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28 01 2016 - Media release

Screen Australia launches the next steps for Gender Matters: Brilliant Careers and Brilliant Stories

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My Brilliant Career

Screen Australia has announced the next step in Gender Matters, the five point, $5 million plan over three years to address the gender imbalance within the Australian screen industry.

Working closely with the Gender Matters Taskforce, Screen Australia will today launch two new funding programs as part of this initiative: Brilliant Careers and Brilliant Stories.

Minister for the Arts Mitch Fifield welcomed the release of the guidelines for the Brilliant Careers and Brilliant Stories programs. “Women in the screen sector are under-represented and to take no action to address this imbalance would be to reinforce the status quo,” Minister Fifield said.

“These two new programs under Screen Australia’s Gender Matters initiative serve to bolster the number of female-led creative teams coming through the system with brilliant stories.  These incentives help provide greater representation for more than half of our population. Australian stories should be told through a female and male lens, a lens that represents the richness and diversity of contemporary Australian culture. Screen Australia is on the front foot here and I commend them for their work on this initiative.”

Screen Australia launched the Gender Matters initiative in December 2015, aiming to ensure that Screen Australia production funding is targeted to creative teams (writer, producer, director and protagonist) that are at least 50% female by 2018 year end. 

The five point plan includes an immediate $3 million allocation of ‘jump start’ funding, and a further $2 million of support for distribution incentives, marketing and industry networking. Brilliant Careers and Brilliant Stories are included in this first allocation of funding.

Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason said that Screen Australia has been working with the Gender Matters Taskforce to develop the new set of guidelines. “When we launched Gender Matters in December last year, we made a commitment to making a holistic and integrated approach that would be sustainable and self-generating. Our Gender Matters Taskforce has been instrumental in ensuring these two new funding programs – Brilliant Careers and Brilliant Stories – honour this commitment, and propels it forward.”

The Brilliant Careers program is open to open to companies, industry organisations and guilds for proposals of up to $250,000 that: generate sustainable careers in the screen industry for women; identify gaps in career development pathways for female creatives; and support slates of projects and businesses that connect content to audiences.

Brilliant Stories is for projects that satisfy the ‘Three Tick Test’ – ensuring that three out of four creative positions of producer, writer, director, and protagonist are female. Brilliant Stories will provide up to $100,000 for feature films; up to $50,000 for teams to develop an inventive concept into a scripted television series of any genre or budget size; and up to $50,000 for scripted online and interactive projects.

“We want to be flooded with innovative, adventurous and interesting applications,” said Screen Australia COO Fiona Cameron. “The Brilliant Careers fund is an integrated approach that will increase the participation of women in the screen industry through business and as storytellers, and Brilliant Stories recognises, celebrates and supports storytelling by women. We’re confident that by blowing open the eligibility for both funds, we’ll create opportunities for new voices and women who are trying to break back into the industry,” she said.

In consultation with the Gender Matters Taskforce, Screen Australia will hold a Brilliant Careers event in late February, which will incorporate networking, discussion and strategic thinking around business and careers in the screen industry. Screen Australia has also begun a Gender Matters video series looking at marketplace, audience, stories and characters. These videos are hosted on the Gender Matters National Hub, a place for the exchange of information, links to funding opportunities, as well as events and videos.

Gender Matters is a direct response to the status of women in the screen industry, but Screen Australia recognises that there are other groups that are under-represented. In conjunction with national broadcasters, Screen Australia is working on a new benchmark study on cultural diversity in TV drama, which it expects to release in 2016.

Screen Australia Gender Matters spokespeople:

Fiona Cameron COO, Screen Australia
Sally Caplan Head of Production, Screen Australia
Nerida Moore Senior Development Executive, Screen Australia

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