A documentary series centred on young athletes and a dramedy about two single mums living in the remote Northern Territory are among the seven online projects to receive more than $1 million from Screen Australia.
Game Changers is a 13 x 1-minute series that highlights the voices of thirteen diverse kids and teens as they explore the challenges and controversies surrounding their chosen sports, while The Hairy Marys follows two single mums living in the town of Nhulunbuy as they battle small-town dynamics, flakey exes, and a hostile school system.
Speaking about the latest funding round, Screen Australia online and games head Lee Naimo said there were a lot of reasons to be excited about the next wave of online talent.
“Online platforms continue to be a fantastic springboard for emerging creatives from across the country to take the opportunity to create and share their innovative and authentic stories,” he said.
“This latest lineup includes a great mix of original comedic, dramatic and documentary projects covering a variety of themes and topics, which will no doubt resonate with audiences.”
Screen Australia’s online fund includes production funding, special initiatives and development funding, which supports emerging screen creatives in developing the creative materials of their scripted or documentary projects.
Over the past four years, the agency has supplied more than $23 million of production funding to online creators for projects across a variety of platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram.
The funded projects are as follows:
Eating Late and Working Late: A 12 x 1-minute comedy narrated by Lee Lin Chin thriller that combines live-action performances with miniature sets – Eating Late takes place in a late-night suburban Chinese restaurantwhile Working Late is set in a fluorescent, depressive office space. The two series’ combine live-action performances with miniature sets to explore the inner lives of sad, meek, bored, and despondent diners and office workers as they glumly slurp wontons and photocopy stuff – until a shocking act of violence lights up the night. This series for Instagram and YouTube is from writer/director/producer team Daniel Wood and Lewis Attey whose credits include The Intern and Huge if True.
Game Changers: This 13 x 1-minute documentary series highlights the voices of thirteen diverse kids and teens as they explore the challenges and controversies surrounding their chosen sports. Through each episode, young athletes have the opportunity to share their message with the world. As the landscape of sports continues to change, these stories will stand as a testament to their accomplishments and the obstacles they have overcome. Jaden Bowen and Jake Holroyd are writing, directing, and producing, with Merryn Trescott and Stephanie Dower also writing and directing, and Sam Price attached as executive producer. Game Changers will air on TikTok, Instagram and Facebook.
The Hairy Marys: Set in the remote Northern Territory town of Nhulunbuy, this 5 x 8-minute dramedy sees Queen Nwa and Revolution roll through the punches of their chaotic lives as single mums and carers to their neurodiverse sons. They battle small-town dynamics, flakey exes, and a hostile school system. Don’t mess with a tired stressed-out Mama, she’s got nothing to lose and might just f*ck you up. This series is written, directed, and produced by Tamara Whyte, with Moze Croizier also attached as writer, Rarriwuy Hick as director, and Serena Hunt as producer. It is financed in association with and developed with the assistance of Screen Territory.
Hot Bread: Spanning three stories from three emerging writer-directors, Hot Bread is an anthology series that spins a tapestry of life in Melbourne’s vibrant Inner North. The 18-part TikTok series takes viewers inside three neighbouring terrace houses to find a varied cast of characters. From lost souls looking for love to flatmates debating tsunami survival techniques, Hot Bread tells three tales interwoven with comedy and heartbreak. Written and directed by Mark Day, Harry Quinlan and Matt Wallace. The project is produced by Lawrence Phelan from Recliner Films.
Pleasant Avenue: A 5 x 6-minute comedy set against the all too familiar world of online Facebook community groups. In Pleasant Avenue, privileged yet passionate residents live to protect and serve their exclusive, idyllic community but are plagued by petty problems that rapidly escalate and threaten to unravel the very values that gave the street its name – all under the vengeful gaze of online community groups. Created for Facebook, Pleasant Avenue is from writer/director Aimée-Lee Xu Hsien, producer Andrew Arbuthnot and executive producer Rosie Lourde. It is financed in association with Screen NSW.
Touch: Created for YouTube and TikTok, Touch is a 7 x 10-minute romantic comedy that follows Cameron, who attempts to get revenge on their cheating ex by beating her in the local touch footy competition. But, when they catch feelings for new teammate Angie, Cameron has to keep their plan a secret in order to win the competition and Angie’s love. Touch is from creator/writer/director Monique Terry and writer/producer Hannah-Rae Meegan. It is also created, written, and directed by Abby Gallaway and produced by Linus Gibson.
Unerased: A 17 x 4-minute documentary series for Instagram and Tik Tok that tells the story of nine transgender students from around Australia who are documenting their own lives using just their own phones and cameras, as they navigate high school and gender to figure out who they are. With their graduation around the corner, the pressure is on for these young people to overcome challenges with family, friends, healthcare systems, religion, grief, representation, and social change – while the issue of being trans is being debated around them. Along the way, these young people must challenge, accept and confront it all to become their true selves. AP Pobjoy is writer and director on the project with Rob Innes and Bonny Scott attached as producers. Unerased is produced in association with VicScreen.