The Australian Government has revealed the 58 recipients of Screen Australia’s Gender Matters: Brilliant Stories and Brilliant Careers, marking the largest cohort of projects funded in a single day in the agency’s history.
A combined 45 story ideas and 13 industry projects led by Australian women will share in more than $3 million of funding. For Brilliant Stories, the funds enable the creative teams to fast-track the development of their creative concept. For Brilliant Careers, the funds are for the implementation of business proposals to tangibly grow careers and create work opportunities for female screen makers.
Screen Australia received a record-breaking 452 applications for Brilliant Stories (333) and Brilliant Careers (119), the most applications ever received for a funding program.
“Gender Matters is unashamedly providing express-lane access to female business ideas and stories. The funding boost provided by Screen Australia has been a game-changer, providing the industry with an opportunity to get behind some very commercial and creative prospects. It’s now time for action,” said Screen Australia Chief Operating Officer, Fiona Cameron.
Gender Matters Task Force Chair Deanne Weir added, “What is significant is not just the number of applications we have been able to attract and support, but that the Gender Matters program has opened up funding opportunities for applicants who might otherwise fall outside of the established structures. For instance, nearly 20% of the successful Brilliant Stories teams would not normally be eligible for Screen Australia development funding because they do not have that magic first professional credit. Although there are good reasons for these checks and balances, by opening the door a little wider, Screen Australia is showing faith in the potential of many female filmmakers. I absolutely believe that the opportunities being created today will have a resounding effect on our screen industry for many years to come.”
Gender Matters was announced in December 2015 as a direct response to the identified gender imbalance in lead creative roles across the screen sector. The disparity is most notable in traditional film with just 32% of women working as producers, 23% as writers and only 16% as directors.
Brilliant Stories and Brilliant Careers are part of the broader $5 million Gender Matters program, with the aim to ensure Screen Australia’s production funding is targeted to creative teams that are at least 50% female by the end of 2018.