The Essential: smart, accessible discussion of film and music.

Presenting an Australian perspective on contemporary and classic cinema and music from Australia and around the world, The Essential is a collective of writers who see cinema and music not as mere entertainment, but as important reflections of global culture and society.

We believe analysis and discussion of pop culture is an art form itself, and we eschew strict editorial guidelines which would result in a bland, homogeneous voice from our writers. The Essential's contributors are encouraged to cultivate their own style of creative expression and build a body of work which stands on its own.

The Essential was founded by Ash Beks, Simon Di Berardino and Bradley J. Dixon, who previously hosted the film and music podcast The Last Podcast Show. This podcast continues its run of over 150 episodes as part of The Essential.

For more information or to contact The Essential’s editorial team, please email


We hope to increase the diversity of perspectives amongst our writers. If you are interested in contributing to The Essential, please send through an introduction and a sample of your work to

In particular we are looking to promote the writing of women, people of colour, LGBTQ people and those living outside major cities, but will happily accept expressions of interest from anyone.

We accept pitches for reviews, essays and other contributions.