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 unbroken 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. 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 also accept pitches for one-off articles, essays and other contributions.

If you're interested in contributing to The Essential, please contact the editorial team by emailing


The Essential has a growing audience of smart, engaged readers and we are actively looking to partner with suitable advertisers. To enquire, please email