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Special Intiatives
Long story Short


An iview ‘digital first’ scripted series initiative.

Screen Australia and ABC iview are calling for proposals for short form narrative series.

Long Story Short aims to develop and then commission at least five  narrative series across any fictional genre designed to appeal to younger audiences (18-35 years).

Series must have at least 3 episodes (but preferably more), and a total series duration of at least 30 minutes (but preferably of longer total duration).

The series is intended to premiere in Australia on iview and may also run on an ABC broadcast channel.

The initiative has strong industry development goals and aims to provide new tools for creatives wishing to write compelling short form series. Content creators and production teams will be encouraged to explore new production models and to pivot to digital first.

Creators who submit successful series ideas will be selected to participate in a two day workshop in June 2016 so that the series ideas may be further developed and prepared for commissioning. The workshop will cover the principles of writing scripted narrative series in short format for digital platforms. Following the workshop, and provided the series have been developed to a sufficient quality, the series will go through the ABC Commissioning process.

Each series must stand alone as a short series without relying on existing broadcast or online content for context. Projects can be any fictional genre, such as contemporary drama, narrative comedy, horror, animation or science fiction. Content for children, and factual content, is not eligible for this initiative.

The ABC and Screen Australia will appoint a Commissioning Editor and Investment Manager, respectively, to the projects.

Projects should be capable of being delivered to the ABC by the end of 2016.

What funding is available?

Applicants can apply for up to $300,000 for a series. Funding will be apportioned relative to the scale and ambition of the series with longer and more ambitious series’ more likely to secure the maximum amount available. Applicants may seek additional funding through discussions with their state agency and other sources.

Who can apply?

An application must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Projects must be a series of at least 3 episodes with a total duration of at least 30 minutes (but preferably 60 minutes or more).
  • Applicant teams must consist of at least a producer, writer and director (or one or more people fulfilling those roles, e.g. a writer/director), each of whom has at least one screen credit in their respective role on a project that has been publicly released. Applicants who do not comply with these criteria may be selected in exceptional circumstances. For avoidance of doubt, teams can include more than one producer, writer or director – e.g. producing teams, writing teams or co-directors).
  • All Applicant teams must be available to attend a two day development workshop in early June.

What materials do you need to apply?

  • A completed application form
  • A 1-page (maximum) outline or treatment of the proposed project.
  • A draft script for any one episode of the series.
  • A 1-page summary of the previous experience of the proposed team (producer(s), writer(s) and director(s)).
  • An example of previous work for the people above via active website/links.

A draft top-line budget and finance planApplications should be emailed to [email protected] by the published deadline of midnight 15 April 2016. Applications received after this deadline will not be accepted.

What is the assessment process?

All eligible applications will be read by an ABC Commissioning Editor and a Screen Australia Investment Manager. Projects will be selected by the ABC and Screen Australia, who will advise applicants in writing of the success or otherwise of their application by 20 May 2016.

We aim to make the application process as transparent as possible, but given the anticipated volume of applications, we do not have the resources to provide feedback on each project.