Revised guidelines help writers, directors

Screen Australia has revised its development programs, changing its experience criteria for writers and directors wanting to apply for funding without a producer.

The federal agency has also modified its production financing, indigenous and marketing support programs, postponing the reduction of its investment cap for features until July 2010.

In feature development, the experience that writers, writer/directors and directors need to be eligible to apply for one draft of funding without a producer has been redefined: only two credits (features, mini-series or tele-movies, or six broadcast hours of primetime series) are now required  instead of three.

Another addition is time-critical development funding, for producers that need to take advantage of opportunities to secure an option.

The production finance area will see the reduction in the agency’s maximum investment on a feature postponed until the new financial year. The $3m cap will be in place until June 30, and reduced to $2.5m on July 1.

The low-budget feature sector will receive more flexibility about market attachment requirements –for budgets under $1.5m.

These two funding decisions complement the recent changes for documentaries, where funding of $200,000 or under will be provided as a grant instead of recoupable investment.

The Enterprise program guidelines will provide more details on the assessment process and the eligibility of recipients.  The program aims to develop sustainable production companies, and the agency’s investment has been reduced to $1m, with $350,000 maximum contribution for each participant. The deadline for the 2010/11 round is July 26.

In the meantime, the marketing programs remain unchanged as the new head of marketing, Kathleen Drumm, finalises a review of them to decide future directions.

The guidelines are available at


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