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Past Initiatives

The Brilliant Stories Fund is a targeted initiative to recognise, celebrate and support storytelling by women.

We are looking for projects from teams that come from diverse backgrounds and that have bold, original and compelling story concepts. The fund is open and flexible. It encourages projects from all fiction genres (drama, comedy, sci-fi, horror, thriller etc.) across any delivery platform and for any identified audience. It is for teams to develop a project that will be a strategic next step in their career, to enable experienced women creatives to extend their body of work, or to evolve and reinvent their storytelling voices across other platforms and genres. The fund is also designed to allow women who have been out of the industry to flex their creative muscles and re-enter the professional space. As eligibility is open, the fund also creates the opportunity to identify new storytelling voices. The Brilliant Stories Fund is separate to other funding programs. We also encourage female applicants and team members to apply as per usual to all of our funds.

What funding is available?

  • Up to $100,000 for feature fiction films to move a project from concept towards production. This might mean an application for multiple stages of development with a number of delivery milestones built into the development plan. Alternatively, it might be an application for one stage of development with just one or two milestones built into the development plan, to advance a project. Projects that are successful in gaining feature funding through the Brilliant Stories Fund are then eligible to apply to other Screen Australia funding programs to further develop their story documents and for production funding. 
  • Up to $50,000 for scripted television to develop an inventive concept of any genre into a series bible and/or series outline and/or first draft of a first episode script. 
  • Up to $50,000 for scripted online and interactive to enable teams to realise their unique and compelling story concepts. 

Who can apply?

This fund is open to everyone; however, the project must not have previously applied for feature drama funding through the Story Development program or the Feature Development program, and must have at least three of the following elements in the 3 Tick Test:

  •  Female producer 
  •  Female director 
  •  Female writer 
  •  Female writer/director (counts for 2 ticks) 
  •  Female protagonist 

What can you apply for?

Depending on your project development plan and the experience and skills of the team, you may propose anything that will help develop the project toward financing and production. This might include scriptwriting costs, but might also include, for example, the production of test scenes, workshops with actors, attendance at markets, pitch materials, proof of concept, research etc.

To access funds, teams will need to create a convincing argument about what the project needs, why it needs it, and how the experience and skills of the team will advance the project to production.

Can I submit a project already in development with Screen Australia? No, if you have previously received feature-drama funding from Screen Australia through either the Story Development program or the Feature Development program, then you may not apply to the Brilliant Stories Fund.

How many applications can the same team make? The same team may not make more than two separate applications for different projects to this fund. Remember, the Story Development Fund is also available for eligible individuals and teams to apply for project development funds. 

What if I have a fabulous concept but don’t have a team? This fund is for teams and projects that can satisfy the 3 Tick Test. Individuals who are not otherwise eligible for the Brilliant Stories Fund or the Story Development Fund can consider the Wildcard Pitch portal. Alternatively, the Brilliant Careers program may provide opportunities for individuals through that program’s professional development opportunities.

Can you apply for both the Brilliant Stories and Brilliant Careers Fund? Yes, but you will not be funded for the same project in both funds.

What if I have already received Enterprise funding? You are still welcome to apply to the Brilliant Stories Fund and the Brilliant Careers Fund, as long as the project and proposal you are applying with are new (i.e. did not receive funding as part of the Enterprise program).

Is there further funding for successful projects? Successful projects are eligible to apply for other Screen Australia funding programs after delivery and completion of the supported stage of the Brilliant Stories Fund. Please refer to individual guidelines on the funding caps and other requirements before submitting your application.

Do I have to submit a video? Yes, but you can be creative about it. It doesn’t necessarily have to be you, direct to camera. The video may be a pitch, but may also include elements of the visual approach, story and sense of tone.

Can a man be part of the team? Yes, provided that the 3 Tick Test is satisfied.

What if I am funded and then the team changes? You would have to notify us and we might have to revoke the funding depending on the exact nature and effect of the change.

What if I have a script already; can I submit a concept based on that? Yes, as long as the project has not previously applied for funding through our Story Development or Feature Development funding program.

Rights and chain of title: If the applicant/team is shortlisted and invited to an interview, the applicant must be able to evidence executed documentation confirming that they hold sufficient rights in a project, and have obtained sufficient clearances necessary to be able to develop and finance it to production. If the project is an adaptation of an existing work, we will consider costs of the initial option in the funds applied for (up to $10,000) as long as the team can evidence communication and negotiation with the rights holder if the project is shortlisted.

Terms of Trade Applicants must also meet the general eligibility requirements set out in Screen Australia’s Terms of Trade

What materials do you need to apply?

  • A one-page story document with a logline at the top 
  • A creative proposal of up to three pages that describes the team’s creative vision, the intended genre, project development plan, audience and intended budget. Please also outline how the proposed project fits within the team members’ career and business plans. 
  • A video of up to three minutes telling us about your story. 
  • Bios and credits for each key creative 
  • A development budget breakdown 

See tools and insights for application paperwork, excel tools, script tools, info guide and more to help you with your application.

If shortlisted, we may also ask you to provide examples of previous work or any further documentation that the assessors request.

Please do not submit materials that exceed the stipulated lengths or any additional documentation other than those outlined. We expect a high volume of applications and therefore we do not have the resources to read additional materials.

What is the assessment process?

Applications will be reviewed by a mix of Screen Australia executives and industry experts as required.

We may ask shortlisted applicants to attend an interview if required.

We aim to make the application process as transparent as possible, but given the volume of applications we are encouraging, we will not have the resources to provide feedback on unsuccessful projects.

Assessment criteria

When assessing applications for this program, will take the following into account:

  • a distinctive and compelling story concept that will connect with its intended audience 
  • a convincing development plan and reasonableness of the development budget 
  • the skill set and experience of the team to complement the budget, scale and vision of the project 
  • the benefit of the project to the career and business objectives of the team 

Women of diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply to foster diversity of ethnic and cultural background in the selection process of the successful applicants.

Terms of funding

Grant. Funding through this program is provided as a grant. 

Further funding. If successful projects require further funding through the Story Development fund, the total cap of $100,000 of Screen Australia funds over the life of an individual project still applies unless exceptional circumstances apply.

Funding cannot be retrospective. 

Delivery materials. Funding recipients must deliver the delivery materials for which the funding was provided.

We encourage you to contact the Program Operations team before you submit your application to discuss any eligibility questions and ensure all the required supporting material is in place. This will mean we can process your application smoothly and efficiently. The Program Operations team can be contacted on 1800 507 901.

We receive many more applications than we can support. Inevitably, some applications will be unsuccessful and applicants will be disappointed by this result. However, our decision is final.  Specific requirements apply where there is Indigenous community participation or content involved in a project. Please refer to the guidelines.