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As announced in January 2019, Screen Australia is revising its documentary funding programs.


  • The Discussion Paper outlining proposed changes was published on Monday 30 September (also refer media release and companion podcast). Industry feedback was invited.
  • Feedback closed Sunday 27 October 2019.
  • Submissions marked by the author as permissible to be made public will be published on this page in November 2019.
  • The final guidelines for all documentary programs will be published in February 2020. [Please note this stage may be delayed due to the recently announced Options Paper. However the live date of 1 July 2020 is on schedule.]
  • The revised guidelines will become effective by 1 July 2020.
  • Subscribe to the Screen Australia newsletter for updates.


The following data on Australian documentary production is permanently available on the Screen Australia website:

  • Australian documentary production activity – view here.
  • Australian documentary budget ranges – view here.
  • Sources of finance for Australian documentary – view here.
  • The top Australian documentary titles on television – view here.
  • The top Australian documentary titles at the cinema – view here.
  • Australian documentaries released at the cinema – view here.


Screen News spoke to six Australian documentary makers at varying stages of their career and creative backgrounds, about the realities of making content in Australia. Watch the series here:

SUBMISSIONS (published 28 November 2019)

22 submissions were received in response to the Discussion Paper, including six from authors who approved publication:

  1. ABC (25 October 2019)
  2. Ruth Cullen on behalf of AID (24 October 2019)
  3. Sally Ingleton (26 October 2019)
  4. Penelope McDonald (25 October 2019)
  5. Penny Robins and Anna Grieve (25 October 2019)
  6. Screen Producers Australia (25 October 2019)

One submission was received by an author who approved anonymous publication:

  1. Anonymous (12 October 2019)

All other submissions were marked by the authors as not for publication.


If you’re just starting out, the Screen Australia for Beginners guide explains how you can apply for funding.

Emerging creators may also consider the VICE Pitch Australiana documentary pitching competition - applications close 13 December 2019.