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The First Nations Department supports screen sector organisations and agencies to run professional development workshops and special initiatives that will better target the development needs of their local First Nations Australian Screen practitioners.

The First Nations Department can only run a limited number or nationally focused initiatives every financial year. In doing so we recognise each state and territory is trying to develop screen practitioners at very different experience levels.

First Nations: Industry Support is an invitation only program that will assist state agencies, and professional development organisations, with a focus on regional and remote based screen practitioners. The intention of the fund is to provide workshops with a focus on up-skilling First Nations Australian writers, directors and producers.

Who can apply?

To be eligible for this program, applicants must:

  • have been invited to apply to the program
  • be Australian citizens or residents and meet Screen Australia’s Terms of Trade
  • be an Australian company, registered organisation, incorporated association, guild or individual which is incorporated and carrying on business in Australia, and have its central management and control in Australia
  • have specialist screen industry expertise
  • have experience in successfully delivering similar activities.

What activities are eligible?

Eligible activities include conferences, workshops, labs, film festivals and other screen-related activities dedicated to the development of skills in the film, television, online, and virtual reality industries. For example, we will consider funding for events that hold a special First Nations Australian film screening.

Activities must take place between 3 and 9 months of the application submission date (other than in exceptional circumstances).

What activities are not eligible?

  • activities that do not have diverse, early career practitioners as their target participants
  • general masterclasses, ‘in conversations’, networking or social activities for industry-based groups or guild members
  • award ceremonies
  • development or enhancement of websites
  • publications (online/podcast/print).

What support is available?

A grant of up to $50,000 per applicant per financial year. Applicants may submit:

  • a single application to deliver a suite of activities across the year; or
  • separate applications for each activity, provided the funding cap has not been reached.

The level of funding sought must reflect the proposed activity’s size and benefits to First Nations Australian screen practitioners.

When and how can applications be made?

Applications are by invitation only. Contact a First Nations Investment Manager to discuss your application or the Program Operations team if you are unsure who to speak with: 1800 507 901 or [email protected]. If you are invited to apply you will be asked to submit your application using the Application Portal with the following materials:

  • Fully completed application form including contact details and applicant eligibility
  • Outline of activity including:
  • target audience
  • how it will benefit emerging practitioners and the sector.
  • proposed facilitators, mentors, trainers
  • why the activity is needed and how it does not duplicate other activities
  • detailed budget for the activity.

Assessment criteria

Funding decisions will be made against the following criteria:

  • how the activity addresses one or more of the program's objectives.
  • the experience and ability of the applicant organisation and project team to deliver the proposed activities, including the calibre of the proposed speakers, panellists and facilitators.
  • demonstrated industry need and market differentiation of the activity
  • the activity’s budget and funding sources, including proposed use of funds, revenue, and strategic alliances or partnerships formed with other industry bodies to present the activity
  • whether previous activity objectives and KPI’s were successfully met and how any identified issues have been addressed (if relevant)
  • how robustly the activity advances diversity and inclusion across one or more core areas:
  • meaningful representation of diversity in panel members and participants
  • industry access and opportunities for training/career progression/mentoring
  • accessibility of the activity.

Applicants will be advised of the outcome within 2-4 weeks of receipt of eligible application.

Australian Festivals, Events & Industry Partnerships

Intended to promote Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander productions and practitioners to audiences via significant domestic events, we may provide additional funding to established film festivals, national touring programs, and significant standalone events.   

From time to time we may also identify certain drama or documentary projects and talent which may benefit from further opportunities through special initiatives hosted by Screen Australia or in partnership with the industry.  

If you require further information, please contact the First Nations department via Program Operations  1 800 507 901 or [email protected].

Marketing and Distribution Support

As part of Sector Development, we may also offer additional distribution or marketing support which may not fit the eligibility in our P&A and Distribution funding stream.

If you require further information, please contact the First Nations department via Program Operations  1 800 507 901 or [email protected].