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The Dos and Don'ts of Getting Married

14m Comedy, Romance 2021

Region: Cairns QLD

Unclassified: No age restrictions

Emma and Max are engaged…but they have very different ideas of what their wedding day will look like! Enter Scarlet, their friend and self-appointed sassy diva boss wedding planner. Scarlet hatches some weird and wonderful plans to help salvage their romantic union and teach Emma and Max the most important lesson of happily ever after - compromise.

Director Karen Jackson

Director Karen Jackson is a writer, producer, inclusive content creator and international multi award-winning short film director hailing from Cairns, Australia.

A deep, curious love affair with story and craft. Her work sits at the intersection of heart and curiosity; the unfeigned love stories we have with ourselves, each other and the absurd comedic qualities and existential nature of life itself.

Karen has a Bachelor of Creative Industries and studied a Bachelor of Behavioural Science (Intellectual Disability Studies).

Two of Karen’s features have been selected for Screen Queensland development: GREY NOMADS receiving support from Hoodlum Entertainment and RAY OF SUNSHINE currently under Option Agreement with Australian Producer, Chris Hilton of Tilt-Media. Karen is currently working on a couple of TV pilots.

Karen directed and acted in short film AURA, which screened widely worldwide and went on to win Best International Short at the Wales International Film Festival and for Karen, Best Director at the Melbourne She-Shots Festival in 2017.

Karen worked for 8 years in Indigenous communities across Cape York as part of her role with C.A.P.E. PCYC as a Coordinator of Remote Indigenous Recreational Children’s Services.

Karen has 20+yrs experience working as a Creative in the Disability Sector. She currently leads the ARC Disability Service’s Creative Ensemble, a talented collective of young adults with a disability whose award winning work spans across stage and screen - ‘Our goal is to take disability out of the equation - we are storytellers telling our unique stories.’

Most recently, Karen co-wrote, directed and produced the Ensemble’s RADF funded short THE DO’S & DON’TS OF GETTING MARRIED, which has won ‘Runners Up-Best Australian Short’ at the 2022 Gold Coast Film Festival, been officially selected for the St Kilda Film Festival, Short Shorts & Asia Film Festival (Academy Awards Qualifying Film Festivals) and had its international premiere at the Los Angeles International Children’s Film Festival.

Karen also co-wrote and directed their QASP funded theatre production BEYOND THE WAVES, an ARC Disability Services and Dead Puppets Society collaboration commissioned by Cairns Regional Arts Council. The production had its world premiere in Cairns to sellout shows and rave reviews, is an Arts Queensland Case Study of ‘Inclusion & Collaboration’ and plans are underway for a national tour.

Karen leads the ARC Creative Ensemble in Cairns, a talented collective of young adults with a disability whose award winning work spans across stage and screen.

The Do’s & Don’t of Getting Married, an ARC Creative Ensemble film, is a collaborative 2-year journey from script to screen. It’s a wonderful time for diversity on our screens. We love being a part of this creative global community and we are proud to bring our story to a global audience.

Our goal is to take disability out of the equation – we are storytellers telling our unique stories.

Karen, along with Sheridan Lawton ( ARC Programs General Manager), Velvet Eldred and Natasha McDonnell (ARC Programs Coordinator), have spent years developing and creating a portfolio of creative projects with the ARC Creative Ensemble that include short films and documentaries. Their work has drawn local industry attention, critical acclaim and created strong professional relationships and collaborations.

Their most recent collaboration with the Dead Puppets Society and Cairns Regional Arts Council, a Queensland Arts Showcase Program (QASP) funded theatre production titled, Beyond the Waves, received rave reviews, three sell out audiences and has plans for a national tour and film adaption.

As recipients of a Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) grant and the professional attachment of film maker Glenn Saggers of Threadless Films, they are excited to take their short The Do’s & Don’ts of Getting Married to the world stage.

This film was shot in Cairns in 2021 and received extraordinary in-kind support and contributions from local Cairns businesses and a team of dedicated ARC Disability Services staff and local volunteers.

This film is made with love and intended for a national / international audience, and we are thrilled to see that it recently won ‘Runner Up - Best Australian Film’ at the Gold Coast Film Festival and has been officially selected for the Los Angeles International Children’s Film Festival, St Kilda Film Festival, Short Shorts & Asia Film Festival and San Diego Children’s Film Festival.


Karen Jackson


Karen Jackson


Karen Jackson


Hayden Keable


Sonya Doust


Joy Nomani


Sam Stott


Andrew Barton


Velvet Eldred


Sheridan Lawton

Film Maker

Glenn Saggers






ARC Disability Services