Lexi Laphor in 'The Glass Bedroom', an Art Bites project (photo: Evan Fowler). 

Next year will mark 40 years since the first Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, and ahead of the celebrations two short film initiatives focused on LGBTIQ filmmakers have been launched.

The first is Screen Australia and ABC TV Art’s Love Bites, which will offer 10 LGBTIQ filmmakers $10,000 each to make a five minute documentary short. Each will then screen on ABC iview under the ‘Love Bites’ banner during Mardi Gras.

Successful applicants will make a film that provides an “accessible, engaging and entertaining insight” into the LGBTIQ community, but the tone, content and style of the doco is up to the creator. Each team will be supported by a Screen Australia investment manager and an ABC digital arts commissioning editor.

Applicant teams must consist of at least a director and a producer, one of whom identifies as LGBTIQ and one of whom has at least one screen credit in their respective roles on a project that has already been publicly released.

“ABC Arts on iview seeks to reflect the great diversity of stories and storytellers that exist across the country,” said Mandy Chang, head of ABC TV Arts.

“Love Bites is a great opportunity for us to work with LGBTQI filmmakers in a pan-ABC celebration of the 40th anniversary of Mardi Gras.”

Create NSW has also joined forces with SBS and made LGBTIQ filmmakers the focus of this year’s Generator: Emerging Filmmakers Fund (GEFF).

Six short films will be funded under the initiative, with each recipient to receive $30,000 in production funding; $15,000 from Create NSW and a $15,000 licence fee from SBS. All films will be broadcast by SBS in the run up to Mardi Gras. 

Applications are sought for projects that explore LGBTIQ themes and issues, appeal to a wide audience, and have at least one key creative on the project identifying as LGBTIQ.

The fund is open to drama, factual, animation or experimental projects of up to 15 minutes duration, and must be made entirely in NSW.

Last year, Screen Australia's Seeing Ourselves study showed that while people who identify as LGBTI make up 11 per cent of the population, they make up only 5 per cent of characters in TV drama.  

Love Bites is now open for submissions and will close at 11pm Sunday 6 August 2017. 

Applications for this round of GEFF are open from Tuesday 27th June and close at 11.59pm on Sunday Aug 13th

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