From Breaking Bad and Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Fleabag, season finales can inspire debate and delight among fans. When done correctly, a TV swan song can be a great artistic feat that does justice to the legacy of a show and even shapes other shows’ finales. In a special evening event, some of the Festival’s favourite guests pay homage to the best TV finales in history. Join Academy Award-winning cowriter of Birdman Nicolás Giacobone, New York Review of Books Editor-at-Large Daniel Mendelsohn, pop culture writer Nichole Perkins, bestselling crime writer Michael Robotham and writer and actor Nakkiah Lui as they reflect on much-loved series that stuck the landing before they cut to black. Hosted by Benjamin Law.

Supported by the University of Sydney. Daniel Mendelsohn is supported by Rowena Danziger AM and Ken Coles AM.

Daniel Mendelsohn (International)

Daniel Mendelsohn

Daniel Mendelsohn is the Editor-at-Large of The New York Review of Books and an award-winning memoirist, critic, essayist and translator. A longtime contributor to The New Yorker and The New York Review, he has also been a columnist on books, film, TV and culture for BBC Culture, New York Magazine, Harper's and The New York Times Book Review. His books include the memoirs An Odyssey: A Father, a Son, and an Epic, the internationally bestselling Holocaust family saga The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million, and three collections of essays, most recently The Bad Boy of Athens: Classics from the Greeks to Game of Thrones.

Nichole Perkins (International)

Nichole Perkins

Nichole Perkins is a writer from Nashville, Tennessee, currently based in Brooklyn. She co-hosts Thirst Aid Kit, a podcast about pop culture and desire, with Bim Adewunmi. She is also one of the hosts of The Waves, a podcast that examines news and culture through a feminist lens. Both podcasts are at Slate. Nichole writes about the intersections of pop culture, race, sex, gender and relationships. Nichole is a 2017 Audre Lorde Fellow at the inaugural Jack Jones Literary Arts Retreat, a 2017 BuzzFeed Emerging Writers Fellow and a 2016 Callaloo Creative Writing Fellow for poetry. Her first collection of poetry is called Lilith, but Dark. Her forthcoming memoir Sometimes I Trip On How Happy We Could Be will explore black womanhood and sexuality, online messageboard communities and the effects of pop culture on female desire.

Nicolás Giacobone (International)

Nicolás Giacobone

Nicolás Giacobone was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1975. He shared an Academy Award and Golden Globe for co-writing Birdman, which also won the Academy Award for Best Picture. He co-wrote the screenplays for Biutiful, which was nominated for Best Original Screenplay by the Cinema Writers Circle Awards in Spain, the Goya Awards and the Satellite Awards; The Last Elvis, which was awarded the Silver Condor for Best Original Screenplay by the Argentine Film Critics Association; and John And The Hole, which is currently in post-production. He has written a book of short stories (Algún Cristo), and his debut novel is The Crossed-Out Notebook. His second novel will come out in Spain and Latin America in the beginning of 2021.

Michael Robotham (Australian)

Michael Robotham

Michael Robotham is a former journalist and ghostwriter, whose psychological thrillers have been translated into 25 languages and won numerous awards. His standalone novel, The Secret She Keeps, has been made into a six-part TV drama to be screened on Network 10. Michael's most recent novel is Good Girl, Bad Girl.

Nakkiah Lui (Australian)

Nakkiah Lui

Nakkiah Lui is a writer/actor and Gamillaroi/Torres Strait Islander woman. She is a cowriter and star of ABC's Black Comedy. She has been an artist in residence at Griffin Theatre Company (2013) and was playwright in residence at Belvoir Theatre from 2012 - 2014. In 2012, Nakkiah was the first recipient of The Dreaming Award from The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Arts Board of the Australia Council. The same year, Nakkiah was also the inaugural recipient of the Balnaves Foundation Indigenous Playwright Award. In 2014, Nakkiah was the recipient of the Malcolm Robertson Prize and a Green Room Award for Best Independent Production. Most recently Nakkiah won the NSW Premier’s Literary Award 2018, Nick Enright Prize for Playwriting for Black is the New White. Nakkiah is also a young leader in the Australian Aboriginal community and has contributed to Guardian Australia and Junkee. She has appeared on Q&A and The Drum on ABC and is a regular guest and presenter on ABC Local Radio in Sydney. Nakkiah co-hosts the BuzzFeed podcast series, Pretty For An Aboriginal, with Miranda Tapsell. Most recently Nakkiah has appeared as a regular guest on Screen Time on ABC and her latest six-part comedy series, Kiki & Kitty, premiered on ABC Comedy in December 2017. Nakkiah was the recipient of the Patrick White Playwrights Award and Fellowship for 2018.

Benjamin Law (Australian)

Benjamin Law

Benjamin Law is a journalist, columnist, TV screenwriter and author of The Family Law, Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East and Quarterly Essay 67: Moral Panic 101. The Family Law is also an award-winning TV series for SBS which Benjamin created and co-wrote over three seasons. His debut stageplay Torch the Place premiered at Melbourne Theatre Company earlier this year.