and political. Cherishing the magic-mix of entertainment, information and education, Jane believes the very best stories are accessible emotionally-engaging entertainment produced with rigorous intelligence. She also loves reality TV.
A graduate of the University of Bristol's prestigious joint honours in Drama & English, Jane produced news and feature articles for print, radio and television before joining ITV company Central Television. She moved to Capital Radio Group from where she was poached to join start-up radio production company Unique Broadcasting (now listed as Unique Media). As Head of Programmes Jane developed, produced and exec-produced a wide range of programming for BBC and commercial radio on budgets from GBP 8,000 - GBP 1m+. Credits include the weekly Something Understood (BBC Radio 4, 1995 - current) and the award-winning At Home with Mike Smith (3 series for Capital Gold and a network of major gold stations in the major UK cities). Building considerable experience across a spectrum of genres, Jane played a lead role in growing Unique into BBC Radio's largest external supplier. She also worked on the development of TV concepts for Unique Television and Carlton Factual Entertainment.
Jane moved to Sydney in 2000 and after working on a range of Australian documentary series and one-offs, she set-up her own company Firefly Productions.
Her producer/director credits include the award-winning observational documentary Silma's School (ABC 2005). Heralded by the 2005 Sydney Film Festival as "a fascinating insight into Islamic cultures and issues as they play out in the Australian suburbs", it attracted wide-spread media attention inside and outside Australia (including Arab and Muslim media) and won Best Multi-cultural Film in Australia, 2006. Selected for numerous international festivals, it sold out at the London Barbican, has sold well internationally and has been incorporated into teaching curriculums in the UK, Canada as well as Australia.
Not Forgotten (SBS 2008) likewise achieved high-level media interest including front page and page-lead photo stories, as well as reviewers' pick of the week.
Unafraid to court controversy and tackle contemporary social and political issues, The Pine Gap 4 told the three and a half year story of four Christian pacifists breaking into Australia's top-secret US joint defence facility and their subsequent prosecution under a 55-year old law, introduced in the Cold War climate of 1952 and never proviously used. The self-funded Where Angels Fear to Tread about children as victims of war ended up on the ABC's Australia Story; Izeta's Story (one woman's story as a victim of war) is part of the Red Cross's International Humanitarian Law programme); and A Fair Go addresses the challenge of long-term unemployed youth in today's Australia.
Jane has undertaken several consultancies in the UK and Australia, including for the Supreme Islamic Council of New South Wales and the UN Under-Secretary General for Children Affected by Armed Conflict and is a regular contributor to public and industry forums, a committee member, session producer and chair for OzDox, and the NSW Documentary Forum.
Firefly Productions has a number of projects in different stages of development.