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VICE Australia, Screen Australia and the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) are returning for a second year to co-present Pitch Australiana, a pitching competition offering local filmmakers the chance to win a $50,000 commission for a short form documentary for Vice’s tentpole series, Australiana.

Australiana delves beyond the pillars of our national identity to present a raw and diverse portrait of modern Australia. Stories should focus on the perspectives of individuals, communities and subcultures from across the country that are overlooked or ignored, offering a voice to those on the fringes of our society.

Submissions for the series are now being sought, with up to four Australian film teams being selected to pitch their idea to industry professionals at AIDC in March 2019, with the opportunity to participate in professional development training in the lead-up to the event.

Pitches must be suitable for online audiences, capable of making an immediate impact and creating instant curiosity with VICE’s audience. The VICE audience are primarily 16-34 years old with a fierce hunger and curiosity about the world they live. They come to VICE for provocative storytelling through direct access to the people experiencing it. VICE’s global audience wants to be shown, not told.

The winning project will receive a $50,000 commission, as well as complimentary access to Vice services,  and be released online through leading global media company VICE as part of their digital series, Australiana.

Specifically, we are looking for:

  • Documentary storytelling, not reportage
  • Immersive storytelling, told through action and experience
  • Unique and intimate access to characters and locations
  • Unique stories overlooked by mainstream media
  • Strong stories with ability to hold attention for 20+ minutes
  • Stories that will resonate with VICE’s audiences locally, and globally
  • It’s important that pitches demonstrate an understanding of the global VICE brand and documentary style. We highly recommend watching VICE’s Australiana series and global documentary content of relevant lengths.

Application form available on the VICE website.


Up to four shortlisted applicants will participate in a live pitch session to be held in Melbourne as part of AIDC on Monday 4 March, 2019. They will be required to present a 7 minute pitch, including up to 3 minutes of supporting video to a panel of representatives from VICE and the wider documentary community. Applicants will also be provided with assistance to develop their pitch in the lead up to the event with a pitch training professional development event taking place in Melbourne on Sunday 3 March 2019.

Finalists will receive one Focus Pass ($605) per team to attend AIDC on the day, but will be responsible for their own travel and accommodation to Melbourne.

The final documentary will premier online through VICE, promoted and supported by their network. The documentary will also broadcast on SBS VICELAND.

What funding is available

Screen Australia will commit $30,000 and VICE Australia will commit $20,000, meaning a total of $50,000 funding is available for the production of one documentary.

Who can apply?

Applicant teams must consist of a director or producer, one of whom has at least one documentary screen credit in their respective role on a project that has been broadcast and/or screened at a recognised film festival or distributed on a significant curated online platform. A list of recognised festivals is available here

Applicant teams must also meet the general eligibility requirements set out in the Terms of Trade.

What materials do you need to apply?

A completed application form, available on the VICE website.

A 4-page (max) outline of the proposed documentary, including:

  • a story overview
  • indicative shoot beats
  • 2 sentence (max) character profiles
  • status of any essential access (characters, locations etc.)
  • any key narrative milestones / dates
  • reference images and links.

Information about the team (1 page per person), including:

  • 200 word biographies for any key creative (essential for director/producer)
  • short CVs of the team, including relevant prior credits, and any other key personnel (DP, editor)
  • example links of the director and producers previous work (a complete film, not a showreel) supplied via an active screening link.

Supporting material, including:

  • 3 minutes (max) of footage that demonstrates character, access and storyline via a screening link, such as vimeo
  • budget
  • written confirmation of key access to characters or locations (if available)

Where do you apply?

All materials must be sent in one email to [email protected]ahead of the application deadline, 5pm AEDT Monday 10 December 2018. Materials should be supplied as attachments, or via non-expirable links (not in the body of the email).

What is the assessment process?

Pitches will be reviewed by both VICE and Screen Australia before being shortlisted based on the assessment criteria.

All applicants will be notified in writing of the decision in mid-January 2019.                                                                                              

VICE acknowledges and appreciates the effort that goes into pitches, but given the anticipated volume of applications will not be able to provide individual feedback on each pitch.

What are the assessment criteria?

Each pitch will be assessed taking into consideration the below criteria:

  • the creative strength of the pitch, and its ability to successfully engage VICE’s audience;
  • the capability of the team to successfully deliver the pitched documentary;
  • project viability in terms of the proposed budget, financing strategy and schedule.

Key Dates
10 October 2018                  Applications open
13 November 2018 Information Session at ACMI and live streamed
10 December 2018            Applications close
Mid January 2019                Applicants advised of final decision
3 March 2019                     Pitch training day for successful projects
4 March 2019                     Live pitch at AIDC
End of March 2019              Successful Project notified