Screen NSW is calling for applications from emerging NSW filmmakers with disability to produce shorts for consideration to premiere at the 68th Sydney Film Festival in 2021.
The Screenability Film Fund, which is now in its fourth year of applications, offers up to three teams $30,000 each in production finance, to be overseen by an appointed experienced Executive Producer, and provision to engage an industry mentor for the practitioner with disability.
Applications are sought for short film proposals between 5-15 minutes that appeal to a broad audience (with or without disability content), and can be drama, factual, animation, or experimental. Applicant teams must have at least one key creative (writer, director, producer) that identifies as having a disability and be a NSW resident.
Head of Screen NSW Grainne Brunsdon says that since its introduction in 2016, the Screenability initiative has launched the screen careers of many filmmakers with disability, placing them at the front line of telling their stories, and bringing an authenticity, nuance, and lived experience to audiences at Sydney Film Festival and beyond.
“Each year the Screenability program provides an important platform to showcase the talents of practitioners with disability. Our past recipients have not only used this initiative to tell their diverse experiences and creative stories but have also been supported in broadening industry networks, developing screen skills and fostering future projects. Standout recipients include writer and lead actor in this year’s Groundhog Night, Emily Dash, who has capitalised on the positive audience reaction to her family dramedy to now be successful in securing funding to seed the development of a series based on the short film.
“Screenability is all about levelling the playing field and giving a voice to stories we don’t often have the chance to see by empowering filmmakers with disability to tell their stories, and I can’t wait to see the 2021 Screenability films come to life next year,” said Ms Brunsdon.
The Screenability Film Fund is part of a suite of initiatives under Screenability NSW, an open-ended policy commitment by Screen NSW to work with industry to grow participation in the screen sector by Australians filmmakers with disability.
Working to the Social Model of Disability, the term ‘disability’ refers to barriers, rather than medical conditions or impairments, which are seen as being the disabling factors, preventing or limiting opportunities.
Eligibility in this case covers people with sensory or physical impairments (including deaf people), hidden impairments, intellectual impairments, learning difficulties or mental health conditions, who face barriers accessing opportunities in the screen industry.
Screenability Filmmakers Fund applications close at 5pm Monday 12 October 2020. For guidelines and applications, visit https://screen.nsw.gov.au/funding/production-support/screenability-filmmakers-fund