Full Scholarship Awarded to Production Designer

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Los Angeles, CA, January 26, 2020 – The American Film Institute (AFI) announced that Eleanora Steiner, an Australian-Peruvian production designer, will be this year’s recipient of the Screen Australia Onbass Fellowship, a full-tuition scholarship to attend the AFI Conservatory. Last year’s recipient Meg White is currently a Cinematography Fellow at the Conservatory.

Created in partnership with Screen Australia and the Onbass Family Trust, formed by Gentle Giant Media Group CEO Greg Basser and his wife Kiera O’Neill, the fellowship provides full tuition and fees, as well as some support for living expenses and flights from Australia (courtesy of G’Day USA and Qantas).

The Screen Australia Onbass Fellowship was presented in collaboration with G’Day USA, Australia’s premier public and economic diplomacy program in the United States. Steiner was introduced today as this year’s Screen Australia Onbass Fellow at the G’Day USA film showcase at Paramount Studios. The showcase also featured a screening of I AM WOMAN, the narrative feature directorial debut of AFI alumna and Australian director/producer Unjoo Moon (AFI Class of 1998).

“Australian filmmakers continue to shine globally. Kiera and I are delighted that the 2020 Screen Australia Onbass Fellowship will give an opportunity for such an outstanding candidate as Eleanora to join those ranks by studying in Hollywood’s backyard with the best of the best at the AFI Conservatory,” said Greg Basser.

“Striving for excellence in all that I do, studying at AFI is a longstanding dream I have worked towards for many years. I am extremely honored to be the second recipient of this exceptional award that enables me to further my career by undertaking a Master of Fine Arts in Production Design,” said Steiner. “Knowing how powerful stories are in creating effective change within society by informing and inspiring new ideas that influence culture, gives me a sense of purpose strong enough to dedicate my life to the motion picture arts.”

Eleanora Steiner is a production designer with experience on feature-length films, short films, music videos, commercials and episodic series. After spending her childhood in Peru, Steiner moved to Australia where she pursued her degree at the University of Melbourne and double-majored in the History and Philosophy of Science and English Theatre Studies. While at university, she discovered her love for production design after volunteering on a student thesis film and has continued to work as a freelance production designer on various projects since graduating. Her personal design aesthetic is inspired by a method of Dante Ferretti, which parallels method acting in its application and realizes her vision by “viscerally embodying the script’s story…to create a distilled sense of its atmosphere.”

About Screen Australia

Screen Australia is the Australian Federal Government agency charged with supporting the development, production and promotion of Australian scripted and documentary content. The agency funds productions for television, film and online. Screen Australia also administers Australia’s Official Co-production program, in addition to the Producer Offset tax rebate which assists eligible Australian and Official Co-productions to be made. The agency provides a range of resources and opportunities to the industry including access to research, market intelligence and special initiatives, such as its highly successful Gender Matters program. For more information visit


About the American Film Institute (AFI)

Established in 1967, the American Film Institute is the nation’s non-profit organization dedicated to educating and inspiring artists and audiences through initiatives that champion the past, present and future of the moving image. AFI’s pioneering programs include filmmaker training at the AFI Conservatory; year-round exhibition at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center and at AFI Festivals across the nation; workshops aimed at increasing diversity in the storytelling community; honoring today’s masters through the AFI Life Achievement Award and AFI AWARDS; and scholarly efforts such as the AFI Catalog of Feature Films that uphold film history for future generations. Read about all of these programs and more at and follow us on social media at,, and



American Film Institute: Stacy Adamski, 323.856.7759, [email protected]


For general AFI press inquiries