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13 04 2016 - Media release

Screen Australia on track to greater gender balance, with record applications for Gender Matters funding initiative


My Brilliant Career

Screen Australia has received a record-breaking 452 applications for Brilliant Stories and Brilliant Careers, the two programs announced in late 2015 under the Gender Matters initiative.

This is the most applications ever received for any funding program and Screen Australia is thrilled with the response to the callout for projects that hope to empower and increase the participation of women in the screen industry.

334 female-led creative teams applied for Brilliant Stories. These teams include new and emerging talent who were attracted by the open eligibility of the fund. Projects from all fiction genres across any delivery platform and for any identified audience were encouraged. The only eligibility for Brilliant Stories was satisfying the ‘Three Tick Test’, in which three out of four creative positions (producer, writer, director and protagonist) are female.

Successful applicants for Brilliant Stories will receive 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.

Brilliant Careers is about creating business initiatives that will give women new opportunities to progress within the screen industry. The program recognises the importance and value of women in the screen industry, both in business and as storytellers. The fund is for 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. 118 companies from all around Australia applied for this program.

Screen Australia COO Fiona Cameron said: “Screen Australia’s Gender Matters initiative was created to boost the number of female-led creative teams in the screen industry. We have been so encouraged by the extraordinary and high-quality response to call outs for Brilliant Careers and Brilliant Stories. Among these proposals and applicants are vibrant and exciting new voices and innovative plans for professional development opportunities. These ‘big picture’ ideas and proposals mean that we can help to foster greater business sustainability.”

All applications will be assessed by Screen Australia and a longlist will be submitted to external industry assessors. The industry assessors for Brilliant Stories are: screenwriter John Collee; writer/director/producer Sally Chesher; Head of Australia & NZ Acquisitions at Transmission Films Megan Young; producer Mimi Butler; CEO and Festival Director of the Adelaide Film Festival Amanda Duthie; Head of Australian Production at Roadshow Films Seph McKenna; producer Pauline Clague and actor Sacha Horler.

The industry assessors for Brilliant Careers are: founding partner and principal of Matchbox Pictures Helen Panckhurst; CEO of the First Australian Completion Bond Company Corrie Soeterboek; Head of Arts at the ABC Mandy Chang and Head of Australian Production at Roadshow Films Seph McKenna.

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.

Screen Australia will announce the successful applicants for Brilliant Careers and Brilliant Stories by the end of June 2016.

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 organisations including SBS, ABC, MEAA and the Australian Human Rights Commission, Screen Australia has undertaken a timely new research project into the levels of representation of cultural diversity, disability and LGBTQI in Australian television drama broadcast over the last five years. The findings from this research will be announced in mid-2016.

Gender Matters National Hub

  • Assessment process for Brilliant Stories and Brilliant Careers
  • Information about Brilliant Stories and Brilliant Careers
  • Information about the Gender Matters Taskforce
  • A video series looking at marketplace, audience, stories and characters
Take me there

Click here for the Diversity in TV Drama project

Follow the conversation on Twitter with #GenderMatters

Media enquiries

Lidia Williams | Senior Publicist

+ 61 2 8113 1091  | + 61 468 784 170 | [email protected]

Milly Palmer | Communications Specialist

+ 61 2 8113 1033 | + 61 406 348 248 | [email protected]

All other general/non-media enquiries

Sydney + 61 2 8113 5800  |  Melbourne + 61 3 8682 1900 | [email protected]