Screenrights Announces $266K Funding for Six Initiatives Supported by 2023 Cultural Fund

Screenrights has announced six projects will be supported by the 2023 round of its annual Cultural Fund, to total $265,763 in funding for this year’s focus of ‘New Visions’.

“It’s wonderful that the Screenrights membership is able to support the wider creative community through the Cultural Fund,” said Screenrights Board Director and Cultural Fund Working Group Chair Rachel Antony. Our assessors had a wide range of compelling applications to consider, from across Australia and Aotearoa-New Zealand, and I’m inspired by the aims of all the selected projects and look forward to seeing the impact they create.

For the second year running Screenrights provided an Expression of Interest process to assist applicants who might benefit from extra support during the application stage. Indicative of the success of this approach, five out of the six successful grant recipients had engaged with this process.

Black Apple Productions will develop and deliver a bespoke national screen directing workshop for six First Nations women, with ‘THE LAB: First Nations Women Screen Directors Lab’ receiving a grant of $50,000. Pink Lake Creative will receive $45,000 for their Pathways and Connections Workshop Program, which will see 40 children from three isolated communities in western Victoria participate in screen industry workshops focused on augmented technology. Sound recordist Alicia Butterworth and sound designer Tfer Newsome’s ‘Developing Diverse Screen Sound Practitioner Futures’ will receive $50,000 for a series of training workshops for under-represented emerging female and non-binary screen-sound professionals, supported by Griffith University and SAE Brisbane.

The Queer Screen Development Toolkit aims to provide support, guidance and resources for teams developing screen projects that feature queer themes, storylines, characters and actors, and will be generated with the assistance of a $30,730 grant and in collaboration with the industry by Wellington’s Proud Voices on Screen. Another New Zealand project, Touch Compass’ Screen Production Programme for d/Deaf and Disabled Students, will receive $50,000 to engage and teach Deaf and Disabled aspiring filmmakers the skills required to tell their own stories and build careers. And The Unquiet Collective will receive $50,000 for their Distribution and Impact Lab, an intensive social impact and non-theatrical planning lab for three films in the lead-up to their release.

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



Photo caption The Unquiet Collective, l-r row 1: Alex Kelly, Larissa Behrendt, Lisa Sherrard; row 2: Sophie Hyde, Rachel Naninaaq Edwardson, Maya Newell.




Pink Lake Creative Pathways and Connections Workshop Program

Activity: A place-based program that aims to break down barriers and empower 40 children from three rural and/or isolated communities in Western Victoria to access and engage with the screen industry through workshops across a 6-month period. The workshops will focus on accessible augmented reality technology and build towards an outcome where participants present their story output at places they value in their communities.

Location: 3x remote western VIC communities, Australia

Recipient Quote: “Pink Lake Creative is passionate about empowering local communities here in western Victoria to access, celebrate and engage with our screen industry. We are deeply grateful to Screenrights for this support. The young people and partner organisations we will be working with have extraordinary stories, skills and talents to share.” – Tracey Rigney, Pink Lake Creative

Amount Funded: A$45,000


Developing Diverse Screen Sound Practitioner Futures

Activity: With Griffith University and SAE Brisbane’s support, sound recordist Alicia Butterworth and sound designer Tfer Newsome will oversee a series of training workshops for under-represented emerging female and non-binary screen-sound professionals to teach critical skills and encourage career development and longevity. The workshops will focus on sound for drama, location sound for documentary and unscripted TV, future sound, post-sound, and the sound business. Each workshop will be delivered to 15-20 attendees to allow hands-on access to equipment. In conjunction with these workshops, a kit of equipment will be made available to emerging sound practitioners on low to no budget projects so that they can access industry-standard equipment as they learn the craft and establish their networks.

Recipient Quote: “We are immensely grateful to Screenrights for their generous funding, which will allow us to produce workshops, mentoring, and access to industry-standard equipment for emerging and under-represented screen sound professionals. In the current landscape, less than 5% of sound recordists in Australia are female, and through this program, we hope the phrase ‘we’ve never worked with a female soundo before’ will become a thing of the past. Sound hold tremendous power as a storytelling tool in film and TV, and we are thrilled to be a part of bringing a richer tapestry of perspectives and experiences to the stories we tell. Together, we envision a future where diversity in the sound industry becomes the norm.” – Alicia Butterworth & Tfer Newsome

Location: Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Amount Funded: A$50,000


Unquiet Collective Distribution and Impact Lab

Activity: The Unquiet Collective will offer an intensive social impact and non-theatrical planning lab for three films in the lead-up to their release. The three films will be invited to work with Unquiet to develop their impact strategies and non-theatrical release plans. In addition to targeted advice with each film team, the lab will cover the following topics: development of impact strategy, sector mapping and partnership development, distribution strategy, non-theatrical tools and strategy, fundraising, PR, marketing, and theatrical release advice across three Zoom-based group calls. Each team will be equipped with a non-theatrical release toolkit which will include partnership MOUs, non-theatrical licence agreements, non-theatrical booking forms, screening guide templates and more to set them up to reach wide audiences with their films.

Recipient Quote: “We are delighted to have the support of Screenrights to provide practical support to filmmakers through this lab. We love film and we care deeply about changing the world. We are excited about being in conversation with others who share these values and support them to reach the right audiences with their films.” – Lisa Sherrard, The Unquiet Collective

Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Amount Funded: A$50,000


THE LAB: First Nations Women Screen Directors Lab

Activity: THE LAB aims to develop and deliver a bespoke national screen directing workshop for six First Nations women across a 3-day period with the aim of growing their skillset and confidence so that they are more likely to pursue a career as directors in the industry. The topics covered in the lab will include: how to feel safe as a director, who does what and why, what does a director really do, script analysis and preparation, finding the right production team, rehearsals, blocking, how to communicate with actors, and networking.

Recipient Quote: “The Black Apple team is thrilled to have been selected as a recipient of the 2023 Screenrights Cultural Fund. We are dedicated to nurturing and developing underrepresented people within the Australian screen industry and believe a Screen Directors Lab aimed specifically at First Nations women will create many opportunities for its participants. Thank you Screenrights.” – Beck Cole, Black Apple Productions

Location: Melbourne, VIC, Australia (with participants encouraged from regional communities nationally)

Amount Funded: A$50,000


Screen Production Programme for d/Deaf and Disabled Students

Activity: Touch Compass with JPF Films and Ingot Films will run a disability-led programme that engages and teaches d/Deaf and Disabled aspirant producers/filmmakers the skills required to tell their own stories and build careers. The programme will be executed as a one-week intensive and immersive experience and a five-week post-production experience for up to 12 selected d/Deaf and Disabled students. Participants will learn a range of technical and creative skills across the week, including directing and assistant directing, production coordination, cinematography, sound, lighting, scriptwriting, art department, working and communicating with Deaf, disabled and diverse actors and crew, and editing.

Recipient Quote: “‘Tukua kia tū takitahi ngā whetū o te rangi. Let each individual star take its own place.’ Kia ora! On behalf of programme leaders Jared, Corey and all of us here at Touch Compass we are grateful to the Screenrights Cultural Fund and honoured to open the screen industry up to participants from deaf/disabled communities. For them to learn, grow and in the near future, create their own stories, their way.” – Jon Tamihere-Kemeys, Touch Compass

Location: Wellington, New Zealand

Amount Funded: A$50,000


Queer Screen Development Toolkit

Activity: The Queer Screen Development Toolkit (QSDT) aims to provide support, guidance and resources for teams developing screen projects that feature queer themes, storylines, characters, and actors. Across a 12-month period, Proud Voices on Screen, in collaboration with several creatives, will generate an online toolkit to aid in the development of authentic and inclusive queer screen stories.

Recipient Quote: “As a newly formed organisation with huge dreams, this funding is a lifeline for us. We’re honoured to have the opportunity to bring a living document to life that will benefit the industry as a whole, but most importantly give voice and agency to queer practitioners and bring rich authenticity to queer stories that we look forward to seeing on screen.” – Eloise Veber, Proud Voices on Screen

Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Amount Funded: A$30,730.46

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