‘Outback Rabbis’ from SBS’s ‘Untold Australia’ documentary strand. 

SBS, in partnership with Documentary Australia Foundation (DAF), is calling for proposals for documentaries that explore diversity and equality in contemporary Australia, to be broadcast via new doco strand, Australia Uncovered. 

Up to eight single one-hour or feature length documentaries will be commissioned to air in 2021. Filmmakers are encouraged to be creative in their approach to style, form and construct, but the uniting factor is that all must have something compelling to say about Australia today, and align with SBS’s Charter.

Funding for the strand is only available to production companies with relevant experience in long form documentary storytelling. In addition, the creative team responsible for the project must include one producer, director or writer who has at least two eligible TV credits in their respective role.

Screen Australia has also committed to support Australia Uncovered titles.

Shortlisted proposals seeking development funding will be invited to take part in a live pitching session at the 2020 Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) 1-4 March. SBS also welcomes proposals seeking production funding and post-production funding.

SBS head of documentaries Joseph Maxwell, Head of Documentaries at SBS said: “Australia Uncovered will be a curation of the most compelling new contemporary documentaries from across Australia.  Single documentaries remain an important part of our schedule and allow for a diversity of voices and stories to be told in fresh and inspiring ways,”

DAF CEO Mitzi Goldman said:  “We’re thrilled to partner on the creation of a new slot for one off documentaries. We’re seeing many critically successful documentaries engage audiences and inspire them to act in distinctive ways that build social cohesion. It will be powerful to work with SBS to amplify our shared objectives to maximise audience engagement.”

AIDC conference director and CEO Alice Burgin said: “The AIDC applauds SBS and the Documentary Australia Foundation for their commitment to creating new opportunities for filmmakers to tell impactful and diverse, contemporary Australian stories.  We are honoured to be hosting the live pitch at AIDC to help kick-start this exciting new chapter of Australian documentary.”

Applications for development funding are required to submit proposals to SBS by January 30. Submissions must include 2-4 page proposal for an original one-hour or feature length documentaries, and a 2-5 minute teaser character reel or proof of concept reel. The shortlist will be announced by SBS on February 14. After a competitive live pitching session at the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) on March 4, SBS will commit total development funding of up to $80,000 across the successful projects.

For projects seeking production funding, production companies will need to submit a full treatment, a polished reel and a final budget. This funding route will be open from  November 1 until July, 2020. Production companies can also submit projects that are in mid-production or close to finishing. To be eligible for such funding, companies will need to submit a full treatment, a pretitle or short reel, a rough cut or assembly, and a budget. This funding route is open from November 1 until October 1, 2020.

More info here.

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