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Media Centre

12 09 2022 - Media release

$900k available for online creators to Skip Ahead

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Documentary Bad River funded through Skip Ahead.

Applications are now open for the eighth instalment of Screen Australia and YouTube Australia’s Skip Ahead initiative, to help online storytellers with an existing audience on YouTube expand their creative ambition and production value, and ‘skip ahead’ their careers.

The initiative will provide up to $150,000 each for a maximum of six YouTube projects and both scripted and documentary projects are encouraged to apply. For the first time, this year projects for short-form platform YouTube Shorts will also be eligible. YouTube Shorts hosts videos that are 60 seconds or less in length.

Since 2014, Skip Ahead has supported 33 teams with over $4.2 million to develop their skills and build their careers. Skip Ahead alumni include Superwog, Aunty Donna, Beau Miles, Never Too Small, RackaRacka, Wengie, Chloe Morello, Tibees and more.

Superwog’s pilot funded through Skip Ahead was so popular it propelled the comedy duo to land a full ABC TV series, and Aunty Donna have built on the success of 1999 to create long-form series Aunty Donna’s Big Ol’ House of Fun for Netflix and the upcoming Untitled series for the ABC. RackaRacka, funded through Skip Ahead in 2016, have recently produced their debut feature film Talk To Me. Other projects have been recognised for their success including Over and Out, created by Adele Vuko and Christiaan Van Vuuren, awarded Best Short Form Series at Canneseries 2019, and Jenny Zhou’s Celebration Nation was nominated for an AACTA Award in 2021. Skip Ahead documentary projects, Small Footprint and Bad River, have both reached over a million views.

Screen Australia’s Head of Online, Lee Naimo said, “Skip Ahead has proved a powerful launchpad for Australian online creators to expand their vision and the scale of their content, and take their stories to wide-scale global audiences. We can’t wait to uncover the next crop of local creators this year. We are looking for a solid mix of scripted and documentary projects and we encourage applicants to push the boundaries – this is a fantastic space to be bold and try new things.”

Ed Miles, Director, YouTube Australia & New Zealand, said, “We are consistently impressed by the unique and powerful projects produced by Skip Ahead alumni and we are proud that this initiative can provide an important step in the careers of many Australian storytellers. This year, we’re excited to open up applications to Shorts creators too, reflecting the ever-changing screen content environment. We can’t wait to see who will be in this year’s crop of creators - and know that they will continue to tell stories that delight and inspire - and we are thrilled to play a part in helping share their voices around the world on YouTube.”

Applications are open to content creators who have either a current YouTube channel with a substantial existing subscriber base and/or content that has achieved a minimum of 1 million views.

On top of receiving production funding for their project, successful applicants will also participate in a workshop to be held in Sydney (February 2023). Travel and accommodation support will be provided for up to three team members per project.

Applications close at 5pm Thursday 13 October 2023. Apply here.

For information about online funding available outside of Skip Ahead click here.

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Lidia Williams | Senior Publicist

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