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Revised criteria and deadline for Opening Shot initiative

Due to an overwhelming number of enquiries regarding eligibility, and in the spirit of encouraging as many emerging program makers as possible, ABC TV Documentaries and Screen Australia are widening the criteria for this initiative.

Please note applicants are now eligible if they ‘have at least one screen credit in a significant creative role (e.g. director, producer, DOP, editor, associate producer, writer, field director, or researcher) that has either been broadcast and/or screened at a recognised film festival. Films made at a film school qualify. Credits can be in documentary or drama production, and may include short films and television series.’

The change in criteria means there will be even greater emphasis placed on the ‘ability of the team to deliver the project commercially and creatively’.

Alan Erson, Head of ABC TV Documentaries said, “This initiative is about giving emerging talent the opportunity to create prime time programming. The response we have had so far shows there are many talented editors, DOPs, associate producers or field producers and the like who are chomping at the bit to direct or produce. If the idea is right, we want to make that happen.”

Liz Stevens, Screen Australia’s Documentary Manager said, “The Opening Shot program is a rare gem where emerging documentary makers can show their work to a prime time audience. Filmmaking is a competitive industry and it’s hard to get your first break. We’re pleased to broaden the criteria for this initiative to provide that opportunity.”

Applicants can apply for up to $80,000 for each half-hour documentary. Revised guidelines available online.

As a result of this change the deadline has been extended to 5pm, Friday 22 July.

‘Emerging’ is defined as the director being 35 or under at 22 July 2011.