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Expressions of Interest for Moment in History

Screen Australia and NITV are seeking submissions for a new initiative, Moment in History; a slate of compelling and powerful documentaries to be made in the lead up to the proposed 2017 Referendum on Constitutional Recognition.

This series of documentaries will examine the place of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in Australia today, and is an opportunity for filmmakers with compelling ideas of national interest to lead quality and in-depth discussions. 2017 also marks the 50th anniversary of the 1967 ‘Yes Vote’ referendum and the 25th anniversary of the Mabo Native Title High Court decision. 

The series will be broadcast on both SBS and NITV, showcasing the filmmaking excellence and landmark storytelling of Australia’s leading Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander filmmakers.

Tanya Denning-Orman, NITV Channel Manager, said that the creative responses to the referendum will reflect the diversity of stories and voices in Australia. “Australia is in the midst of a national conversation about the place of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, brought about by a referendum on Constitutional Recognition. Moment in History will respond to this national conversation, bringing together the nation through diverse stories that span Indigenous communities across the country,” she said.

Screen Australia Chief Operating Officer, Fiona Cameron, commented on the importance of Moment in History in capturing and shaping a significant time in Australian history. “This is a very important initiative that can shape national discourse and we are proud to be able to support an ambitious project of this calibre. By partnering with NITV, we are enabling the creation of a remarkable slate of culturally significant content,” she said.

The initiative seeks documentaries that surprise, provoke, push boundaries and inspire change with a strong creative vision, such as Jandamarra's War (2011), the 2015 Cinefest Prize winner Putuparri and the Rainmakers and The Tall Man (Toronto International Film Festival 2012). Screen Australia and NITV welcome innovative storytelling that reinforces the power of documentary to capture this conversation for Australians now and in the future.

Established Indigenous filmmakers, with a production-ready landmark documentary project, are able to submit a simple Expression of Interest (EOI) in the first instance.

Finalists will be invited to attend a Documentary Australia Foundation-supported intensive development workshop, with international guest speakers, at Shark Island Institute’s Kangaroo Valley retreat in February 2016.

NITV on behalf of Screen Australia and NITV welcome Expressions of Interest of approximately two-three A4 pages. This is an opportunity for established Indigenous filmmaking teams with two or more long-form screen credits. The project must have an Indigenous writer and an Indigenous director attached. We are looking to support three to five projects from three to five different filmmaking teams.

Proposal synopses and enquiries should be sent to NITV at [email protected]

Deadline for proposals is 4 December 2015.

Full Commissioning Guidelines can be viewed here