Screenrights Announces $295K Funding for 7 Projects Supported by 2020 Cultural Fund

Screenrights has announced a record seven projects will be supported by its 2020 Cultural Fund. The total funding amount increased from $250K to $295K for this year’s initiatives, submitted around the focus of ‘New Voices’.

The Screenrights Cultural Fund was established in 2018 to support innovative projects that foster the creation and appreciation of screen content in Australia and New Zealand. With support usually available up to $250K total, in its third year Screenrights has been able to offer additional funding from the balance of previous funding rounds.

Five recipients will each receive $45,000: Bus Stop Films, to support the expansion of their award-winning Accessible Film Studies Program to Queensland, Victoria and South Australia; Tai Huri Films, for a training and skill development workshop for rangatahi Māori aged 15-25 to explore cultural narratives using the art of cinematic storytelling; Screenworks, who will partner with Princess Pictures and Hoodlum Entertainment to run a program to train undiscovered, diverse and talented screenwriters living in regional Australia with specific skills to meet industry requirements; Southland Creative Inc, for My Home My Culture – a short film program that will mentor ten aspiring 16-24 year-old regional South Coast NSW filmmakers to share their stories with audiences and communities; and Script to Screen, who will run a 3-stage Paerangi program that finds new voices in remote regions of New Zealand, and gives isolated and inexperienced aspiring filmmakers the tools to develop a captivating story for screen.

Juluwarlu Group Aboriginal Corporation will receive $38,720 for Our Ganalili Heroes, a youth digital media project that will give 12 young people in the Pilbara region the digital media skills to contribute their voices to the deep cultural and community-held knowledge of the Yindjibarndi people; and Cinespace will receive $31,280 to roll out an online educational program that gives culturally diverse creatives the tools to be able to access industry, building capacity towards greater representation on Australian screens.

“The third year of the Screenrights Cultural Fund has seen our strongest field of applicants yet, and we are delighted to be able to support so many initiatives, especially in such a challenging year for the screen industry,” said Screenrights Board Director and Cultural Fund Working Group Chair Geoffrey Atherden. “These projects engage meaningfully with our New Voices focus, intended to advance those who, for whatever reason, have found doors not readily open to them. We look forward to seeing the positive impact of these initiatives across the Australian and New Zealand screen landscape well into the future.”

Applications were assessed by a panel of professionals with both local and international expertise in screen, media and education.

2020 Screenrights Cultural Fund Recipients
Photo caption (L-R, Top to Bottom): Alex McNeilly from Southland Creative Inc.; Daniel Schultheis from Cinespace Inc; Eloise Veber from Script to Screen; James Dickinson from Screenrights; Jason Taylor from Tai Huri Films Limited; John Kassab from Cinespace Inc; Jonnie Leahy from Southland Creative Inc.; Lisa O’Meara from Screenworks; Maha Ismail from Screenrights; Ryan Drechsler and Eagle Felix from Juluwarlu Group Aboriginal Corporation; Tracey Corbin-Matchett from Bus Stop Films; Wimiya Woodley from Juluwarlu Group Aboriginal Corporation.


Bus Stop Films

Activity: The expansion of Bus Stop Films’ (BSF) award-winning Accessible Film Studies Program to Queensland, Victoria and South Australia. It will see access to film school education, filmmaking opportunities and screen industry employment pathways open for up to 45 young adults living with disabilities in Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide. Additionally, the delivery of the Program will see creation of at least nine new jobs by employing emerging filmmakers from diverse backgrounds to deliver the Program, and who’ll also gain above the line credits in BSF’s productions, furthering the Organisation’s contribution to diversity in the screen industry ecosystem.

Location: QLD, VIC, SA

Amount funded: $45,000

Juluwarlu Group Aboriginal Corporation

Activity: Our Ganalili Heroes is a youth digital media project that will give 12 young people digital media skills and the confidence and courage that comes from recognising their commitment to contribute their voices to sustaining the deep cultural and community-held knowledge of Yindjibarndi – and opportunities to reflect, imagine and make and share their own creatively expressive important stories and meanings with wider Australian audiences. This is an important chance to step-up young people to grab hold of their own futures.

Location: WA

Amount funded: $38,720

Cinespace Inc

Activity: An online educational program that gives culturally diverse creatives the tools to be able to access industry, developing knowledge and skills in a phase of production known as ‘packaging’, and a greater understanding of how our industry needs to view projects. The capacity and skills building program will build diverse creatives’ capacity and lead to greater representation on Australian screens.

Location: Online (VIC-based)

Amount funded: $31,280

Tai Huri Films Limited

Activity: KŌRERO TUKU IHO is a story development and screen production residency for rangatahi Māori from Aotearoa New Zealand’s Far North region. Participants connect with kaumātua (elders) and experts in local history during a series of marae-based wānanga (seminars) where they explore their cultural narratives while establishing, maintaining and strengthening their sense of belonging. Upon completion of the wānanga participants submit a story idea for consideration to advance to a week-long residency programme at Waitangi Treaty Grounds. Based on factors such as story idea, leadership, commitment, focus and enthusiasm five new filmmaking talents will be selected by an industry panel to advance their projects to the residency programme. Under the guidance of screen industry mentors participants will develop their short films, reimagining local history, to produce a script. Each talent will be funded to produce and deliver a final film. The fundamental outcome of these workshops are to foster new filmmaking talents and inspire the next generation of Māori storytellers to pursue a career in film and media arts.

Location: Northland (NZ)

Amount funded: $45,000


Activity: A program to train undiscovered, diverse and talented screenwriters living in regional Australia with specific skills that meet industry requirements. Screenworks will collaborate with Hoodlum Entertainment and Princess Pictures to identify the genres and formats that they need writers for. Screenworks will put a call out to discover new, diverse and talented screenwriters from regional Australia and will implement a unique training program to upskill 50 new regional writers in order to write to a production company’s brief. The participants’ work will be assessed by the production companies who will select previously undiscovered regional writers to join them as writing interns.

Location: NSW (Northern Rivers)

Amount funded: $45,000

Southland Creative Inc

Activity: My Home My Culture – South Coast NSW Short Film Project is a short filmmaking mentorship program that will see ten aspiring young local filmmakers aged 16-24 years complete a program designed specifically to allow them to share their own cultural short film that shares insights and gives them a voice to share their story with audiences and communities following the recent droughts, devastating bushfires, floods and now coronavirus pandemic. The program is designed specifically for these regional young aspiring filmmakers who are feeling isolated and unable to access the same storytelling opportunities as those in big cities.

Location: NSW (South Coast)

Amount funded: $45,000

Script to Screen Te Tari Tuhi Kupu A Whakaahua

Activity: Paerangi is a 3-stage programme that finds new voices in remote regions and isolated situations to give inexperienced aspiring filmmakers the tools to develop a captivating story for screen. The most distinctive projects progress to the next stage: Stage 1 is a series of online learning for self-directed completion, teaching how to find and structure an engaging story for short film and web series formats; Stage 2 provides a mentor to hone their vision and refine project documents; Stage 3 is a 3-day intensive residential lab to develop the project further. Teams leave Stage 3 with a short film or web series project ready for funding and production, and new connections.

Location: NZ (Auckland)

Amount funded: $45,000

Screenrights is a non-profit member organisation that provides rights and royalty management services to the screen industry. Screenrights facilitates access to screen content through simple licensing solutions for teachers in education, administrators in government, and home viewers with subscription TV – and provides royalty payments to rightsholders for the programs audiences love. Screenrights is a leader in the audiovisual industries, forging dynamic connections between screen industry and screen audiences.


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Screenrights acknowledges the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognises their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.