'Celebration Nation'.

YouTube creators hoping to follow in the footsteps of Aunty Donna or Superwog are encouraged to apply for Screen Australia and Google Australia/YouTube’s Skip Ahead program.

Designed for content makers who have a track record of reaching a substantial audience on the video-sharing platform, the initiative offers up to $120,000 in production funding per project, with up to four projects to be funded.

Successful applicants will also participate in two workshops to be held in November, for which travel and accommodation support will be provided for up to four members per project if in-person workshops are able to go ahead.

Since 2014, Skip Ahead has contributed over $3.8 million in funding to support 29 YouTube content creators to develop their skills and build their careers, including comedians Aunty Donna, Bush Tucker Bunjie and Skitbox, documentarians Mighty Car Mods, filmmaking duo RackaRacka, influencer Wengie, and mathematics educator Tibees. 

Superwog’s Skip Ahead-funded pilot was so popular it propelled the comedy duo to land a full ABC TV series. Creators Theodore and Nathan Saidden also have the distinction of having created the top trending YouTube video in Australia in both 2017 and 2019.

Projects funded through the initiative have also garnered critical acclaim with Over and Out, created by Adele Vuko and Christiaan Van Vuuren, awarded Best Short Form Series at Canneseries 2019, and Michael Shanks’ project Rebooted making its world premiere at the Austin Film Festival, before winning Best Australian Animated Short Film at Flickerfest and being nominated for Best Short Film at the AACTA Awards 2019.

Screen Australia senior online investment manager Lee Naimo, said the agency continued to be impressed with the heights Skip Ahead alumni reach.

“Skip Ahead is one of our most valued partnerships in the Screen Australia online department, and we look forward to receiving another round of high concept scripted and documentary applications for Skip Ahead 7 and championing world-class online content made by Australians,” he said.

Google Australia and New Zealand director for government affairs and public policy Lucinda Longcroft said she couldn’t wait to see the applicants for this year’s program.

“Now in its seventh year, we are so proud of the Skip Ahead initiative and the talent it continues to surface to audiences around the world,” she said.

“While the initiative has evolved over this time, what hasn’t changed is the unique and powerful stories Australian YouTube creators develop.”

Applicants must have a YouTube channel (or up to two current YouTube channels) with a subscriber base of at least 25,000 subscribers or a YouTube video that has reached a minimum of one million views on a channel with a subscriber base of at least 10,000.

Applications close September 16. Find out more here.

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