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1. Originate - Project development

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Originate – project development

Applications assessed by Screen Tasmania Expert Advisory Group
Applications decided by Screen Tasmania

This program supports the development of linear Tasmanian screen content that results in increased local screen creativity and production. The program drives development of Tasmanian practitioners’ creative skills and Tasmanian stories.

Click here for the Applications Portal.

What is the program?

This is Screen Tasmania’s project development program, providing support for development of market-driven linear screen content in all genres that demonstrate potential for, and actual, audience engagement and marketplace support.

Screen Tasmania reserves the right to vary these guidelines as necessary. In exceptional circumstances, Screen Tasmania also reserves the right to set aside some requirements.

What is funded?

The project must be intended for production in Tasmania, or provide clear and demonstrable benefits to the Tasmanian screen production industry.

Your project can be:

  • intended for theatrical, online, broadcast, or digital delivery
  • linear narrative drama (including comedy) or documentary
  • live action, animation, or hybrid
  • intended for adults or children.

Screen Tasmania can fund:

  • series with episodes of at least a commercial half-hour, or a commercial quarter-hour for children’s programming
  • single-episode drama or comedy projects of at least a commercial hour
  • single episode documentary projects of at least a commercial half-hour, and
  • short-form series projects with at least three episodes of approximately 3-15 minutes duration.

What is offered?

Screen Tasmania can provide funding for two stages of the development process under this program, with funding available across three categories. Ordinarily you may only receive funding once for each stage for a given project.

  • In all categories, a proportion of the development budget is for an experienced script editor or creative producer to assist in the development process. Screen Tasmania will assist you in identifying such a person if you wish.

Short-form series booster – grant up to $25 000

This funding is only available for short-form series projects and is for the scripting and/or production of a portion of the project to use to raise marketplace interest.

Screen Tasmania can fund multiple applications for an individual project under short-form proof of concept, but the combined funding available cannot exceed $25 000.

Examples of activities funded are:

  • the development of pitch materials related to financing
  • market and financing travel
  • budget and schedule preparation, and
  • producer fees (not exceeding $2 000).

The funding cannot cover purchase of equipment or software or simple reformatting of an existing project.

Intermediate stage funding – development investment up to $15 000

Intermediate stage funding is not available for short-form series projects.

Support is available for you to prepare pitch documents, series bibles, teasers, trailers, draft scripts and/or travel to engage with the market (capped consistently with those for the Capacity program’s business travel). While there is no requirement for projects to have marketplace interest at the intermediate stage, preference will always be given to projects that can show marketplace interest.

Advanced stage funding – development investment up to $25 000

Advanced stage funding is not available for short-form series projects.

Support is offered exclusively to projects that can demonstrate marketplace interest for the development of episode outlines, draft scripts and non-draft expenses related to financing a project.

While advanced stage funding is only available once, Screen Tasmania reserves the right to allow multiple applications in exceptional circumstances (for example evidence of significant and ongoing marketplace support).

For advanced stage funding you may apply for support with non-draft related costs including:

  • the development of pitch materials related to financing
  • marketing consultancies
  • market and financing travel
  • budget and schedule preparation
  • preliminary casting costs, and
  • producer fees (not exceeding $2 000).


In all categories, projects that have been unsuccessful in securing Screen Tasmania funding will only be eligible to reapply if the project has changed significantly, or if Screen Tasmania specifically invites such an application.

  • Projects that have applied twice for funding and not been successful are no longer eligible for development funding.
  • If a project has received development funding from another Screen Tasmania program (for example, a special initiative) it may still apply to Originate.

In all categories, applicants must:

  • be, or have attached to the project, a Tasmanian key creative such as a writer, producer or director
    Please note: If you are based outside Tasmania you may apply if you have previously lived in Tasmania for at least 10 years, or if you are in a genuine and demonstrable creative and/or financial partnership with a Tasmanian resident key creative or production company
  • be, or have attached to the project in a key creative role, an experienced practitioner (as defined in the General Guidelines) (for short-form series you must be at least an emerging practitioner)
  • have control of copyright of the project as defined in the General Guidelines
  • in addition to meeting the general eligibility criteria detailed in the General Guidelines, all projects must demonstrate that the project has been developed to a reasonable level (i.e. beyond early-stage development) before applying.

Additional eligibility requirements: advanced stage funding

Projects must provide documented evidence of genuine marketplace interest.

What are the assessment criteria?

In addition to the information detailed in the General Guidelines, the application will be assessed on:

  • the strength and originality of the concept/story idea and the quality of the writing as evidenced in the submitted written materials
  • the mix of skills, diversity of backgrounds, and experience of the creative team, and the likelihood that their experience will advance the project
  • the target audience, where the project will fit in the marketplace and development of a comprehensive market strategy
  • the quality and rigour of the development notes, and
  • the feasibility of the project – that is, the likelihood of the project advancing into production.

Special conditions:

Further to the assessment processes outlined in the General Guidelines, we will seek a report from an independent consultant (such as a writer, script editor or producer) to assist with assessing the application against the above criteria. The report will be presented to you for your comment.

You should also keep in mind that:

  • you should request a funding amount commensurate with a project’s stage of development and the proposed deliverables
  • not all projects will be funded to the full amount requested
  • applicants are expected to cover some of the development costs by way of cash or deferment
  • Screen Tasmania will not fund the acquisition of rights, option agreements or legal fees
  • the production of any teasers/trailers must occur in Tasmania using Tasmanian practitioners unless otherwise negotiated with Screen Tasmania, and
  • projects that are set and/or intend to be produced in locations outside of Tasmania may apply as long as there are demonstrable benefits to the Tasmanian screen industry.
    (A 25 per cent premium on development funds will be charged and be required to be repaid in full to Screen Tasmania upon the first day of principle photography).

How do I apply?

These guidelines should be read in conjunction with our Terms of Trade and General Guidelines. This is a rolling program and applications will be considered at any closing date.

For more information on specific closing dates, please go to the Deadlines page.

Applicants must speak to Screen Tasmania’s Development Manager to discuss their project before submitting an application. Please call the Screen Tasmania offices to arrange an appointment on (03) 6165 5070.

Applications must be lodged through the Applications Portal, which will outline the information that must be provided in order to apply.