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Special initiative
Screen Australia/AIDC Fresh Cuts Documentary Pitch

The Fresh Cuts Documentary Pitch, jointly presented by AIDC and Screen Australia, is the second year of the initiative designed for screen content creators seeking market support and development funding for documentary & factual projects designed to serve young adult audiences.  

The initiative will benefit those looking for training and experience in the art of pitching, and widens eligibility criteria to enhance accessibility for practitioners seeking to work in this audience space in a wide range of platforms. 

Up to six successful applicants/teams will each receive:

  • The opportunity to participate in a live pitch-to-market at AIDC in March 2024, to a domestic & international line up of industry decision makers representing a range of online platforms, broadcasters, festivals, funding bodies, and channels.
  • 2 x Complimentary passes for pitching teams (max 2 members only, or 1 for individual applicants) to attend AIDC’s Innovation Day (Sunday 3 March 2024) and to pitch in Fresh Cuts, supplied by AIDC
  • Travel and accommodation for 1 x interstate finalist per pitching team, to attend AIDC in Melbourne to pitch in Fresh Cuts, supported by Screen Australia. 
  • Pitch training and mentorship for pitching teams from experienced industry practitioners prior to AIDC (via Zoom). 

Following the pitches at AIDC 2024, up to three successful applicants will receive documentary development funding of up to $30,000 for their project from Screen Australia. Final funding amount to be determined in consultation with Screen Australia.

Proposed pitches must be for factual/documentary (i.e. un-scripted) content suitable for online & digital platforms, broadcast, festivals and / or streaming and aimed at the audiences in the 15-35 age group.

There is no minimum length of content, but projects must not exceed 30 minutes. There are no restrictions on visual style, aesthetics, or treatment. A wide range of formats are acceptable including shorts, single/ one-offs or webseries.

Audio docs (podcasts) XR, immersive or interactive works, or single episodes from a program/series are NOT eligible for this program.


Applicants must meet the general eligibility criteria for Screen Australia funding in the Terms of Trade.

The following specific requirements also apply:

  • Applications may come from individuals or teams.
  • Solo applicants must be a writer, director or producer, or a combination of.
  • Applicants, or one key creative in the team, must be able to demonstrate they have created at least one documentary or factual title as screen content which is readily available to Australian audiences via widely used platforms.
  • Applications should demonstrate a focus on factual subject matter that seeks to connect to younger adult audiences and present a clear pathway to find the target audience.
  • Proposed content should follow the principles and practices of inclusive storytelling
  • Successful applicants must be available to attend:
  • (via zoom) a minimum of two AIDC pitch training and mentorship sessions to be scheduled between Thursday January 11th 2024 and Wednesday 14th Feb 142024, and
  • (in person) the final live pitching event to be held at AIDC in Melbourne on Sunday 3rd March 2024. Where applications come from teams, travel for one person only will be supported by Screen Australia.  Other team members will be able to join the pitch via zoom if unable to attend in person.

Applications from underrepresented communities are encouraged to apply. This can include First Nations practitioners; people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; Deaf and/or hard of hearing; people with disabilities; gender diverse identities; LGBTQIA+; people located in regional and remote areas.


Applications close 5pm AEDT Thursday 16 November 2023, and can be made through the Screen Australia application portal with the following materials: : 

  • Fully completed application form including contact details and applicant eligibility.
  • 2-3 page (maximum) creative outline of the project describing narrative approach, story, proposed characters and how it should appeal to the intended audience. 
  • 200-word (maximum) biography of the individual and/or team members listing previous work and clearly identifying core creative skills and experience. 
  • Downloadable video material to support your application in the form of both:
  • Sample footage or sizzle reel of the project (five minutes maximum)
  • Simple pitch to camera in a form where key creative present their vision for the project (two minutes maximum)    
  • A screening link example of previously released work on other projects (if available), stating creative role of applicant. 
  • Budget for the proposed stage of development (maximum $30,000) and estimated final project production cost.

Assessment criteria

Each application will be jointly assessed by AIDC and Screen Australia executives, taking into consideration the criteria below:

  • Creative strength, originality of the project.
  • Nature and quality of submitted video materials.
  • Capacity of the individual/team to manage and deliver the project.
  • The structure and practicality of the proposed development budget. 
  • The viability of the applicant’s approach to reaching target audience.
  • Where appropriate, how the project (including the team /or individual) reflects principles of inclusive and authentic story-telling. 

Applicants will be advised of the outcome in writing by Friday Decemer 22nd, 2023.


For successful applicants, the live pitch will be held in Melbourne at AIDC 2024 on Sunday 3 March, as part of AIDC’s Innovation Day program. 

Selected projects will pitch to a panel of up to 10 industry decision makers.  The session will be moderated by a suitable industry representative who will introduce the pitches and facilitate questions to buyers and pitching teams.

Each project will have 5 minutes to pitch (including a verbal pitch and audio/video teaser) with 5 minutes of feedback from the panel of experts on how to take projects to the next level, with the potential of sealing deals in financing, distribution and exhibition.

Up to three successful projects, chosen by the industry panel, AIDC and Screen Australia following the live pitch event, will then receive Screen Australia development funding appropriate to the development plan for the project, to a maximum of $30,000 per project.  Final funding amount to be determined in consultation with Screen Australia.


All dates and times are AEDT

  • Pitch Training & mentorship sessions: Between Thursday 11th January 2024 and Wednesday 14th February 2024
  • Deadline for delivery of pre-recorded pitch and trailer AV: Wednesday 14th February 2024
  • AIDC Fresh Cut Documentary Live Pitch Day: Sunday 3rd March 2024.
  • Announcement of those receiving Screen Australia development funds: Wednesday 6th March 2024.

AIDC and Screen Australia acknowledge and appreciate the efforts that go into applications, but given the anticipated volume of applications will not be able to provide individual feedback on each application.

For any enquiries, please contact the Screen Australia Program Operations team on 1800 507 901 or [email protected].

Please note that we are not able to provide creative advice or suggestions to strengthen applications.