Chris Hilton - CEO / Executive Producer
Chris Hilton is one of Australia’s most prolific and award winning factual producer/ directors who has made films across a broad spectrum of subjects for the worlds major broadcasters.
As a founding partner of Essential Media, Chris has been at the helm of the company's direction and international growth since 2005.
Chris’ recent Executive Producer credits include: Living Universe, The Pacific with Sam Neill, Body Hack (2 series), Afghanistan:Inside Australia's War (winner of the 2016 NSW Premier's History Award Media Prize), The Go-Betweens: Right Here, Australia: The Time Traveller’s Guide, My Brother the Serial Killer, A Traveller’s Guide to the Planets, Miracles, The Voyage of the Courtesans, Seduction in the City, and the 2013 RealScreen Award nominated The Grammar of Happiness.
Chris served as a Documentary Councillor for Screen Producers Australia for 7 years and won the 2014 Stanley Hawes Award for his outstanding contribution to the documentary industry in Australia. Prior to establishing Essential, Chris was the managing director and founding partner of Hilton Cordell Productions, which he ran for seven years.
Sonja Armstrong - Partner / Executive Producer
Before embarking on a producing career, co-founder Sonja Armstrong was a corporate banker with Citibank, Melbourne, business affairs and finance director with London based distribution and production company Enterprise Pictures and a development and production executive at the Australian Film Commission. Her credits include the docudramas The Floating Brothel and Seduction in the City; one-offs Helen’s War and The Fortune Teller, and the series Heat in the Kitchen, High Steaks: Neil Perry, Is Your House Killing You?, Lush House, the Gourmet Farmer Series (3), and its spin-off Gourmet Farmer Afloat, Shane Delia’s Spice Journey (series 1 and 2), observational documentary series Kids on Speed? and What’s The Catch? – an investigative campaign series on Australia’s fishing industry. Current titles in production include Gourmet Farmer 4 and a third season of Shane Delia's Moorish Spice Journey .