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Screenrights Announces $249,600 Funding For Seven Projects Supported By 2021 Cultural Fund

Screenrights has announced seven projects will be supported by the 2021 round of its annual Cultural Fund, to total $249,600 in funding for this year’s focus of ‘New Teams’. This is the fourth year of the Screenrights Cultural Fund, which was established in 2018.

“This year’s focus on New Teams attracted a strong round of high quality applications out of which seven projects have been approved with a rich diversity of participants and project aims,” said Screenrights Board Director and Cultural Fund Working Group Chair Geoffrey Atherden. “We're confident that this year’s grants will deliver rewarding and innovative outcomes for audiences and the screen industry in Australia and New Zealand.”

Sweetshop & Green will receive $50K for ‘The New Pasifika Creators Accelerator Program’, New Zealand’s first program designed to place talented emerging Pacific creatives living in New Zealand with high-profile, established Pacific-led production companies to provide on-the-ground training, mentorship, and opportunities for essential screen credits necessary to gain entrance into the industry.

Sharlene George, Co-Managing Director at Sweetshop & Green said, "Sweetshop & Green is honoured to collaborate with the key Pacific-led film production companies in Aotearoa: Tikilounge, Sunpix and Brown Sugar Apple Grunt. With the generous help of Screenrights and collectively as Team Moana, we are able to put into practice our Pacific values; collaborative working and sharing resources, ideas and finances in ways that will shine a spotlight on Pacific stories and culture in Aotearoa and beyond."

2021 Screenrights Cultural Fund recipients Team Moana.
Pictured left to right: Kerry Warkia (Brown Sugar Apple Grunt), Sharlene George (Sweetshop & Green), Lisa Taouma (Tikilounge), Stephin Stehlin (Sunpix).

Diversity Arts Australia will receive $25K for its capacity building program ‘Equity, Inclusion and the Screen Sector’, increasing understanding and confidence of small to medium screen based companies around engaging effectively with cultural and racial diversity. Back to Back Theatre will receive $20K to partner with screen industry leaders to share the outcomes of their internship program that saw people with disability employed and mentored in production roles during the creation of Shadow in 2020, with a view to creating models for increased employment opportunities for people with disability in the wider screen sector.

‘Stories From Another Australia’ is a talent and career development program from Co-Curious, which will receive $45.5K to address lack of cultural diversity in the screen industry by creating a network of support and potential collaborators as well as the tools to establish and sustain a screenwriting career. ‘The Feast’ will see Midnight Feast receive $49.1K for an innovative training program teaming 20 artists with physical and intellectual disabilities with creatives from Jungle Entertainment and The Corinthian Food Store to learn about collaborative writing, development, pitching, pathways to audience, casting, directing and editing on a budget. Media Farm’s ‘Impact Team Labs’ brings together participants from different specialisations – producers and storytellers with researchers and subject matter experts – to form new teams to tackle the problems of climate crisis and inequality, diversity and inclusion. The Lab will receive $30K funding to form transdisciplinary teams addressing mutual areas of concern.

Following on from this year’s inaugural Platform initiative, For Film’s Sake will receive $30K funding for ‘Platform 2022’, a three-day workshop intensive to be staged with Sydney Film Festival to provide expert skill development that bridges the gap between creative and commercial elements of screen production in the global market. The workshop will support up to 10 participants with an active screen project in development, and culminate in a public pitch to international mentors and financiers.

Applications were assessed by a panel of professionals with both local and international expertise in screen, media and education.

ABOUT THE SUCCESSFUL PROJECTS

Sweetshop & Green
Activity: ‘The New Pasifika Creators Accelerator Program’ is New Zealand's first program designed to place talented emerging Pacific creatives living in New Zealand with high-profile, established Pacific-led production companies to provide on-the-ground training, mentorship, networking and skills development. The program has been designed by Team Moana, a new Pacific-led collective of four high-profile production companies. The goal of the collective is to create a pipeline of new Pacific talent by providing sought after opportunities that will help provide essential credits necessary to gain entrance into the industry. The program has been devised as an annual program for four highly talented emerging Pacific creatives.
Location: New Zealand
Amount funded: $50,000

Diversity Arts Australia
Activity: ‘Equity, Inclusion and the Screen Sector’ is a capacity building program to increase understanding and confidence of the small to medium screen based companies around engaging effectively with cultural and racial diversity – including the persistence of systemic barriers in practices and building culturally safe practices. The program is focused on practical and actionable strategies to make change, from recruitment and leadership to programming and audience development. The focus of the program is on building capacities to work with culturally and linguistically diverse, migrant, POC and refugee communities who are underrepresented in the screen industry, and build knowledge and connections with these communities.
Location: Australia
Amount funded: $25,000

Back to Back Theatre
Activity: Back to Back Theatre will partner with screen industry leaders to share the outcomes of their internship program that saw people with disability employed and mentored in production roles during the creation of Shadow in 2020, with a view to creating a model(s) for increased employment opportunities for people with disability in the wider screen sector. With Deakin University, Back to Back conducted comprehensive research and evaluation of the internship program, documenting actual and potential long-term economic benefits and social impacts for individuals with a disability, their capacity to be engaged with mainstream screen services and within the broader community. This project will see Back to Back’s research form innovative partnerships with sectors of the screen industry, developing concrete strategies to assist these partners to explore strength-based opportunities and approaches to disability employment.
Location: Australia (NSW)
Amount funded: $20,000

Co-Curious
Activity: ‘Stories From Another Australia’ is a talent and career development program that aims to address issues around the lack of cultural diversity in the screen industry through a tailored skills development program designed to bring together emerging CaLD screenwriters and experienced industry practitioners. The program will create a network of support and potential collaborators. It will also provide participants with the tools to unlock four key enablers essential in establishing and sustaining a screenwriting career.
Location: Australia (NSW & VIC)
Amount funded: $45,500

Midnight Feast
Activity: ‘The Feast' is an innovative training program teaming 20 artists with physical and intellectual disabilities with creatives from Jungle Entertainment and The Corinthian Food Store to learn about collaborative writing, development, pitching, pathways to audience, casting, directing and editing on a budget. Over one year, artists from Midnight Feast will be encouraged to work with new collaborators, to develop skills, and to deepen their connections in the film industry. At the culmination of the program, each artist will have a chance to pitch a project to executives from Jungle Entertainment and The Corinthian Food Store, and to receive feedback. A documentary crew will capture the work of the artists from start to finish. This program is about giving artists agency over their own work, as well as a place at the table with well-connected partners.
Location: Australia (NSW & VIC)
Amount funded: $49,100

Media Farm
Activity: ‘Impact Teams Lab’ is a new initiative that brings together participants from three different groups or categories – producers and storytellers, researchers and subject matter experts, and people with lived experience – to form new teams to tackle two important problems we face: Climate crisis and Inequality, Diversity and Inclusion. Impact Teams Lab introduces these participants to one another and helps them form transdisciplinary teams over mutual areas of concern. Then, over a 6-week period, the teams are guided on how to work together to develop a screen content project that will make a measurable impact. At the end of this period, lab participants will pitch their projects and impact measurement tools to networks, screen agencies and to impact investors for feedback and development funding.
Location: Australia (NSW)
Amount funded: $30,000

For Film’s Sake
Activity: Platform 2022 is a three-day workshop intensive that follows this year’s first ever Platform, to be staged with Sydney Film Festival to provide expert skill development that bridges the gap between creative and commercial elements of screen production in the global market. The workshop will support up to 10 participants with an active screen project in development, and culminate in a public pitch to international mentors and financiers.
Location: Australia (NSW)
Amount funded: $30,000

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