For Film’s Sake and Sydney Film Festival expand Platform incubator

Sydney Film Festival director Nashen Moodley and For Film's Sake executive director Sophie Mathisen.

For Film’s Sake has expanded its rapid talent development incubator, Platform, to creatives Australia-wide. To be held in person over just four days, 10 filmmakers will form creative teams to work on new fiction projects that they’ll then publicly pitch at the Sydney Film Festival Hub.

Participants will also work directly with international guest filmmakers whose projects are in Sydney Film Festival’s 70th edition.

Platform focuses in on newly-generated projects as its intention is to spotlight a cohort of exciting Australian filmmakers, rather than their existing works or slates.

“Creatives can often become stuck in development, making it difficult to respond to new ideas or to know how to adapt the materials they already have. Platform is intended as a circuit-breaker, a way for screen based creatives to approach common development problems from new angles,” said For Film’s Sake executive director Sophie Mathisen.

“Importantly Platform is not a masterclass and it’s not a series of panels. Immediately upon arrival, Platform attendees will begin work on new multi platform projects they will rapidly generate, within the room, with peers who will become new creative collaborators.

“As a dual skills and content ‘hack’, some attendees may come out of the program with new partnerships, some might generate new projects whilst all will develop new ways of adapting and upgrading their creative processes. We are grateful for the support from our partners to implement a new model of talent development as well as showcase the results for the audience of the 70th edition of the Sydney Film Festival.”

Platform will be delivered by Mathisen, who recently completed delivery of global feature development scheme Attagirl, and Samm Haillay, BAFTA-winning producer and creator of the British Film Institute’s Producer Programme. The initiative, run in partnership with Sydney Film Festival, is supported via the Screenrights Cultural Fund.

“Bringing filmmakers to Sydney is a key part of what makes the Festival so special. As part of our 70th edition celebrations we are thrilled to partner again with For FIlm’s Sake to offer ten Australian filmmakers the opportunity to work alongside experienced global screen storytellers and to showcase the outcome of their collaboration for Sydney audiences,” said Nashen Moodley.

Platform was first run as a pilot in 2021 with 15 filmmakers from Western Sydney, selected by Arts & Cultural Exchange. Held online, it was focused on developing creative skills and insights relevant to the international market.

Applicants can be any gender and at any career stage; they do not require professional screen credits to apply and selection will be based on the strength of their creative process-driven reflection.

The cohort will be made up of five producers and five screen creatives (such as writers, directors, content creators, or any artist who uses still, moving, animation or hybrid image as their primary means of professional self expression). Existing collaborative teams may apply individually, however if selected existing partnerships cannot work with one another.

Platform attendees will have their Sydney accommodation, lunches and festival badge provided. All attendees are solely responsible for their travel costs and must attend the workshop in person. Regional, remote and interstate applicants requiring financial support can access a small travel bursary to contribute to travel costs. This is limited to concession card holders only.

Platform will run June 14-18 during Sydney Film Festival. Apply here, applications close May 14.