SBS’s Australia Uncovered strand now inviting proposals for 2022

• Joseph Maxwell, head of documentaries at SBS, comments

Australia Uncovered, SBS’s strand of prime-time single documentaries exploring diversity and equality in contemporary Australia, is returning with the broadcaster now inviting proposals for projects to be broadcast in 2022.

It follows the success of the launch of the strand in 2020, with the first season of selected projects currently in production to be broadcast in 2021. 

Australia Uncovered will feature up to eight single documentaries ranging from one hour to feature-length. Filmmakers are encouraged to be creative in their approach to style, form and construct, and the uniting factor once again is that all submissions must have something compelling to say about Australia today and align with the SBS Charter. 

Shortlisted proposals seeking development funding will participate in a live pitching session as part of the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) 28 February – 3 March 2021, with successful teams receiving a share of development funding from SBS.

SBS is also once again welcoming proposals seeking production funding and post-production funding for the strand.

Joseph Maxwell, head of documentaries at SBS, said: “We were thrilled with the high calibre of pitches submitted last year which has resulted in a strong selection of uniquely Australian stories set to air next year which showcase the ambition of the Australia Uncovered strand.

“Single documentaries allow us to showcase diversity and tackle issues challenging our society in innovative and inspiring ways, through often untold stories and from a variety of voices with reflect contemporary Australia. It’s been a challenging year for so many Australians and we’re looking forward to seeing the creativity and quality of our local sector come through in this year’s submissions.”

Alice Burgin, CEO / conference director, AIDC, said: “The Australia Uncovered pitch was a genuine highlight of AIDC 2020. The combination of incredible stories and professional pitches, not to mention the pot of gold at the end, was extremely inspiring. As we move through a challenging year, we look forward to once again celebrating the diverse talent of the Australian screen industry next March.”   

There are several ways filmmakers can submit their documentary ideas:

Applications for Development Funding

Applicants are required to submit their proposals with ‘Australia Uncovered Submission’ in the subject line to factual@sbs.com.au by 24 January 2021. 

Proposals must include the following:

• 2-4 page proposal for an original one-hour or feature length documentaries
• 2-5 minute teaser, character reel or proof of concept reel.

The shortlist of documentaries will be announced by SBS on 8 February 2021.

After a competitive pitching session held as part of the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) 28 February – 3 March 2021, SBS will commit total development funding of up to $80,000 across the successful projects.

Applications for Production Funding

Production companies can also submit ideas that are already fully developed for production funding from SBS.

To be eligible, companies will need to submit a full treatment, a polished reel and a final budget.

This funding route will be open from 1 October 2020 until 30 June 2021.

Applicants are required to submit their proposals with ‘Australia Uncovered Submission’ in the subject line to factual@sbs.com.au.

Applications for Post Production Funding

Production companies can also submit projects that are in mid-production or close to finishing.

To be eligible for funding, companies will need to submit a full treatment, a pre-title or short reel, a rough cut or assembly, and a budget.

This funding route is open from 1 October 2020 until 30 June 2021.

Applicants are required to submit their proposals with ‘Australia Uncovered Submission’ in the subject line to factual@sbs.com.au.

Funding for the Australia Uncovered strand is only available to production companies with relevant experience in long form documentary storytelling. In addition, the creative team responsible for the project must include one producer, director or writer who has at least two eligible TV credits in their respective role.

Applications for funding from sources beyond SBS

Australia Uncovered projects commissioned by SBS may also be eligible for state and federal screen agency funding.

Producers need to apply for this funding directly with the relevant agency. For Screen Australia, all production funding is subject to a creative assessment as per the published guidelines and eligibility requirements.

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