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12 02 2024 - Media release

Screen Australia and YouTube Australia Launch Skip Ahead 9


Uncovering Street Dance: Australia from Skip Ahead 8. Photographed by Ryan Telfer.

Screen Australia and YouTube Australia have opened applications for the ninth edition of Skip Ahead, helping Australian YouTube creators develop their storytelling skills, and grow their creative ambition and production value.

This year's initiative will allocate up to $120,000 for up to four YouTube projects, inviting both scripted and documentary applications. In 2024, for the first time, Skip Ahead will seek to support at least one project aimed at a children’s audience to premiere on YouTube Kids.

Screen Australia’s CEO Deirdre Brennan said, “YouTube is home to incredible, contemporary Australian storytellers. We’ve seen the impact Skip Ahead has on careers, as well as the global recognition these projects can achieve. We’re thrilled to continue our innovative partnership with YouTube, creating a significant opportunity for local creators to expand their skills, reach new audiences and showcase their creativity to the broader industry.”

Ed Miles, Director YouTube Australia & New Zealand said, “YouTube is incredibly proud of the partnership we’ve built with Screen Australia over the last 10 years, and the opportunities the Skip Ahead initiative opens up for local talent. We’re excited to see which formidable YouTube creators will join the ranks in 2024, to watch their unique and powerful stories become a reality, and to help surface them to audiences around the world.”

Since 2014, Skip Ahead has supported 39 teams with over $5.1 million for skills development. Past recipients include RackaRacka (Talk to Me), Superwog, Lyanna Kea, Julian O’Shea, Wengie, Beau Miles, Aunty Donna and Tibees, many of whom have successfully moved across television and film production.

Danny and Michael Philippou of RackaRacka, funded through Skip Ahead in 2016, debuted their feature film Talk to Me to the world last year to significant success. The film became one of A24’s highest grossing global hits at the North American box office in 2023, bringing in over USD $93.3 million at the worldwide box office. The film also won eight gongs at the 2024 AACTA Awards, including Best Film, Best Director for Danny and Michael Philippou and Best Lead Actress for Sophie Wilde.

Creative team Aunty Donna, also supported through Skip Ahead, built on the success of their project 1999 to create long-form series Aunty Donna’s Big Ol’ House of Fun for Netflix and Aunty Donna’s Coffee Café for the ABC. Superwog’s pilot landed comedy duo and brothers Theodore and Nathan Saiddena a fully commissioned  ABC TV series; Over and Out, created by Adele Vuko and Christiaan Van Vuuren, was awarded Best Short Form Series at Canneseries 2019; and Jenny Zhou’s Celebration Nation was nominated for an AACTA Award in 2021.

Skip Ahead supported documentary projects have also seen considerable success with online audiences on YouTube with Bad River from Beau Miles reaching over 3 million views, Quantum Experiments at Home from Looking Glass Universe reaching over 2 million, and Small Footprint scoring over 1 million viewers to date.

Applications for Skip Ahead are open to content creators who have either a current YouTube channel or channels with substantial existing subscriber bases and/or content that has achieved a minimum of 1 million views. For full eligibility requirements please click here.

Successful applicants will also participate in a workshop to be held in Sydney (the week of 22 July 2024) and receive ongoing skills and development support, in addition to production funding for their project. For teams based outside of Sydney, travel and accommodation support will be provided for up to three team members per project.

Applications close at 5pm AEDT Thursday, 21 March 2024. Apply here.

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

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