The Australian Film Commission has announced 57 Fellowships under the Distinctly Australian Initiative worth a total of $975,000.
The Distinctly Australian Fellowships are designed to provide career development opportunities for writers, script editors, writer/directors and producers.
The Producer Fellowship Scheme awarded a total of $430,000 to 31 producers. Eighteen of the successful applicants are from NSW, one is from the ACT, three from Queensland, two from South Australia, one from Tasmania, four from Victoria and two from Western Australia. The Fellowship recipients are producers of differing levels of experience and the funds are provided to allow consolidation of creative and business plans.
The Documentary Fellowship Scheme awarded a total of $80,000 to four documentary filmmakers, all from Victoria.
The Writer Fellowship Scheme awarded a total of $181,000 to six writers; five from New South Wales and one from Victoria. The scheme is designed to provide writers of considerable industry standing the chance to concentrate on a project of great personal commitment.
Four Director/Writers received Fellowships worth a total of $140,000; two from Victoria and two from New South Wales. The Fellowships are to enable each writer/director to step aside from commissioned work to develop a screenplay of great personal importance.
Three scripts editors received Script and Story Editing Fellowships worth a total of $45,000; two from New South Wales and one from Victoria. The scheme provides for each of the script editors to work on attachment with an overseas production company, writer or script consultant to develop their skills.
The Project Fellowship Scheme allows writers to undertake a non-project specific professional initiative (such as an attachment to a studio or filmmaker, or travel plan designed to establish or consolidate professional contacts overseas). Nine project Fellowships have been awarded, worth a total of $99,000. Five recipients are from Victoria, two from New South Wales and one from Western Australia.
"Generally speaking, the independent sector of the industry is under capitalised so funds like these which are aimed more at filmmakers than specific projects are really needed and always welcome. Today's development risk is tomorrow's box office hit. These funds will help keep those hits coming and make sure there are plenty of Australian stories to fill our cinema and television screens and increasingly those overseas," said Director of Film Development at the AFC, Tim Read