Documentary guidelines to benefit content creators and broadcasters

Documentary guidelines to benefit content creators and broadcasters

Friday 19 September 2014

Following an extensive consultation process Screen Australia today released a second draft of its guidelines for documentary funding. Over the past six months Screen Australia has listened to a wide range of viewpoints from across the sector. The new draft reflects many of the ideas that came through written submissions and discussion with industry, including national broadcasters and guilds.

The proposed suite of programs aims to respond to industry’s desire for both certainty and flexibility. They also recognise Screen Australia’s need to continue to fund projects that meet our objectives of quality, culture, innovation and diversity.

CEO Graeme Mason said, “We have refined the guidelines to respond to industry feedback while sharpening our focus in the context of reduced funds. We are pleased that our biggest partners in this area, the ABC and SBS, have expressed indicative support for these guidelines, and we look forward to receiving final comments over the next three weeks from the sector.”

The Producer program ($5–6 million) is designed to support innovative documentaries with a strong creative vision and a clear pathway to audience. The intention is to provide producers with the flexibility to drive projects both creatively and commercially, with Screen Australia funding as the foundation for growing and securing deals.

This will be a competitive fund open to projects supported by broadcasters as well as projects seeking festival, theatrical or online distribution. Through this fund Screen Australia will invest in a variety of subjects, styles and approaches reflecting a range of viewpoints from a variety of production entities. Some 25 to 35 hours of content per year are expected to be produced with the assistance of this program.

The Broadcast program ($9–10 million) reintroduces the notional funding allocation for domestic broadcasters to support projects that offer a compelling vision and have clear enduring value beyond initial broadcast. Screen Australia aims to fund 30–40 hours of content a year through this program.

The Producer Equity program will continue to be available in conjunction with other Screen Australia funding, and funding for documentary development is also available.

Industry is invited to provide final comment on the draft guidelines by 10 October. Final guidelines are anticipated to be available in November, and the first funding round for all programs under the new guidelines will have a closing date of 30 January, 2015. Deadlines for further funding rounds will be published on the Screen Australia website.

Screen Australia will offer a final round for the GDP and the NDP in 2014 under existing guidelines. This round is open only to applicants with all finance in place including state agency funding. Deadline 24 October 2014.

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