(L-R): Bettina Hamilton, Matt Vesely and Lucy Campbell, one of the teams from the inaugural Film Lab: New Voices program.

South Australian development program Film Lab: New Voices is again open for applications from creative teams, with First Nations practitioners being encouraged to apply.

Delivered through the South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC) and Adelaide Film Festival, in collaboration with Mercury CX, the initiative will offer three filmmaking teams the chance to develop and produce a feature film to premiere at the Adelaide Film Festival 2024.

As part of new criteria designed to support the SAFC First Nations Screen Strategy (2020-2025), at least one member of every filmmaking team – producer, writer and/or director – must be from a group under-represented in the sector. One of the three teams selected for development will also be First Nations-led, with at least two members of the key creative team identifying as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.

Applications are to be assessed on the originality and creative ambition, the marketability and potential audience of a project, the diversity of the key creative team, and the potential for the project to be realised within the proposed budget.

The announcement comes after the inaugural round of the program began in March.

SAFC First Nations industry development executive Nara Wilson said there was a growing hunger, both here and internationally, for stories on screen to be told from fresh, diverse perspectives, and especially for more films “by, about, and for First Nations peoples”.

“The Film Lab: New Voices program has always supported the SAFC’s vision to increase participation of people from groups underrepresented in the South Australian screen sector, but it is truly exciting to this year sharpen the focus to provide a career-launching opportunity for First Nations practitioners in particular,” she said.

SAFC CEO Kate Croser said with the first three filmmaking teams already deep in development with their projects, they were looking forward to seeing what would come out of the second round.

“We are delighted to create opportunities for even more South Australian filmmakers with the opening of the Film Lab: New Voices program for round two, after the inaugural round last year saw an overwhelming number of high-quality applications,” she said.

Applications close November 10. Find out more information about how to apply here.

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