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OPENING SOON: ABC and SQ Factual Initiative 2019-20

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Screen Queensland and ABC will partner to deliver up to three proof of concept films for distribution on ABC platforms. The films will examine the theme of identity, exploring questions of who we are, who do we look at with admiration and why, and why and how do we see ourselves as Australians?

ABC Factual & Documentary is responsible for thought-provoking and inspiring programs such as Old People’s Home for 4 Year Old’s, Employable Me, Anh’s Brush With Fame, War on Waste, Restoration Australia, Magical Land of Oz, Aftermath: Beyond Black Saturday, Back In Time For Dinner, Exposed and Don’t Stop the Music.

Queensland teams will pitch ideas to Screen Queensland for the opportunity to develop a short (10 minute) film with in-kind support from the ABC and financial support from Screen Queensland. Ideas will be based on a brief from the ABC and feed into existing commissioning and distribution pathways. The short films will act as a proof of concept that the team can use pitch a returnable factual series to the marketplace.

Creative teams are encouraged to be brave, ambitious, relevant, challenging, compelling, distinctive and thought provoking. Find a way to bring your story to life in surprising ways.

Read the media release

Who can apply

This program is best suited to teams of early-mid career factual practitioners with a compelling broadcast idea in response to the ABC creative brief.

To be eligible, applicants must:

  • Be bona fide Queensland residents, able to demonstrate they have lived and worked in the state for at least six months
  • Meet SQ general eligibility requirements as set out in the SQ Terms of Trade

Support will be aimed at teams with a pitch that answers the ABC creative brief, shows broadcast potential and reflects the diversity of population in the state.

SQ encourages applications from practitioners and creative teams who reflect the diversity of our state – and will give consideration in the selection process to ensure, where possible, that the program outcomes represent SQ’s commitment to supporting people who are under-represented by gender, culture and language, race, sexuality, and low socio-economic status. Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander practitioners are encouraged to apply, as are practitioners whose principal place of business is located outside of south-east Queensland

What the program covers

The Factual Initiative is a structured development program, which seeks to support Queensland creative teams to develop format concepts in response to the ABC brief, polish these ideas into strong pitch materials with up to three successful teams being selected to film a pilot/sizzle/trailer.

The key stages of this initiative are:

  1. The Brief: In July 2020, ABC Factual Executives will share (via video conference link) a creative brief and set guidelines and expectations to help creatives understand what the ABC is looking for and how it works;
  2. The Pitch: creative teams from Queensland will have one month to submit their ideas based on the ABC brief;
  3. Development workshop: up to 8 teams will work with ABC and Screen QLD to polish their idea and pitch materials so it is ready to film a pilot/trailer/sizzle;
  4. Production: up to 3 teams will progress to produce a pilot/sizzle/trailer with financial support from Screen Queensland and in-kind support from ABC;
  5. Screening: The films will be distributed through ABC platforms;
  6. Next steps: The teams will be guided by ABC executives as they develop their ideas and slates, with the potential to be considered for future commissions.
Preparing your application

Once applications are open, you can submit your proposal using Screen Queensland’s Smartygrants application portal. Late applications will not be assessed. You will need to include the following: : 

  • CVs and bios for all key creatives in the team
    • Logline – your idea in a sentence
    • Short pitch – your idea in one page
    • Creative Plan
    • Audience plan
    • Short film concept that responds to the ABC Creative Brief
    • Budget
    • Indication of key onscreen talent
    • Legalities – things you must have:
      • Rights to the story – tick the box
      • Option agreement and/or the approval of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander owners of the story where applicable
      • Writers/key creative agreement

When you submit you will receive a confirmation email – please notify SQ if you haven’t received this within 30 minutes. Following submission, your application’s eligibility will be checked and if approved will proceed to assessment.

Your applications will be assessed by a panel including members of the SQ team and ABC team against the criteria outlined in the section “What is SQ looking for?”.

What SQ is looking for

Your proposal will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • Does it fulfil the ABC Creative brief?
  • Is it a good story?
  • Is it well-told and likely to excite an ABC audience?
  • Is it a concept with format potential?
  • Is the budget appropriate for the kind of project and the size of the audience it will reach?
  • Does the team have a good reputation for delivering what it says it will and the skills to make this happen?
Important documents to read before you apply

You must read our Terms of Trade, QPE definition and our corporate and strategic plans before preparing your application.

Funding is competitive and not all applicants may be successful even if they can demonstrate they meet all the ABC creative brief criteria.