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SBS-Screen Tasmania Short-Form Factual Initiative

Program overview and guidelines

The SBS and Screen Tasmania Short-Form Factual Initiative is a development and production initiative for new to emerging Tasmanian filmmakers with a focus on key creatives from under represented and/or diverse groups.

We are calling for people to submit non-scripted ideas suitable for online content (either a one-off project or a series, up to 15 minutes maximum), for further development and production. They can be factual, food, factual entertainment or entertainment, but all must be original and compelling. These ideas must reflect and explore cultural diversity in Australia in line with the SBS Charter and showcase stories, talent and filmmakers from diverse backgrounds.

Projects selected to move forward into production will be commissioned for SBS On Demand, with the potential to screen on SBS Viceland.

The application process will allow up to eight creative teams to pitch their short-form ideas to the SBS commissioners. Of these eight submissions, five will be selected for a development phase and then up to three projects will be chosen to move forward into production.

This initiative aims to develop the skills and experience of new to emerging and diverse Tasmanian filmmakers working together with experienced Tasmanian screen practitioners.


Applications to this initiative are eligible if:

  1. the applicant and all key creatives (writer, producer or director) have been a Tasmanian resident for at least the last 6 months
  2. they meet the general eligibility requirements set out in the Screen Tasmania’s Terms of Trade
  3. two out of the three key creatives is from an underrepresented and/or diverse group, appropriate to the roles
    1. For the purpose of these guidelines, the Tasmanian screen industry recognizes diversity as differences in gender; age; Indigenous identity; cultural and linguistic diversity (CaLD); disability; sexuality and gender identities, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI+); location (including urban communities and remote regions) and socio-economic status.
  4. the applicants must hold the underlying rights to the project at the time of application
  5. they are short-form ideas suitable for online content
  6. the project must be produced entirely in Tasmania within the timeframe stipulated above
  7. the applicant or any member of the key creative team can NOT be a student at a film school or similar tertiary film, television or digital media course or institution and that the project is not and will not contribute to any course of study.

How to apply

Application to pitch to SBS commissioners

Visit our application portal to submit an application to pitch to the SBS commissioners.

Applications close 13 August 2018.

Follow us on Facebook or Twitter for updates.

Funding available

A development and production consultant may be appointed by Screen Tasmania to mentor the successful applicants and support the selected projects through the development and production process to deliver on time and on budget in line with the timeline. A development budget of $4 000 will be offered to the five teams who are selected for the development phase, as well as support from an experienced development mentor.

At the production stage successful applicants will be offered up to $35 000 per project for production.

Key dates

12 July 2018Short-Form Factual Initiative seminar

One-day short-form seminar on the initiative.
16 July 2018

Applications to pitch to SBS commissioners open

Visit our application portal to submit an application to pitch to the SBS commissioners.

Follow us on Facebook or Twitter for updates.

13 August 2018

Applications to pitch to SBS commissioners close

Screen Tasmania and SBS will announce an open call-out for proposals to be considered for further development and potentially production. SBS Commissioning Editor and Screen Tasmania Management will assess the submitted proposals and materials and choose five for further development.

27 August 2018Shortlisted applicants notified
6 September 2018

Shortlisted applicants pitch to SBS during SBS Roadshow

SBS Executives will be in Hobart on 6 September for an SBS Roadshow and the shortlisted applicants will have the opportunity to pitch their ideas to them and discuss what direction to take their ideas.

September/October 2018

Development phase/stage two application

Over the next seven weeks, the teams will take the feedback and skills to develop and finalise their drafts and any additional materials (including a ‘sizzle reel’) to apply for stage two. Upon receipt of these additional materials, SBS and Screen Tasmania Management will choose up to three projects to move forward into production. Applicants will be notified by beginning of November 2018 and the contracting phase will commence.

Each successful team will receive $4 000 development funding to assist with the production of their additional materials including a sizzle reel.

29 October 2018

Successful applicants submit final development materials

Successful applicants submit:

  • Sizzle Reel, Interviews, Research,
  • Shooting scripts, Budget
  • Shooting schedule
  • Crew list
12 November 2018

Up to three successful projects for production

Once selected to move forward into production, applicants will have the time to fully finesse their stage two materials to the satisfaction of SBS editorial and STAS Management. Pending approval of these materials and completion of the contracting process in December, pre-production is intended to commence in January 2019.

14 December 2018Contracting finalised
January 2019Pre-production
Feb - March 2019Production
March - April 2019Post-production
31 May 2019Delivery to SBS


Please contact Screen Tasmania’s Development Manager, Evan Maloney on or 6165 5071 with any questions.