ABC Children’s and Screen Australia have partnered on The Kaleidoscope Project, a new funding initiative that will back the creation of up to four standalone films that capture what it’s like to be a young culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) Australian.

The projects, made for 8-12 year olds, will then be broadcast on ABC ME on Harmony Day in 2022.

The aim of the program is to amplify and showcase the work of CALD creatives, and the call out is for character-driven projects of any genre – whether scripted or sketch comedy, drama or factual – of up to 20 minutes duration.

The brief is to give kids an insight into what it’s like to be CALD in Australia from a child’s point of view, to give CALD child actors their first acting credit and to tell authentic stories that reflect who they are as individuals and their relationship with the world around them.

Each application must be led by a CALD creative as either writer, director or producer. Successful applicants will be given up to $100,000, may be mentored and partnered by experienced producers, and will receive editorial guidance from ABC Children’s and Screen Australia.

For the purposes of the project, Screen Australia and the ABC will follow the definition of CALD as defined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), which is by “country of birth, language spoken at home, English proficiency, or other characteristics (including year of arrival in Australia), parents’ country of birth and religious affiliation.”

The Kaleidoscope Project follows on from previous partnerships between the ABC Children’s and Screen Australia to amplify female creatives via the Girl initiative, and creatives with a disability via DisRupted.

The Girl initiative spawned First Day, which went to a full commission and won the Prix Jeunesse Gender Equity Prize for First Day in 2018 and the MIPCOM Diversify Award for Representation of Diversity in Kids Programming. The full series was last week nominated for a Rose d’Or Award.

ABC Children’s head Libbie Doherty said:  “We treasure this opportunity to connect with Australia’s brightest emerging creatives and filmmakers and to help jettison their careers in the local and international sector.  We are always impressed by the calibre of ideas and creativity, and the professional standard of the applications. The ABC ME audience wholeheartedly embraces these films which often challenge their understanding of the world, expand their minds and reflect their lives on screen. We are delighted to continue this legacy in partnership with Screen Australia.”

Screen Australia head of development Nerida Moore said:  “It’s vital that Australian children are able to see themselves represented on screen, and we’re proud to team up again with ABC ME to support new creative voices through The Kaleidoscope Project. We’ve seen great success out of GIRLS and DisRupted, the previous initiatives from this partnership, including First Day which was produced into a four-part series this year. I can’t wait to see what exciting stories come through.”

Applications are open now and close December 14. Guidelines here.

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