• Search Keywords

  • Year

  • Production Status

  • Genre

  • Co-production

  • SA Supported

  • First Nations Creative

  • Length

  • Technique

Podcast – Angela Bates: Mystery Road: Origin, True Colours and We Are Still Here

Screen Australia’s Head of First Nations Angela Bates on a prolific 12 months for the department and why she’s optimistic about the future.

Splice of production still from True Colours, Angela Bates headshot and production still from We Are Still Here.

True Colours, Angela Bates, We Are Still Here

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

From Logie-award winning SBS/NITV documentary Incarceration Nation to opening Sydney Film Festival with We Are Still Here, as well as funding TV projects such as Total Control Season 2, Mystery Road: Origin and True Colours, to say it’s been a busy 12 months for the First Nations Department would be an understatement.

Head of First Nations Angela Bates, a proud Malyangapa, Wanyawalku and Barkandji woman from Far West NSW, who stepped into the role in 2021 says a focus for her going forward is growing the number of First Nations producers in the industry.

“I’m feeling really optimistic about the future of First Nations storytelling in this country. We’ve got the 30-year anniversary of the First Nations Department coming up next year in 2023 and it’s amazing to see how it’s evolved and grown over that period of time,” she says.

“Because what we are achieving didn’t happen overnight. It happened over a long period of time and I think with each head of department they’ve built a vision and left a legacy.

“The future is very bright.”

Throughout the episode of the podcast, Bates talks to some of the challenges and achievements with those projects, as well as speaking to topics like talent escalation, pitching, her thoughts on the screen sector, and how initiatives have been important to the Department since its inception in 1993, when Sand to Celluloid funded the likes of Warwick Thornton, Sally Riley, Richard Frankland, Rima Tamou, Darlene Johnson and Bill Crow to make their own short films.

Bates brings to the role more than 20 years’ of experience in the media sector as a TV producer, writer, award-winning journalist and documentary filmmaker. She was the inaugural executive producer for NITV National News and set up the first ever nightly Indigenous news service on national television. She also set up Awaken, a half hour weekly panel program hosted by Stan Grant; co-produced, wrote and presented the documentary Homelands; was a multiplatform reporter and radio news presenter with ABC Broken Hill; and was the general manager for the World Indigenous Television Broadcasters Network.

Subscribe to Screen Australia Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Pocket Casts

Audio Transcript

[00:00:05] Caris Bizzaca Welcome to the Screen Australia podcast. I'm Caris Bizzaca, a journalist with Screen Australia's online publication Screen News. I'd like to firstly acknowledge the various countries you are all listening in from the unceded lands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The Screen Australia podcast has been created on the lands of the Gadigal people of the larger Eora Nation. I'm grateful to be a visitor on these lands and have had the privilege to be able to work here throughout my years at Screen Australia and as a journalist before then. Always was. Always will be. I also want to take a moment to note that the third to the tenth of July is NAIDOC week, where we celebrate and recognise the oldest continuous living culture on earth. It's an opportunity for Australians to learn about and embrace First Nations culture and histories, and you can visit the NAIDOC Week website, which is in the show notes, to find out about local events and the theme 'get up, stand up, show up'. We've also posted a link to a list of projects you can watch which were supported by the First Nations Department here at Screen Australia, and on top of that, there's two TV series that we'll be talking about in this episode: ABC's Mystery Road, Origin and SBS NITV's True Colours, which are both launching in NAIDOC Week. For this episode of the Screen Australia podcast, we are joined by Screen Australia's Head of First Nations, Angela Bates, a proud Malyangapa, Wanyawalku and Barkandji woman from Far West, New South Wales. Throughout this episode of the podcast, Angela talks to what has been a huge twelve months for the First Nations Department, working on titles including TV dramas: Total Control season two, Mystery Road: Origin and True Colours, documentaries such as Logie Winner Incarceration Nation and feature films including Sweet As and We Are Still Here, which opened the Sydney Film Festival. She also speaks to topics like talent escalation, pitching, her thoughts on the screen sector and how initiatives have been important to the department since its inception in 1993, when the Sand To Celluloid Initiative funded the likes of Warwick Thornton, Sally Riley, Richard Frankland, Rima Tamou, Darlene Johnson and Bill Crowe to make their own short films. Before we get to the chat, remember to subscribe to the podcast through places like Spotify and iTunes. If you have any feedback, send it to [email protected] and subscribe to Screen Australia's industry eNews for all the latest opportunities, videos, articles and more. Now without further ado, here's Screen Australia's Head of First Nations, Angela Bates, telling us a bit about herself and previous roles in the industry.

[00:02:43] Angela Bates I'm a Malyangapa, Wanyawalku, and Barkandji from far western New South Wales, so my country is the beautiful Mutawintji National Park and strong links to the Darling River mob. That's through my dad and on my mum's side, my iwi is Te Whānau ā Apanui with strong links to Ngāti Kahungunu and Whakatōhea. I started my media career in 2000 as a radio training broadcaster with the Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association in Alice Springs, CAAMA Radio. At the time Warwick Thornton, Beck Cole, Danielle MacLean and Stephen McGregor all worked in CAAMA Productions. So, you'd see them often driving off in troopees to go out and film exciting, the Nganampa Anwernekenhe language series and all sorts of things. I had a strong interest in [and] I was always curious about people and stories and I had a really strong passion for Indigenous storytelling, so radio suited me better because I'm, believe it or not, a bit shy [laughs]. So I did a year in Indigenous broadcasting and within that year I created a legal show covering civil, criminal and family law - an information/advice series that was sponsored by the NT Law Society at the time, and then I moved into traineeship in the newsroom at CAAMA, and I was there for a couple more years, and then I applied for a job with SBS TV's Living Black with Karla Grant, and she at the time was launching a brand new programme. So she was searching for video journalists and I remember applying for the job and I thought 'okay, I don't know what a video journalist is' because we were kind of - I mean, Dateline and Insight did it at the time, but we were also pioneering video journalism, and it turns out you film your own stories. So I travelled around the country with a backpack, my own camera and equipment, and just told stories from right across the country and it was amazing just to be on the ground and to get an insight into lots of different issues. I did that for about three years and I think in 2007 there was an Indigenous channel that was starting and that was NITV, and it wasn't long before they came tapping on my shoulder and headhunted me to set up the NITV National News Services Watch - [which is] what we called it at the time. So that was an incredible opportunity, and I started in 2007 in December and had to get this news service up from scratch within five weeks and we pretty much launched it in time for the Rudd Apology. So we took the live stream from Parliament House in Canberra, within those five weeks had to recruit a couple of reporters based in Sydney and we had about three presenters in Alice Springs because we create the content in Sydney, North Shore office and then Alice Springs we used the Imparja Television Studios to broadcast the news service and we set it up in three stages. So phase one was a five minute rip-and-read with our presenter in front of the screen reading a script, and then within six months we launched phase two, which was extending it to a fifteen minute bulletin. And then the third phase, third and final phase was extending it to a thirty minute bulletin, and live because I think the fifteen minute was an as-live record and then the thirty minute was a live bulletin which Natalie Ahmat saw that transition to the third phase. I'd stepped out a little bit at the time, but then came back on board to transition NITV News to free-to-air when it went over to SBS television, so [it was] some journey being involved in that, but an amazing privilege as well, an honour.

[00:07:15] Caris Bizzaca And then why moving that into the screen industry?

[00:07:20] Angela Bates Well while I was at NITV, I did a documentary called Homelands and it was about the issue of the Northern Territory Government [at the time] wanted to move people out of outstations and homelands into what they termed 'growth towns', and what was at risk was their language and their culture, and we wanted to really show the importance and how healthy it is in these remote outstations. So I did that documentary, I did a bit of a travel series in Taiwan, did a bit of a stint overseas as well working for the World Indigenous Television Broadcasters Network or WITBN for short is what we called, which is effectively an alliance of Indigenous television networks from around the world, including NITV in Australia, Māori television in New Zealand, Aotearoa. Ōiwi TV in Hawaii and Sapmi TV in Norway, Taiwan Indigenous TV, TG Ceathair in Ireland, BBC Alba in Scotland, S4C in Wales, and the Aboriginal People's Television Network in Canada. And the vision for this alliance was to retain, preserve and protect our Indigenous languages, which is why the Gaelic broadcasters were a part of this alliance but it enabled all the television stations to share stories and content, and they had a special daily news service set up. So anyone could upload news stories and download it as well and put it in your bulletin and really that's how our network started showing other stories from other countries. So when I returned to Australia in 2016, we organised the WITBN conference, the World Indigenous Television Broadcasters Conference in Sydney, and then not long after that I ended up going home to the Far West because my dad got sick with cancer, so I went home to spend more time with him. But at the same time, I also started my Master's in screen business and leadership at the Australian Film and Television Radio School and then I graduated in 2019.

[00:09:35] Caris Bizzaca And you started as head of First Nations in 2021, is that correct?

[00:09:44] Angela Bates Yes.

[00:09:47] Caris Bizzaca It's been a big year.

[00:09:48] Angela Bates It has been a big year. And prior to stepping into this role, I was the development and investment manager, so I've been at Screen Australia for nearly three years now, and it was amazing to work under Penny Smallacombe during that time and to learn from her. She's an amazing leader. 

[00:10:08] Caris Bizzaca What were some of the projects that you worked on during your time as a development and investment manager?

[00:10:13] Angela Bates There was factual documentary Looky Looky Here Comes Cooky by Stephen McGregor and Danielle MacLean, amazing filmmakers from the Northern Territory. Then also We Are Still Here, which recently opened for Sydney Film Festival, which is a collaboration between Māori, Pasifika and Australian First Nations filmmakers, and that project in particular was a special collaboration between Screen Australia's First Nations Department and the New Zealand Film Commission, so that was amazing. It was the very first project that Penny handed to me when I started at Screen Australia, she said, 'you're Aboriginal and you're Māori, so I've got the perfect project to start you on.' And it happened to be one of the biggest and most challenging projects that I worked on as well. Challenging from a contractual point of view, creative point of view, and then logistically as well, there were filmmakers, writers, directors spread all across Australia and New Zealand and there were eight teams of writers and directors all up. 

[00:11:24] Caris Bizzaca Then there was that pandemic that happened when you were trying to film.

[00:11:26] Angela Bates COVID, yeah.

[00:11:30] Caris Bizzaca Just a couple of little things.

[00:11:36] Angela Bates I know. Yeah so it just evolved over time and it was really great to see how it ended up, and it's an anthology feature, omnibus feature film and I think it's so unique because the producers decided not to just do a chapter by chapter like Robert Connolly's The Turning, but instead interweave the chapters. And we were a bit nervous or I was a bit nervous about, 'oh, how is that going to work out? it could either work or not' and thankfully, I think it does work really well and they've done an amazing job on that.

[00:12:12] Caris Bizzaca That was Beck Cole, the director who also worked with making sure that the through line of the story was there, between those chapters?

[00:12:19] Angela Bates Yeah, so every chapter had a writer-director and Beck Cole who worked on Grog Shop with Sam Painter then, she directed the edits of it.

[00:12:31] Caris Bizzaca And so then how is that feeling being at Sydney Film Festival opening night with the team? A lot of the team were there after this really huge journey, of a few years to make and pull this together?

[00:12:46] Angela Bates It was pretty incredible, but also just a relief that it's done, and it was amazing just to sit in that audience and hear the audience reaction to the chapters of these incredible filmmakers who all worked so hard on it. And that was my first project that I saw from start to finish that ended up on the big screen. I've managed projects that have been broadcast, but to see it on the big screen in the cinema and to open Sydney Film Festival was amazing to see. And because We Are Still Here - what I loved about it as well is that it was written, directed and produced by First Nations creatives. The producers of this feature film are Mitch[ell] Stanley, a Wiradjuri man from Wellington, in Australia who worked alongside Toni Stowers a Māori Samoan woman in Australia as well. And then on the New Zealand side, the producer was Mia Henry-Teirney, [an] incredible young producer who has just produced her first co-production of all things, I think before the age of thirty which is pretty amazing, I think.

[00:14:08] Caris Bizzaca Yeah, that's incredible. Moving on to talk a little bit about the First Nations Department. Can you talk to me a little bit about your vision?

[00:14:20] Angela Bates I think stepping into this role as the Head of First Nations Department, what's really great about it is that there's already a strategy in place 'The next 25 years', which was developed by Penny Smallacombe, which was also informed by the sector. So I think there was like a terms of reference group made up of our First Nations filmmakers, representatives from NITV, ABC Indigenous, state agencies - so really broad section of the industry were able to input into the strategy. And the five key pillars that underpin this strategy is Indigenous storytelling, identifying stories and talent, developing talent, connecting talent and advocating for Indigenous representation and leadership.

[00:15:12] Caris Bizzaca And can you tell me a bit about the kinds of projects that the First Nations Department produces?

[00:15:22] Angela Bates The First Nations Department is kind of like a microcosm of Screen Australia in that we fund development and production on everything from factual to TV drama to feature films and online, and we're even dabbling into the social media space now. So we've had a pilot programme with Instagram called the First Nations Creators Programme, and I guess we see value in investing in initiatives like that because we see it as a career pathway for young creators and a lot of our mob on Instagram and other social media. It's accessible for them as well. So that first pilot programme we did last year went really well, but we also run other initiatives too, like short drama initiatives and factual initiatives. We've got a factual initiative that we're in talks with a partner at the moment to run soon. But in terms of our short films initiatives, I think the first one was done by Wal Saunders.

[00:16:31] Caris Bizzaca Sand To Celluloid?

[00:16:32] Angela Bates The groundbreaking Sand To Celluloid.

[00:16:37] Caris Bizzaca Which launched the careers of so many people that are now currently in the industry. So was Warwick Thornton in that first group?

[00:16:45] Angela Bates Yeah, Warwick Thornton, Sally Riley, Darlene Johnson. All incredible filmmakers, so, we owe a lot to these short films initiatives, and so over the years it's also nurtured other incredible filmmakers too.

[00:17:01] Caris Bizzaca And you mentioned a little bit before about talent escalation, but there's a couple of things that the department does specifically for that. Can you talk through those?

[00:17:13] Angela Bates The great thing about the First Nations Department is that if we see a gap in the industry and especially in the First Nations space, we'll create programmes and tailor make them to try and respond to that gap, and for me, there's a big gap in producing as well at the moment. We don't have enough First Nations producers. That's one of my focuses during my time as Head of the First Nations Department, and I really want to think and run a producer's lab to hear the experiences of the First Nations producers and try and think of ways that we can expand on the existing programmes like the Indigenous Producers programme, which was started up by previous heads of departments, and it's an incredible programme that supports First Nations producers with workshops on A-Z budgets and finance plans and everything that a producer has to learn in terms of learning the ropes of that role. I think the importance of having writers and directors, First Nations writers and directors, stories are told so much more authentically through that, and having First Nations producers - they understand the dynamics within the First Nations space as well.

[00:18:31] Caris Bizzaca Is the goal there to have ownership over your stories, [so] it's not just writers or directors that need to be First Nations, but also from the producing point of view?

[00:18:45] Angela Bates I think IP is definitely a reason that our mob want to become producers because it is important to have First Nations producers to own the IPs, but we also want First Nations producers not just producing their own stories, but also supporting other creatives and other stories.

[00:19:09] Caris Bizzaca And also with the Department, can you talk through some of the people that are in the First Nations Department?

[00:19:17] Angela Bates Yeah, so we have a tiny team of three development and investment managers, including Laurrie Brannigan-Onato who is from the Darumbal/Bundjalung Nation, and Ebony Havnen, a proud Western Arrernte woman from Central Australia and Joseph Cardona, who is a Gurindji and Malak Malak man from Northern Territory Top End. And last but not least, we've got Murray Clapham who is our departmental co-ordinator, and he's a Murrawarri man from Brewarrina in New South Wales.

[00:19:50] Caris Bizzaca Yeah, brilliant. That's kind of crazy to think how small the team is when, [I'd] just like to remind everyone listening, the kind of projects that they're producing are not just, We Are Still Here, but the Mystery Road TV series Mystery Road: Origins, which is coming out on the 3rd of July. There's also True Colours - SBS series. Last year it was Total Control. We're talking like massive features and TV series, which is wild when you consider three development investment managers and then supported as well with Murray.

[00:20:27] Angela Bates And just until very recently there was only two development and investment managers. So having a third one is a bit of a treat at the moment.

[00:20:38] Caris Bizzaca This does also, I named some of the projects there, but this does seem like a particularly big year for the First Nations Department. Could you explain why, is it just the sheer volume and size of these budgets?

[00:20:52] Angela Bates I think so, like it was amazing, I talked about We Are Still Here, the anthology feature opening Sydney Film Festival and then we've got the double TV series True Colours and Mystery Road, both produced by Bunya Productions. And as you say, they're featuring on SBS and NITV and ABC soon. We've got a documentary called First Weapons produced by Blackfella Films, and it was the original idea of Dena Curtis, who's an amazing film writer, director and producer and editor. Like, she's really a jill of all trades. We invested in Alick and Albert, which was a documentary about Prince Albert from Monaco meeting a Torres Strait Islander artist, and the focus on that was climate change. And then we have Incarceration Nation which just won a Logie award for the Best Factual. It's pretty amazing for the filmmakers to win that award and well-deserved too, it was such an important documentary. There are also some productions that haven't aired yet, include Our Law series, which is produced by Taryne Laffar, who's a Bardi woman from the Kimberleys in Western Australia, and she's an incredible producer and she's teamed up with Sam [Bodhi] Field from Periscope Pictures and with Pink Pepper Productions have produced this incredible series directed by Perun Bonser, a First Nations filmmaker from Western Australia, and follows police cadets, Indigenous police cadets as they go through training and follows the highs and lows and what they experience, and that'll be on NITV. So we've had other success too, as well as our own projects, our investment and development managers work with other departments as well. Laurren Brannigan-Onato worked with the online team on All My Friends Are Racist, and that won an AACTA award, which is incredible. So we're doing incredible stuff at the moment.

[00:23:15] Caris Bizzaca Some of those massive titles, as you mentioned, were Mystery Road: Origin and True Colours. So two major TV series' that are releasing in early July on ABC and SBS. Can we talk through those two titles specifically? So with Mystery Road, first of all, was the First Nations Department involved with the first two seasons as well and now Mystery Road: Origin?

[00:23:46] Angela Bates Yes, that's correct, and Mystery Road is an incredible series that has had incredible success as well and, series two was Australia's highest rated adult TV drama of 2020 and was listed by The New York Times in the top twenty best international shows of the year, and it had its world premiere at Berlinale and it also screened on ACORN in the US. So pretty incredible success for Mystery Road.

[00:24:15] Caris Bizzaca So the new season is directed by Dylan River this time round and it's more of a prequel?

[00:24:23] Angela Bates Yeah, so Mystery Road is a crime detective series that follows Detective Jay Swan as he solves murders and other mysteries and is played by the amazing Aaron Pedersen in previous iterations. But I think what's awesome about this new series of Mystery Road, as you say, is it's now going back to its origins, and that is we introduced to the very young Jay Swan, which is played by the handsome Mark Coles Smith, so just when you think 'where else can they take this series', they decided to take it back to the start of his career.

[00:25:04] Caris Bizzaca And Mark is amazing in it, you feel like you're watching a young Jay Swan. Very, very believable.

[00:25:13] Angela Bates The other incredible thing about Mystery Road is it's not just elevating the careers on screen, but also off screen, too. So Dylan River is directing this third series and Mystery Road fans will know that the first series was directed by Rachel Perkins and the second series was directed by Wayne Blair and Warwick Thorton, and so this third series is being directed by Dylan River, who's from filmmaking royalty, but is a talent in his own right, and so it's amazing to see him direct his first full TV drama.

[00:25:54] Caris Bizzaca Because he did Robbie Hood for SBS previously.

[00:25:58] Angela Bates Yeah, which is an online series, I think, which was amazing as well. He's also a DoP, so he's a jack of all trades, so it's really great to see him direct on the series and the fact that Mystery Road is elevating careers like Dylan and then also the DoP is Tyson Perkins, and I believe this is also his first TV drama that he's filmed.

[00:26:25] Caris Bizzaca And this series has had this whole life of its own, but it was based on the Mystery Road movie, [the sequel called] Goldstone, which were both by Ivan Sen, First Nations filmmaker. It's kind of interesting to see this full circle journey. So that's early, the 3rd of July, the first episode of that releases. Then can you talk a little bit about True Colours?

[00:26:52] Angela Bates And then True Colours, which is the first TV drama that we have funded with SBS and NITV, so that's pretty amazing within itself, we've obviously funded TV series' with ABC - Total Control, for example, and Mystery Road - so it was really great that we could work with SBS, who also funded development alongside our department as well as production on this drama.

[00:27:26] Caris Bizzaca So the department has made a number of documentaries with SBS and NITV, but you're saying this is the first TV drama - one of the big four-part series that they do every year?

[00:27:38] Angela Bates Yes, I first became involved as a development and investment manager. I was invited to the writer's room in 2019 in Alice Springs at CAAMA Radio, where I started my career. And this is an incredible and very (to me) special series as well I think, because the co-creators Warren H Williams and Erica Glynn, and then it was written by Erica Glynn and Stephen McGregor and Danielle MacLean, and it was directed by Erica and Stephen as well. So another TV series that is told through the authentic voice of First Nations people and the storylines are incredible and unique and steeped in language and culture, and it touches on the themes of art exploitation, impacts of intervention and in customary law, and it stars incredible Rarriwuy Hick, who plays the lead role of Detective Toni Alma and I think that's Rarriwuy's first lead role in a TV series, and so she plays a detective, Toni Alma, who lives and works in Alice Springs but is sent back to her home community, which is the fictitious community of Perdar Theendar, which means 'solid rock' in central Australia to investigate a car accident, and that's all I'll say because I don't want to give anything else away.

[00:29:03] Caris Bizzaca But she had to learn language for this particular role?

[00:29:08] Angela Bates She did because Rarriwuy is a Yolŋu woman from North East Arnhem Land so she's playing the role of a Indigenous detective from central desert, from Central Australia, and the languages are so vastly different, the central desert languages compared to the Yolŋu languages are really different, and she just nailed it. She sounds amazing so she's obviously put a lot of work into to learning the Arrernte language.

[00:29:42] Caris Bizzaca Were there any other kind of projects or things that you wanted to - this is your chance to namedrop - things that you're looking forward to?

[00:29:53] Angela Bates I'm really looking forward to our new feature film called Sweet As. It's a bit of a coming-of-age story, and it's written and directed by Nyulnyul and Yawuru woman Jub Clerc from the Pilbara region in Western Australia and this is her first feature film and it's the first feature film to be written by First Nations woman out of Western Australia so amazing on all fronts. And it is inspired by a moment in Jub's own life growing up and it follows troubled fifteen year old Murra who is sent on a photo safari for at-risk teens in the Pilbara, so it's set in some really idyllic locations, amazing landscapes and scenery like Karijini National Park. I guess I'm feeling really optimistic about the future of First Nations storytelling in this country, and we've got the thirty-year anniversary of the First Nations Department coming up next year in 2023, and it's amazing to see how it's evolved and grown over that period of time. It was started by Wal Saunders when it was the Australian Film Commission, and to see where it's at now, every part of the journey has been led by the likes of Sally Riley, who's doing incredible things at the ABC, now she's the Head of Scripted and I think it was through her influence as well as Kim Dalton when they decided to step away from the magazine-style programme of Message Stick and create the first First Nations TV drama in [the] Redfern Now series. So then other people have stepped into this role, like Pauline Clay and Erica Glynn and then the amazing Penny Smallacombe as well. So every head of department has created amazing and supported and believed in storytelling and talent because what we are achieving just didn't happen overnight. It happened over a long period of time and I think with each head of department, they've built a vision and left a legacy. And so for me, the future is very bright.

[00:32:24] Caris Bizzaca And when it comes to the industry at the moment and just generally, do you have any thoughts?

[00:32:29] Angela Bates I think the industry is in really good shape at the moment, and I want to continue to support writers and directors, but as I mentioned previously, too, it's really important to focus on how do we grow more Indigenous film producers in this country? Because the other issue that we have, with what little film producers that we have, it's not really a sustainable career for our mob at the moment. Some people are doing really well and still sticking at it, but it really is a hard job doing producing and we have lots of financial barriers for example, not every blackfella can afford to mortgage a house to fund a film project, so there's lots of little issues that I want to try and address and see how we can make it a more sustainable career for mob.

[00:33:23] Caris Bizzaca Great, and moving to some more practical advice, what would you say to anyone putting in an application to Screen Australia?

[00:33:38] Angela Bates I would say read the guidelines. I know that they can be boring and very bureaucratic, but I strongly encourage people to read the guidelines. It's as simple as that and if you have any questions, then contact our department. We've got a strong team of investment and development managers that are happy to talk through any project. In terms of development, anyone can apply through our Department for development funds. For production, especially for factual, you have to be invited in to apply because it's so competitive and we've got a bit of a budget, we don't have a lot of money and it's highly competitive, so if you have an idea and you want to apply for Production funding, then you should contact a development and investment manager in the First Nations Department.

[00:34:35] Caris Bizzaca Great, and so what advice would you have for pitching? I hear a lot of the times people don't like pitching. What kind of things would you say to people?

[00:34:48] Angela Bates I'd say, know your audience. I would say to try and convey the tone of the story in your pitch, whether it's a video pitch or in-person pitch and prepare and practise as much as possible.

[00:35:04] Caris Bizzaca Solid advice. Well, we'll leave it there, but thank you so much for joining us on the podcast today and talking to us all about your career and the First Nations Department.

[00:35:14] Angela Bates Thank you.

[00:35:17] Caris Bizzaca That was Screen Australia's Head of First Nations, Angela Bates. And remember, you can see Mystery Road Origin on the ABC from July 3rd and True Colours on SBS NITV from July 4th. Remember to subscribe to the fortnightly Screen Australia newsletter to keep up to date with new initiatives, opportunities, videos, articles, and more. Thanks for listening.