Jackson Lapsley Scott and Meg O'Connell. (Photo: Rhett Hammerton)

Screen Queensland has partnered with Unless Pictures to launch RIDE Shorts, which will support up to six early to mid-career creative teams to create short films that will premiere at the Brisbane International Film Festival (BIFF).

The program is part of SQ’s larger RIDE (Respect, Inclusivity, Diversity, Equality) Initiative, which aims to bolster filmmakers from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds.

Other partners in the initiative include SBS, Madman Entertainment and The Post Lounge.

Each of the RIDE shorts will be executive produced by Unless Pictures’ Meg O’Connell and Jackson Lapsley Scott. Teams will receive up to $55,000, as well as creative feedback and guidance from Unless Pictures throughout development, production, post, delivery and distribution.

In addition to the premiere at BIFF, there is the potential for the shorts to stream on SBS on Demand and packaged as an anthology feature film for theatrical distribution by Madman.

Screen Queensland’s chief creative officer Jo Dillon said RIDE Shorts aims to unearth the hottest creative talent across the state and further the important values at the heart of the agency’s RIDE commitment.

“RIDE Shorts combines drivers we know contribute to accelerating Queensland’s screen talent in a way that promotes diversity while providing a platform for filmmakers with distinctive voices and original ideas to bring their stories to the big screen.

“The opportunity to work with Meg and Jackson from Unless Pictures is another way participants will develop as practitioners, and we are incredibly excited to see what emerges.”

Screen Queensland’s RIDE Initiative  is designed to expand opportunities for diverse screen practitioners identifying as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD), female, non-binary, LGBTQIA+, disabled, and/or regional or remotely based. Since its launch, six feature films have entered development with the RIDE partners, with the goal to produce one feature-length film per year for three years.

Applications for RIDE Shorts are open now, and close Monday April 12. Apply here.

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