Screen NSW selects shorts for Screenability Filmmakers Fund

Executive Naomi Just, Screen NSW head Kyas Hepworth, 'Chum' producer John Larkin, Sydney Film Festival CEO Frances Wallace; '14 in February (working title)' writer and director Victoria Singh-Thompson, 'Fighting' writer and director Xavier Coy, and Sydney Film Festival Screenability curator Rebecca McCormack.

An exploration of neurodiversity, a comedy-drama about a vision-impaired woman who strikes up an unlikely friendship in remote NSW, and a drama highlighting the complexities of being a hard-of-hearing teenage girl make up the projects to be produced via this year’s Screenability Filmmakers Fund.

Xavier Coy’s Fighting, John Larkin and Eliza South’s Chum, and Victoria Singh-Thompson’s 14 In February (Working title) will each receive $30,000 grant from Screen NSW, with the teams to receive executive producer assistance from Naomi Just, and also have their final works considered for screening as part of the 70th Sydney Film Festival in 2023.

South said the funding would enable her to produce her film at an industry standard.

“As an emerging creative from Far West NSW, I am grateful to have my work produced at such a high standard and be considered for one of Australia’s most vibrant film festivals,” she said.

“Screenability has already introduced me to so many consummate professionals in the industry with whom I feel extremely privileged to work with and I can’t wait to see the results.”

Eliza South on the set of ‘Chum’ (Image: Adam Edwards)

Now in its seventh year, the fund is part of a suite of initiatives under Screenability NSW, an open-ended policy commitment by Create NSW to work with industry to grow participation in the screen sector by Australians with disabilities, which also includes internship programs and film festivals.

Head of Screen NSW Kyas Hepworth said the initiative was a significant opportunity to showcase authentic storytelling by NSW filmmakers with disability on a global platform.

“The Screenabiliy Filmmakers Fund will once again support the talents of filmmakers identifying as a person with disability, demonstrating that creativity knows no bounds,” she said.

“Screenability fundamentally places filmmakers with disability at the centre of the narrative, bringing powerful and insightful perspectives to audiences by sharing their authentic stories. Congratulations to everyone involved. I look forward to watching the innovative short films at the Sydney Film Festival.”

More details on the filmmakers and projects are available here.