New Victorian initiative to finance the stories of under-represented screenwriters and filmmakers

Film Victoria, SBS and Arenamedia are teaming up to launch a new initiative that will support low-budget feature films by Victoria’s most creative and diverse filmmakers.

Originate is a program designed to turn early draft scripts by diverse and underrepresented voices into production-ready screenplays.

The program involves a three-part process delivered by internationally renowned UK-based story developer Angeli McFarlane, with creative support from a slate of impressive mentors, including Arenamedia producers Liz Kearney and Robert Connolly, and Donna Chang, Acting Commissioning Editor of SBS Scripted.

Starting in May 2021, filmmakers and writers will see opportunities galore, taking part in a series of online writers’ seminars, with six teams then selected for a week-long writers lab in August.

At the end of the development phase, three teams will then be selected to produce three projects to be considered for professional production finance.

One project will then go into production in 2022 with an approximate $1.5 million budget under its wing, funded by Film Victoria, SBS and Arenamedia.

Minister for Creative Industries Danny Pearson said Originate is a chance to give much-needed focus and opportunity to new and emerging Victorian creatives.

“A diversity of voices and perspectives is vital to the strength and future of our screen industry.”

“The Victorian Government is proud to back this initiative which will help local creatives from a range of backgrounds and experiences to take the next step in their careers” he said.

Applications for Originate are now open and close Thursday 15th April 2021 at 11pm Victorian time.

There will be a Facebook Live Q&A about the project on Friday 19th March at 12:30pm, run by  SBS’ Donna Chang, Film Victoria’s Production Investment Manager Alicia Brown and Fiction Development Manager Katherine Slattery.

Find out more information about Originate HERE.

Photo Credit: Still from Vesna, a Film Victoria supported fiction feature

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