SAFC announces teams for round two of Film Lab: New Voices

Top row L-R: Joshua Trevorrow, Nicholas Muecke, Tamara Hardman and Sarah Wormald, and Travis Akbar. Middle L-R: Thibul Nettle, Tom Phillips, Leela Varghese and Emma Hough Hobbs, and Nelya Valamanesh. Bottom L-R: Danielle Tinker, Daniel Principe, Jodie Kirkbride and Stephanie Jaclyn, Marcus McKenzie, and, and Alies Sluiter and William Littleton.

The shortlist for this year’s Film Lab: New Voices feature film skills development program have been revealed, with seven teams selected for the second round.

Delivered via the South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC) and Adelaide Film Festival, in collaboration with Mercury CX and Screen Australia, the next phase of the initiative will put three teams through 12-months of skills development and mentoring with industry experts to develop a low-budget feature film script.

At the end of the development portion, one project will be selected to move into production with $400,000 in funding, with the final film to be wholly produced and post-produced in South Australia and to premiere at the Adelaide Film Festival in 2024.

The creative teams for this year are writer Nelya Valamanesh, director Nicholas Muecke and Sarah Wormald; writer/director Tamara Hardman and Wormald; writer/director Alies Sluiter and producer William Littleton; writer/director Emma Hough Hobbs, writer/director Leela Varghese and producer Tom Phillips; writer/director Stephanie Jaclyn and producer Jodie Kirkbride; writer Travis Akbar, director Thibul Nettle, and producer Joshua Trevorrow; producer/writer Danielle Tinker, producer/director Daniel Principe and director Marcus McKenzie.

As part of this year’s program, one of the final three teams will be First Nations led, with at least two members of the key creative team identifying as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.

The three chosen teams will be announced later this month, with the final film to be delivered in time for Adelaide Film Festival 2024.

Successful teams from the inaugural version of the initiative are now entering the final phase of development on their projects, with the winning film to be announced in the coming months. The project will go into production in April, ahead of a premiere at Adelaide Film Festival 2022.

SAFC CEO Kate Croser said the response to this year’s Film Lab: New Voices program had been highly competitive, with 26 projects submitted by 23 filmmaking teams.

“We are delighted to be presenting the return of Film Lab: New Voices for a second year, and I congratulate the 17 practitioners across the seven teams shortlisted for the 2022 program, who reflect the incredible diversity and outstanding talent of South Australia’s next generation of filmmakers,” she said.

“We look forward to three new teams joining the inaugural round of South Australian screen creatives already developing their films in this innovative career building program, which will enable valuable first feature film credits for the next wave of South Australian ‘Greenlighters’, strengthening the foundations of our state’s screen sector.”

Adelaide Film Festival CEO and creative director Mat Kesting said the second round teams were a “genuine testament to the diversity of talent in SA”.

“Adelaide Film Festival is well regarded for development, support and engagement of the filmmaking community and is thrilled to support the next generation through the Film Lab: New Voices initiative with SAFC, Mercury CX and Screen Australia as a mechanism to see South Australian practitioners and screen stories thrive,” he said.

“We are looking forward to premiering the first film from Film Lab: New Voices round one at AFF, running October 19-30, 2022, with the film from round two to premiere in October 2024.”