SBS and NITV have announced the launch of Curious Australia, a new, nationwide initiative seeking submissions for standalone, half-hour documentaries reflecting the diversity of people and experiences of contemporary Australia.
In partnership with Screen Australia, and state and Territory agencies Film Victoria, Screen NSW, Screen Queensland, Screen Tasmania, Screen Territory, Screenwest and the South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC), Curious Australia will support screen practitioners from under-represented backgrounds in the sector to bring their diverse stories to Australian screens. Successful documentaries will be commissioned for SBS platforms, including SBS VICELAND, NITV, and SBS On Demand.
Criteria for Curious Australia applications includes two key creative roles on a project being held by people from an under-represented background, including those identifying as First Nations Australians; women, those with diverse age backgrounds; people from cultural and linguistically diverse backgrounds; people living with disability; people of diverse sexuality and gender identities including LGBTQIA+; people from under-represented locations (including regional and remote areas); and people from diverse socio-economic backgrounds. Projects must be stand-alone unscripted documentaries suitable for a half hour television slot, and they should reflect SBS’s Charter and explore issues relevant to contemporary Australia in an innovative way.
Susie Jones, Commissioning Editor, Documentaries, at SBS, said: “Through Curious Australia, we’ve partnered with Screen Australia and screen agencies around the country to seek out documentaries which put the spotlight on those things that make Australia unique, the people that inspire us to see things from a different perspective, and authentic stories that spark curiosity, enlighten and engage audiences in powerful and entertaining ways. It’s an exciting new addition to our factual offering across the network, providing a unique opportunity for documentary-makers to tackle contemporary Australian stories and issues while also supporting the development of diverse creative talent in the sector.”
Kyas Hepworth, Head of Commissioning and Programming at NITV, added: “We’re really looking forward to seeing bold and unique stories from First Nations documentary makers across Australia uncovered through this initiative, exploring and reflecting the diverse experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.”
Submissions can be made directly with relevant local screen agencies in each state or the Northern Territory. Applications will close 9 August 2021.