Screen Australia and Google Australia / YouTube have announced applications are open for Skip Ahead seven. The initiative is targeted at creators who have a track record of reaching a substantial audience on YouTube and are ready to ‘skip ahead’ their careers in terms of creative ambition and production values.
Since 2014, Skip Ahead has contributed over $3.8 million in funding to support 29 YouTube content creators to develop their skills and build their careers, including comedians Aunty Donna, Bush Tucker Bunjie, and Skitbox, documentarians Mighty Car Mods, filmmaking duo RackaRacka, influencer Wengie and mathematics educator Tibees. Superwog’s pilot funded through Skip Ahead was so popular it propelled the comedy duo to land a full ABC TV series. Superwog also have the distinction of having created the top trending YouTube video in Australia in both 2017 and 2019.
Skip Ahead projects have garnered critical acclaim with Over and Out, created by Adele Vuko and Christiaan Van Vuuren, awarded Best Short Form Series at Canneseries 2019 and Michael Shanks’ project Rebooted making its World Premiere at the Austin Film Festival, before winning Best Australian Animated Short Film at Flickerfest and being nominated for Best Short Film at the AACTA Awards 2019.
Applicants will be eligible for up to $120,000 in production funding per project, with up to four projects to be funded. Screen Australia and Google Australia are jointly funding the initiative.
Both scripted narrative (i.e. fiction) and documentary projects are eligible. Applicants must have a YouTube channel (or up to two current YouTube channels) with a subscriber base of at least 25,000 subscribers or a YouTube video that has reached a minimum of one million views on a channel with a subscriber base of at least 10,000. The program guidelines detail how existing YouTube creators can submit applications together and/or work with established producers and/or production companies.
Screen Australia’s senior online investment manager, Lee Naimo said, “We continue to be impressed with the heights our Skip Ahead alumni reach, with this funding allowing them to expand their production values and unlock new creative opportunities. Skip Ahead is one of our most valued partnerships in the Screen Australia Online department, and we look forward to receiving another round of high concept scripted and documentary applications for Skip Ahead seven and championing world-class online content made by Australians.”
Lucinda Longcroft, director, Government affairs & public policy, Google Australia & New Zealand said, “Now in its seventh year, we are so proud of the Skip Ahead initiative and the talent it continues to surface to audiences around the world. While the initiative has evolved over this time, what hasn’t changed is the unique and powerful stories Australian YouTube creators develop – and I can’t wait to see what this year brings!”
Applications close 5pm AEST Thursday 16 September, 2021. Apply here.