Screenrights Cultural Fund opens for ‘New Opportunities’

Screenrights board director and chair of the Cultural Fund Working Group Geoffrey Atherden.

Applicants for the 2022 Screenrights Cultural Fund will be able to draw on assistance from the organisation in making their submissions to the initiative, which this year has the theme New Opportunities.

Now in its fifth year, the fund awards up to $50,000, with a total funding pool of $250,000 available each year.

In an effort to strengthen the chance of funding for more diverse projects and reduce barriers to entry, Screenrights will be accepting expressions of interest from applicants who are less experienced in funding submissions, with help available in the application process.

Screenrights board director and chair of the cultural fund working group Geoffrey Atherden said it was about getting the word out so more people were aware of the fund.

“Despite a belief that our industry is always open to fresh talent and new ideas, there are many people who find that there are barriers which prevent them from getting themselves noticed and their stories accepted,” he said.

“With the New Opportunities focus, we hope to find some of those people and give them the opportunity they’ve been looking for.

“They may be creators who haven’t before told their stories through screen media; mentors who aim to give new opportunities to others; or those looking to deliver screen stories in a different and innovative way or to a new audience.”

By this round’s announcement in August, the Screenrights Cultural Fund will have awarded over $1 million to Australian and New Zealand projects that foster the creation and appreciation of screen content.

Initiatives to have benefitted from the fund include Co-Curious Stories From Another Australia, Screenworks’ Discovering New Voices, Cinespace’s Package to Pitch, and Bus Stop’s expansion of their Accessible Film Studies program.

Support has also been extended to technological advances, with social business Psykinetic – creators of a screen content delivery platform controlled by eyes, muscle, and the mind – one of the inaugural recipients in 2018.

Atherden told IF it was important people were aware of the fund’s reach within the industry.

“Our focus is not just on helping people get into the industry, but also on getting products of the industry appreciated and received by everyone,” he said.

“We’re also excited about other projects that help people in remote areas get access to film festival and documentary material, and maybe even material that is specific to their culture that they don’t normally have access to.

“We’ve got a steady but growing line of applicants and we hope that continues.”

Applications for the 2022 Screenrights Cultural Fund will close Friday, April 15 at 5pm AEST. Find out more information about the guidelines and how to apply here.