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Podcast – documentary funding

Head of Documentary Bernadine Lim on applying for funding from Screen Australia and proposed changes to guidelines.

Bernadine Lim

Bernadine Lim

Find this episode of the Screen Australia Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher or Pocket Casts

The Australian Dream, Body Hack, War on Waste, Mountain, First Contact. All these titles were supported in some way by Screen Australia’s Documentary Unit.

In this podcast episode Screen Australia’s Head of Documentary Bernadine Lim talks through the funding available to documentarians, what the agency is looking for, and how they assess applications.

“We have a few key criteria that we look at,” Lim says. “One of them is absolutely the creative strength of the project [so] how much does it pop, how much cultural value does it have, is it distinctive, does it make sense… when you’re reading all these applications things stand out. And you’re looking for something that stands out and makes you feel something.”

Some of the other criteria listed include pathway to audience, the finance plan, and the track record of the team.

Lim also speaks to the proposed changes to the documentary program guidelines that were announced on 30 September 2019, including who they will benefit and how.

The proposed changes are explained in full in a Discussion Paper, and industry are invited to submit feedback up until 27 October 2019.

Prior to joining Screen Australia Lim worked for twenty years across a range of documentaries and television series. Most recently, that included executive producing SBS program Dateline, where Lim commissioned and oversaw more than 100 documentaries, which received awards and nominations from the New York Film Festival, the BAFTAs, the Lowy Institute, and the Walkley Awards.

To read the discussion paper, or submit feedback on the revised guidelines click here

For more information on the Producer Offset click here

Have feedback? Email [email protected]

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Lim references a number of documentaries within the episode. The titles and where to watch them are below.

The Australian Dream: in cinemas now

Mystify: in select cinemas now

The Pool: catchup on ABC iview

Backtrack Boys: last chance to catchup on SBS on Demand

Australia in Colour: catchup on SBS on Demand

Future DreamingRelease to come. Watch the trailer here  

China Love

Casting Jon Benet: watch on Netflix

Love on the Spectrum: releases 29 October 2019 on ABC