A pitch session for Australia Uncovered at this year’s Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC). 

SBS plans to continue Australia Uncovered, its strand of prime-time single documentaries exploring diversity and equality in contemporary Australia, into 2022.

The broadcaster called for new proposals today, with the strand to include eight single documentaries ranging from one hour to feature length.

Filmmakers are encouraged to be creative in their approach to style, form and construct. As per the announcement, all submissions must have “something compelling to say about Australia today” and align with the broadcaster’s charter.

SBS first announced Australia Uncovered in October 2019, with a variety of projects currently underway to air next year. These include Sascha Ettinger Epstein’s The Department, which goes behind the scenes of NSW’s child protection services; Northern Pictures’ Strong Female Lead, which explores women in power, and Mint Pictures and Jumping Dog Productions’ The Bowraville Murders, which examines one of Australia’s most prominent serial murder cases.

Filmmakers can apply for up to three tiers of funding from development, production and post-production. Those who are shortlisted for development funding will be invited to participate in a live pitching session at next year’s Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC).

SBS head of documentaries Joseph Maxwell said: “We were thrilled with the high calibre of pitches submitted last year which has resulted in a strong selection of uniquely Australian stories set to air next year which showcase the ambition of the Australia Uncovered strand.

“Single documentaries allow us to showcase diversity and tackle issues challenging our society in innovative and inspiring ways, through often untold stories and from a variety of voices with reflect contemporary Australia. It’s been a challenging year for so many Australians and we’re looking forward to seeing the creativity and quality of our local sector come through in this year’s submissions.”

AIDC CEO and conference director Alice Burgin said: “The Australia Uncovered pitch was a genuine highlight of AIDC 2020. The combination of incredible stories and professional pitches, not to mention the pot of gold at the end, was extremely inspiring. As we move through a challenging year, we look forward to once again celebrating the diverse talent of the Australian screen industry next March.”

SScreen Australia has committed to support Australia Uncovered titles.

Applications for Development Funding:

Applicants are required to submit their proposals with ‘Australia Uncovered Submission’ in the subject line to factual@sbs.com.au by January 24, 2021.

Proposals must include the following:
• 2-4 page proposal for an original one-hour or feature length documentaries
• 2-5 minute teaser, character reel or proof of concept reel.
The shortlist of documentaries will be announced by SBS on February 8 2021.

After a competitive pitching session held as part of the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) February 28 – March 3 2021, SBS will commit total development funding of up to $80,000 across the successful projects.

Applications for Production Funding:

Production companies can also submit ideas that are already fully developed for production funding from SBS.

To be eligible, companies will need to submit a full treatment, a polished reel and a final budget.

This funding route will be open from October 1, 2020 until June 30, 2021.

Applicants are required to submit their proposals with ‘Australia Uncovered Submission’ in the subject line to factual@sbs.com.au.

Applications for Post-Production Funding:

Production companies can also submit projects that are in mid-production or close to finishing.

To be eligible for funding, companies will need to submit a full treatment, a pre-title or short reel, a rough cut or assembly, and a budget.

This funding route is open from October 1, 2020 until June 30, 2021.

Applicants are required to submit their proposals with ‘Australia Uncovered Submission’ in the subject line to factual@sbs.com.au.

Funding for the Australia Uncovered strand is only available to production companies with relevant experience in long form documentary storytelling. In addition, the creative team responsible for the project must include one producer, director or writer who has at least two eligible TV credits in their respective role.

Further information is available at sbs.com.au/commissionedcontent.

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