Behind the scenes of ‘Deadly Family Portraits: Sainsbury Sisters’ with director Pearl Berry. 

The South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC) and Screen Territory have partnered to launch ‘Centralised’, an initiative to support Indigenous filmmakers across South Australian and the Northern Territory through new funding, support and development opportunities.

The initiative, which also has the support of Screen Australia’s Indigenous Department, Documentary Australia Foundation (DAF), AFTRS Indigenous, ABC and NITV, will involve mentoring, workshops, attachments and internships. Existing Aboriginal-led media organisations in SA and the NT will also be involved in the program.

Centralised aims to “remove the state-territory border for the screen industry, linking creative communities and fostering collaborations to develop and uncover the stories, locations and new and existing talent through the very heart of Australia”.

Emerging producers, writers and directors will be supported to develop and produce screen content for possible broadcast on the ABC or NITV.

The first major Centralised projects to be announced include South Australian-made Deadly Family Portraits, set to air on ABC iview on Friday 9 August; the Karla Grant Factual Series Initiative for NITV; a web series development initiative to be delivered by CAAMA (Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association) and a DAF Fellowship to empower indigenous storytellers.

SAFC Aboriginal screen strategy executive Lee-Ann Tjunypa Buckskin said: “This ground-breaking initiative builds on the cultural backbone of our two states and supports the incredible work being done by Indigenous screen creatives in South Australia and the Northern Territory. Centralised will shine a new spotlight on the very heart of Australia, bringing Indigenous stories and storytellers to the fore in exciting new ways. Centralised acknowledges and supports a long line of story tellers and engages the next generation in meaningful ways, to develop and grow our resources and talent for many generations to come.”

Screen Territory CEO Jennie Hughes said: “The Northern Territory has a long history of developing masterful Indigenous filmmakers and Screen Territory is proud to be a founding member of the Centralised initiative. Centralised will be key in fostering a new generation of Indigenous screen practitioners, contributing and strengthening to the rich history of Indigenous storytelling in Australian screen content.”

Ambassadors for the program include SA actor Elaine Crombie (Top End Wedding, Kiki and Kitty, Black Comedy) and Territorian film maker Dylan River (Sweet Country, Robbie Hood).

“As an ambassador for Centralised I’m excited and intrigued for our storytellers from SA and NT to have this opportunity. I would personally love to see our generations both young and old have the chance to share their stories, whatever they may be. My brief is that anything is possible and with this initiative, you will soon see why,” Crombie said.

River said: “As a proud Territorian filmmaker I welcome this opportunity for screen makers across the NT and SA to develop and produce their work. I started my career directing Buckskin, about South Australian Aboriginal Leader Jack Buckskin, and without that chance to make my first work, I would not be working on series like Mystery Road or features like Sweet Country.” 

Screen Australia head of Indigenous Penny Smallacombe said: “In 2018 we celebrated 25 years of our Indigenous Department at Screen Australia. Last month we released The Next 25 Year strategy, and core to that is working with sister organisations to form a National Framework for Indigenous Professional Development to make funding opportunities more accessible. We’re thrilled that Centralised will become the first step on that journey to connecting resources for Indigenous creators, and express a heartfelt thanks to all the founding partners.”


  • Deadly Family Portraits
    This SAFC and ABC digital series brings to the screen three remarkable South Australian Aboriginal families – mother and daughter performers Lillian and Elaine Crombie, artist father and musician son Robert and Zaachariaha Fielding, and dancer sisters Taree and Caleena Sansbury – in three short films produced and directed by teams of emerging Indigenous South Australian filmmakers. The series premiered on ABC iview on Friday August 9, marking the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People.
  • Karla Grant Factual Series Initiative
    Indigenous journalist and Living Blackhost Karla Grant journeys onto Country to meet and interview interesting and inspiring Indigenous Australians in a new series for NITV. Each episode of the four-part series will be directed by a different emerging South Australian and Northern Territory Indigenous director and feature a different high-profile guest. The Karla Grant Factual Series Initiative is a collaboration between NITV and the South Australian Film Corporation. It will start production in 2019 and air in 2020.
  • Web Series Development Initiative
    Partnering with Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA), Centralised will call on Indigenous screen practitioners, online content creators and vloggers from the Northern Territory and South Australia to attend the first Centralised Online Series Development Initiative. Held in Alice Springs, this four-day web series workshop will offer networking and screening opportunities, as well as a pitch session in front of broadcasters, YouTube, State and Federal film agencies. Applications are open now.
  • DAF Documentary Indigenous Fellowship
    Under the Centralised banner, Documentary Australia Foundation (DAF)’s new Documentary Indigenous Fellowship will support the careers of Indigenous filmmakers from the Northern Territory and South Australia to develop professionally and kickstart a new project. Details on eligibility and how to apply will be available soon.
  • Bunya Talent Incubator
    With the support of Screen Australia’s Enterprise Business and Ideas program and SAFC, Bunya Productions will run a Creative Incubator Workshop in Adelaide that will provide opportunities for emerging and mid-career Indigenous writers, showrunners, directors and producers to develop television and film concepts. Bunya are the production company behind the multiple award-winning TV series Mystery Road and feature film Sweet Country.
  • Tarnanthi 2019 Mentoring Program
    Presented by the Art Gallery of South Australia in partnership with the SAFC, this program will see Adelaide’s award-winning Closer Productions provide attachment opportunities for two emerging Indigenous South Australian based filmmakers to be mentored as they film the Tarnanthi Artist Portraits, a collection of filmic profiles of some of the country’s leading contemporary Indigenous artists. Production will take place at the Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Art Centre in northeast Arnhem Land, NT; Broken Hill, NSW; and Kununurra and Lombadina in Western Australia. Tarnanthi is presented by the Art Gallery of South Australia in partnership with BHP and with support from the Government of South Australia. The Tarnanthi Artist Portraits will be screened at AGSA and shared more broadly across social media and other platforms.


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