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Screen Australia releases draft documentary program guidelines

Screen Australia today released the draft documentary program guidelines for industry comment.

Earlier this year Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason, commenced the first stage of consultation in reviewing the documentary program guidelines with the launch of the discussion paper, Stories that Matter, at the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC). 

Today Graeme Mason said, “The new guidelines will focus on our core purpose and ensure we keep funding the stories that need to be told.  Storytelling, especially documentary storytelling, has a cultural and national importance and has the capacity to resonate with audiences long after it screens. We have a strong belief in the importance of documentary, and seek to maintain its unique and special qualities in a changing landscape for screen production and consumption.”

The Screen Australia documentary funding programs intend to deliver compelling and diverse local content to audiences across a range of distribution platforms, while continuing to support stories that matter.

Screen Australia funding underpins a significant proportion of documentary production in Australia. The objective of the documentary program review is to ensure Screen Australia funding supports ‘stories that matter’ that reflect the key principles of:

  • quality
  • diversity
  • innovation

Screen Australia invites industry stakeholders to contribute via written submissions to [email protected].

Consultation will close 18 July 2014, with the final guidelines due for release at the end of July, and the first application deadlines under the new programs to be mid-September.

Screen Australia last reviewed its funding for television production in 2010 and, from this review, developed new guidelines for its documentary funding programs which took effect in July 2011. Those guidelines anticipated further review of the programs over time as the documentary landscape evolved for filmmakers, broadcasters and audiences alike.