Closer Productions and Adelaide Film Festival have announced an Australia-wide seed grants initiative.
The initiative has been developed as a direct acknowledgement of, and attempt to challenge, the ways in which sexism, racism and other disadvantages are barriers to more adventurous and diverse filmmakers in the industry.
“Initiatives and opportunities that sit outside conventional film pathways have been crucial for me in my own career,” said Sophie Hyde, from Closer Productions.
“Sometimes I have needed some acknowledgment that an unusual idea is worth pursuing or a messy-still-forming concept is something valuable to interrogate, despite it not being the most obvious fit for our industry or market.
“We hope that in a small way, a fund like this can give filmmakers some reassurance and a moment to consider the projects close to their heart and to nurture them without feeling bound by the constraints that so often limit us.”
Applications are now open for the 4x $5000 grants which call for early ideas from voices and perspectives currently underrepresented (Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, People of Colour, Queer and/or gender diverse, Deaf or with a disability).
The grants will provide time and space for the recipients to develop and nurture ideas that might otherwise be hard to finance or under-valued.
While filmmakers will be encouraged to develop their own projects within a plan they create for themselves, each recipient will also be offered three, optional one hour sessions to discuss their concept and development with the Closer Productions team.
At least one of the four grants will be awarded to an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Creative.
Applications are encouraged from mid-career artists/filmmakers who straddle identities, for instance, First Nations people who also identify as women, or are gender diverse, or those disabled folks from LGBTQ+ communities.
The applications will be assessed by a team of First Nations, LGBTQ+ creatives with other people from diverse cultural backgrounds and members of the disability community including academic/filmmaker/writer Larissa Behrendt (Maralinga Tjarutja, In My Blood it Runs), filmmaker Maya Newell (Gayby Baby, In My Blood it Runs) and producer, writer and director John Harvey (producer of Spear and The Warriors) with others to be confirmed.
Applications close Tuesday November 10.
For more information and application details, head to https://adelaidefilmfestival.org/opportunities/