Mischa Heywood, Tristan Ayres and Chenelle Carr in 'The Wonder Gang'.

The ABC is teaming up with Canadian public broadcaster CBC to fund new children’s animation projects.

Applications open this month for the Kindred Animation Collaboration, which is designed to nurture animation ideas from Canadian and Australian creators into development, where they have the chance to become co-commissions.

It builds on an existing creative and commercial collaboration between the public broadcasters that has been in place since 2019, when they signed a three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to co-develop English-language drama, comedy, factual, children’s, and podcast content. The agreement also sees the broadcasters enhance the reach and impact of their content across both countries, including children’s programming.

Outcomes have included ABC’s acquisition of CBC Kids’ original commission Big Blue, as well as CBC co-productions Kiri and Lou and Endlings. CBC Kids have also acquired ABC titles First Day, How To Do Stuff Good, and The Wonder Gang.

ABC managing director David Anderson said the new collaboration would “undoubtedly” deliver creative ideas aligned to the shared values of the broadcasters and of relevance to their respective audiences.

“The Kindred Animation Collaboration is an exciting opportunity to further the ABC’s outstanding reputation for delivering engaging content for children and young people,” he said.

“In an increasingly crowded market, the ABC is committed to ensuring our world-class programming is not lost in the mix.”

Criteria includes animated projects that appealing to a tween audience (10-14 years old), with a female character-driven narrative or compelling ensemble cast, featuring ideas that speak to the age group with a focus on comedy, surrealism, fantasy quests and/or identity.

The ABC and CBC are also seeking preschool projects that explore an aspect of early childhood development that is not well represented in the current landscape, with core values including comedy, kindness and empathy.

The source IP must originate from either Canada or Australia to qualify, with shortlisted ideas to receive funding for an initial stage of development. Projects that proceed beyond the initial stage will be eligible for further development from the ABC and CBC to be confirmed at that time.

CBC/Radio-Canada president and CEO Catherine Tait said collaborations such as Kindred were essential to public broadcasters’ ability to compete.

Kids’ content is essential to public service media,” she said.

“At CBC/Radio-Canada, we’re committed to finding and nurturing exceptional programming for children and youth, and the Kindred Animation Collaboration with ABC will help us do just that.”

Submissions are open to teams from Australia and Canada, including professionals over the age of 18 years, sole creators, collectives, animation studios, production companies, and artists from aligned disciplines.

Canadian and Australian creators and producers can apply beginning March 28 through to May 16, with full details about the application process and eligibility criteria available here.

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