Dr Jordan Nguyen of Psykinetic.
Screenrights has announced the first three projects it will back via the cultural fund it established earlier this year, which aims to support work which fosters the creation and appreciation of screen content in Australia and New Zealand.
This year, the fund was focused on education and, more specifically, solutions to overcome barriers to access and use of screen content for teachers and students.
The three recipients, who will each receive $50,000, are:
- Psykinetic, to support a new screen content delivery platform controlled by eyes, muscle and the mind created by Australian of Year finalist and biomedical engineerDr Jordan Nguyen. Psykinetic is a social business aimed at creating assistive technology to improve independence and quality of life for people with disability. The grant will fund the development, code, guidelines, example apps and packages to allow new inputs like eye-control over screen content access. Dr Nguyen specialises in the intersection between technology and humanity, and his work has featured on ABC’s Catalyst and his doco Becoming Superhuman has won several awards including an ATOM Award, Gold Remi Award and best documentary at the International Disability Film Festival.
- The Sharing Stories Foundation, which will increase access for culturally significant Indigenous materials in schools via an app. The foundation has developed culturally significant material with the Three Traditional Tribal Groups Advisory Council in Lake Mungo, sharing ancient knowledge of the region via film, animation and radio plays. With this grant, they will partner with Indigenous owned creative agency Carbon Creative to develop an interactive app and education package that guides users across landscapes and knowledge in an immersive experience – and will be a template for scaling across further communities as well.
- New Zealander Brad Knewstubb for TOGETHER, a collaborative live experience platform set inside a geodesic dome that tours schools with interactive film-based educational content. The TOGETHER experience employs 360 degree digital projection combined with interactive – console based – video content, augmented reality (AR) headsets and guidance by a live host to teach students in an innovative and fully immersive environment.
“This has been an incredibly exciting initiative as it has brought forward some extraordinary projects and people who think creatively and laterally about education and access. The three inaugural recipients of the Cultural Fund are doing incredible work to overcome the barriers that restrict access for students and educators to meaningful screen content,” said Screenrights Acting CEO James Dickinson.
“These projects also offer benefits to the broader screen industry, with their innovative approaches offering opportunities for greater reach to a diversity of audiences.”
The total pool of funding available this year was $200,000. Screenights has confirmed that the $50,000 balance will roll over into next year’s pool of funding.