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Screenwest is excited to partner with SBS, Screen Australia and other state and Territory agencies to call for diverse and First Nations creatives to get curious about contemporary Australia, through a new documentary initiative. Curious Australia applications open today and will close on 12 July 2021 at 5:00pm AWST.

This new, nationwide initiative seeks submissions for standalone, half-hour documentaries reflecting the diversity of people and experiences of contemporary Australia. Curious Australia will support screen practitioners from under-represented backgrounds in the sector to bring their diverse stories to Australian screens.

Successful documentaries will be commissioned for SBS platforms, including SBS VICELAND, National Indigenous Television (NITV), and SBS On Demand and provided a production budget of up to $120,000.

Curious Australia project applications must include two key creative roles on a project being held by people from an under-represented background, including those identifying as:

  • First Nations Australians
  • People from cultural and linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • Women
  • People living with disability
  • Those with diverse age backgrounds
  • People of diverse sexuality and gender identities including LGBTQI+
  • People from under-represented locations (including regional and remote areas)
  • People from diverse socio-economic backgrounds.

Projects must be stand-alone unscripted documentaries suitable for a half hour television slot, reflect SBS’s Charter and explore issues relevant to contemporary Australia in an innovative way.

Screenwest CEO Rikki Lea Bestall is excited to partner with SBS, Screen Australia and other screen agencies on the Curious Australia initiative. “Screenwest is committed to championing diverse and underrepresented storytellers and content that reflects contemporary Australia – which is very important culturally, creatively and economically.”

Susie Jones, Commissioning Editor, Documentaries, at SBS, said, “Through Curious Australia, SBS has partnered with Screen Australia and screen agencies around the country to seek out documentaries which put the spotlight on those things which make Australia unique, the people that inspire us to see things from a different perspective, and authentic stories that spark curiosity, enlighten and engage audiences in powerful and entertaining ways.”

Curious Australia is targeted at mid-career practitioners working on lower-budget, exciting and risk-taking projects.

Applications will open today, with submissions from WA practitioners to be made directly with Screenwest via SmartyGrants. Applications will close Monday 12 July 2021.


How to Apply

The full guidelines, application materials and eligibility criteria are available on the Production Funding Page of the Screenwest website.

All program guidelines are to be read in conjunction with the Screenwest Terms of Trade.

An application receipt will be forwarded to the applicant within two working days to confirm that Screenwest has received the application. It is the applicant’s responsibility to contact Screenwest if an application receipt has not been received within this timeframe.

Applications close Monday 12 July 2021 at 5:00pm AWST.


Program Contact

For more information about this program, please contact:

Paul Williams
Documentary Manager, Screenwest

T: +61 8 6169 2116

Devina McPherson
Indigenous Manager, Screenwest

T: +61 8 6169 2112

Monique Hammond
Development and Production Coordinator, Screenwest

T: +61 8 6169 2121

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Posted 02 June 2021

Filed under funding