Ron Howard interviews Ryan Murphy during Imagine Impact 1. 

Imagine Impact, the content accelerator program created by Imagine Entertainment’s Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Tyler Mitchell, is heading to Australia.

Similar to its American counterpart, Impact Australia will pair creatives with highly experienced showrunners and screenwriters so that they can take a project from the ‘idea stage’ through to a sellable screenplay. The program culminates in a pitch day, held with the goal of selling their project.

The eight-week development and mentorship initiative will run in Melbourne later this year in association with Gentle Giant Media Group and Screen Australia – the first time it’s been held outside of the US. Film Victoria has also supported the program together with all the other state agencies.

Up to 10 writers/writing teams will be selected, and Impact will provide a space for them to meet twice weekly in person with their mentors. The co-working space will also be open for the teams to work in outside of the program’s formal meetings and events. In addition, there will be weekly meals and seminars featuring keynote speakers and panels.

To date, three Imagine Impact programs have held in the US, with alumni projects picked up by Netflix, Legendary, Amblin Entertainment and/or alumni signed by major agencies and management companies, including; WME, CAA, UTA, Verve, Anonymous Content, Management 360, and Lit Entertainment. The US iteration has also seen participants treated to speakers like Judd Apatow, Ryan Murphy, Jason Bateman and Issa Rae.

Aussies have participated in the US program before, including Lynda Heys and Steve Turnbull, and Philip Tarl Denson, whose television series Anomaly was developed through Impact and is now set-up at Legendary TV with a producer and showrunner attached. He was also recently funded to produce Australian comedy series Fracketty Frack: It’s the Frackpocalypse.

“The power of Imagine Impact is global and we’ve set our sights on bringing our innovative approach to discovering, cultivating and empowering creators to Australia,” said Imagine Impact head Tyler Mitchell.

“The country is recognised for its robust film and television industry made up of a community who passionately support its creators. It was a natural move for expansion, and to have the support of Screen Australia and leading entertainment entities sets Impact Australia up for success.”

Gentle Giant Media Group CEO and chairman Greg Basser adds:“Impact Australia will bring the focus of the global film and television industry to Australia and our tremendous storytellers, positioning Melbourne and Australia as a premiere destination for original IP and content.

“Impact Australia will provide an amazing opportunity for Australian writers to not only learn from some of the best in the world, but also get their Australian stories in front of key decision-makers in the global creative industry.”

Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason said: “In assisting Imagine Impact to come to Australia, we are seeking to enable Australian creators to get access to an innovative development framework that is outside the standard screen agency funding model.

“Imagine Impact has proved to be incredibly successful at empowering talent and connecting great ideas with a pathway to audience, so we encourage Australian creators to take advantage of this chance to work with market leaders.”

Participants in the program will receive a stipend to relocate to Melbourne and focus on their projects for the eight-week intensive program. Applications will open on 3 March 2020 to Australian writers, with the eight-week mentorship program beginning on 8 June 2020. Go here for more information.

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