Screenwest and NITV partner to support in-language Indigenous stories

(Photo: Simon Akkerman)

(Photo: Simon Akkerman)

NITV and Screenwest have partnered on a new initiative ‘First Voices’, calling for in-language documentary ideas from emerging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander screen practitioners.

The initiative reflects that 2019 is the UNESCO Year of Indigenous Languages, which recognises the importance of language in identity, cultural history, traditions and memories.

The hope is that ‘First Voices’ will  further develop the skills and increase the broadcast credits of emerging to mid-level Western Australian Indigenous writers, directors and producers, while sharing their stories with a national audience. NITV and Screenwest will develop and commission up to two x 30-minute documentaries, intended for broadcast on NITV in 2020. Filmmakers may submit multiple submissions.

NITV channel manager Tanya Orman said: “NITV is looking forward to partnering with Screenwest on the ‘First Voices’ initiative to create more West Australian-based in-language documentaries.

“Our aim for this initiative is to promote a greater understanding of West Australian Indigenous culture and  to highlight the importance of saving these millennia-old languages from extinction.”

Screenwest CEO Willie Rowe said: “This is an exciting initiative that we’re very proud to support.

“We’re really looking forward to seeing a variety of stories that are timely, distinctive and offer a range of perspectives.”

Applications are now open until July 15. Apply on the Screenwest website.