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Screen Australia’s Story Development programs will close 5pm AEST 1 June 2023, and relaunch on 1 July 2023 with revised guidelines, FAQ’s and application forms. More information is available here.

Screen Australia supports talent, quality, innovation and cultural value through programs that increase the ambitions, risk tolerance and diversity of Australian storytelling for local and international audiences.

Supporting documents

The way screen stories are developed, financed, distributed and, most importantly, consumed by audiences is evolving at a rapid rate. In particular, delivery platforms such as online, TV, mobile content and cinema are converging, which makes definitions of screen content according to an individual platform less relevant.

Through the Screen Story Development Fund, Screen Australia supports content creators to take advantage of existing and emerging opportunities to develop compelling drama stories:

  • for any platform - series or one-off.
  • from and with a diversity of creative voices from around Australia. 
  • that capitalise on current and emerging digital platforms and audience opportunities.
  • with budgets that make sense in terms of the experience of the team and audience reach.
  • in order to build a vibrant creative environment with increased business and job opportunities. 

Note: The word ‘drama’ refers to scripted fiction content of any genre (comedy, action, thriller, etc)

For the purpose of these Guidelines the term Commissioning Platform includes a free-to-air or subscription television broadcaster and/or online platforms such as subscription video on demand (SVOD) i.e. Netflix, Amazon, Stan, Hulu, iView, SBS on demand, etc.


Premium has four primary aims:

  • Ambition & Scale: to identify and support distinctive, quality, higher budget drama projects of ambition and scale for any platform.
  • Success: to support successful screen content makers. 
  • Viability & Market: to generate viable projects and teams that will attract marketplace finance and are intended for significant audience reach.
  • Culture & Diversity: to ensure the storytellers and stories being told reflect gender equity, and/or the diversity of people and experiences from around Australia, all of which are important culturally, creatively and economically.

Note: you will need to answer to these aims and the assessment criteria in your application.


Applications will be open to anyone who:

  • has a significant track record/production credits on projects that have commercial success and/or critical acclaim.
  • is an Australian individual or team and meets our Terms of Trade. Co-productions may also apply with an application from the Australian Company.
  • controls the rights whether they are the writer, director or producer.
  • has the demonstrated know-how to develop the project, raise finance and execute the vision in production for the intended platform and audience. For applications from writers and/or directors, a producer will need to be attached at later stage development.

Previously funded?  If you have been funded previously through Story Development you can apply directly to stage 2.  Contact Program Operations on 1800 507 901.

Previously declined?  If your project has been declined twice, you are not eligible to apply with the same project again. 


What you can apply for:

  • funding for a distinctive, higher budget series or one-off long form drama project of ambition and scale for any platform.
  • The development budget can contain whatever the project and team need including, but not limited to, a treatment, scriptment, draft script, bible, research, writers rooms, and/or the production of a Proof of Concept (POC) or sizzle reel.
  • There is no cap on funding but the application must be reasonable and strategic with regards to the project, the amount of funding applied for, the proposed phase of development and any additional sources of development financing. Screen Australia will only support higher budget projects for a Commissioning Platform in order to leverage the aims of the fund, particularly in regards to the distinctive subject matter, diversity and inclusion.


Applications will be open all year round with a two-stage process for assessment:

Stage 1:

  • short materials for your story, a pitch to camera and a Creative Vision and Development Plan
  • normally a four-week turnaround.

Stage 2: 

  • invitation only
  • the applicant has up to three months to submit after a Stage 1 approval
  • longer story document and supporting material
  • normally a four-week turnaround. 

For more information Premium Guidelines and Premium FAQs.