Screen Australia releases proposed new guidelines for Screen Story funding

‘The proposed development guidelines represent a seismic shift for early career creators.’

Screen Australia has published proposed new guidelines for Screen Story Development (drama) funding, which are open for industry feedback until Thursday May 31, before coming into effect on July 1, 2018.

“The proposed development guidelines represent a seismic shift for early career creators – doing away with barriers based on eligibility credits, distribution platform, when funding is available and even administrative barriers in the application process itself,” said Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason.

“We expect experienced creators will also welcome the ability to apply for multiple phases of development on a single application, and the removal of funding caps.

“In proposing these changes we are seeking to ensure that our funding is accessible to the best projects on the platform and budget that best suits that story, with an emphasis on supporting talent who have a strong idea and a clear pathway to an audience. We expect the proposed changes will increase the diversity of screen stories being told and who is telling them.”

The proposed guidelines allow projects for any platform, including TV, film and online, to be able to apply for development funding from one of two program strands – the Generate Fund or the Premium Fund.

The Generate Fund will be for lower-budget projects with an emphasis on new and emerging talent or experienced talent wanting to take a creative risk. There will be no eligibility requirements for this fund. However, applications will need to be competitive against the criteria and in line with the aims of the fund.

The Premium Fund will be for higher-budget projects from creatives who have had critical and/or commercial success. This will be for projects that demonstrate ambition and scale. The commercial viability of the project, and the path to a significant and clearly defined audience will be a key focus of this fund.

The total funding pool between the two funds will be $3 million for 2018-19, which is approximately the same as the development funds available in 2017-18.

Screen Australia is seeking industry feedback via email from today until Thursday May 31 inclusive. Submissions should be made to direct into the body of the email or via a Word document attachment, including the respondent’s full name and contact details.

Submissions will only be made public if the author gives permission in their email.

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