Screen Australia, SBS and NITV announce return of Digital Originals initiative in 2022

digital originals initiative

• The joint program aims to foster exciting and innovative short-form drama projects

Screen Australia, SBS and National Indigenous Television announced the return of the Digital Originals initiative.

Applications are now open for the joint program that aims to foster exciting and innovative short-form drama projects that will be premiered as a single episode on SBS On Demand and NITV.

These projects will be developed by creatives who are currently under-represented on screen, including those who identify as culturally and linguistically diverse, First Nations Australians, people with disability, female and gender diverse, LGBTIQ+ and those who are located in regional and remote areas.

In the past, recipients include AACTA Award-winning Tasmanian mystery The Tailings, Western Australian comedy Iggy & Ace, and the upcoming South Australian drama A Beginner’s Guide to Grief.

In addition, three more projects from the 2021 cohort are heading into production and are poised to be announced.

Screen Australia’s head of online Lee Naimo said: “We are thrilled to partner with SBS and NITV on the third instalment of Digital Originals, to continue to build this pathway for premium online Australian drama. I can’t wait to take the new batch of talent creators through the workshop, and work with them on developing their projects for the SBS OnDemand audience.”

SBS head of scripted, Julie Eckersley said: “Digital Originals continues to be a great success and an important initiative SBS is incredibly proud to be a part of. Over three years, we’ve seen unique and award-winning stories from across the country resonate with audiences, while supporting and showcasing incredible emerging talent in our sector. It continues to be a key element of our drama offering, and I’m looking forward to seeing what fresh voices and amazing talent this next round uncovers.”

NITV’s head of commissioning and programming, Kyas Hepworth added: “Digital Originals provides a brilliant opportunity to support more First Nations narrative writers and practitioners to hone their skills and have their voices heard. NITV, as part of the SBS network, is committed to bringing stories from underrepresented communities to a national audience, I encourage our next wave of creatives to get involved.”

Up to 10 teams will be chosen from the applicants to attend an exclusive workshop run by Screen Australia, SBS and NITV held from May 17 to 19.

It will focus on narrative writing skills, developing projects that align with the SBS Charter and SBS On Demand platform, as well as pitching to Screen Australia, SBS and NITV.

From there four teams will be chosen to take their projects into further development and then up to three will be chosen for production funding and commissioning with SBS, NITV and Screen Australia

For more information on application guidelines click here

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