Screenworks and Australians in Film launch regional scholarship program
Peter Ritchie (l) and Ken Crouch.
Screenwriters in regional areas including Tasmania and the Northern Territory will soon have the chance to apply for the inaugural Regional Screen in LA Scholarship Program.
A joint initiative between northern NSW-based Screenworks and Los Angeles-based Australians in Film (AiF), the scheme will enable the recipient to attend a four-week residency program at Charlie’s AiF’s creative share workspace at the Raleigh Studios.
Screenworks has secured a donation of $20,000 for the first scholarship placement in 2019 and is looking to raise a further $40,000 for a three-year program.
In a broader arrangement, members of Screenworks and AiF will have reciprocal rights. That will enable Screenworks members (currently more than 400) to apply to join the AiF and to get discounts on some AiF-run programs and initiatives.
In turn, AiF members will be able to connect to regional screen practitioners and stories and to Screenworks’ programs and initiatives.
Screenworks CEO Ken Crouch tells IF that he and AiF executive director Peter Ritchie had been looking for ways to partner to benefit each other’s members. “We are similar organisations, both non-profit and membership based,” he said.
Crouch notes that many popular films and TV shows are made in regional areas or are stories set in the distinctly Australian landscape, while international audiences have been watching regionally-based TV dramas such as The Kettering Incident, Glitch, Picnic at Hanging Rock and Rosehaven.
“To feed this audience hunger for authentic regional Australian stories, the industry needs to find more talented storytellers and screenwriters living in regional Australia,” he said.
“With the Scholarship Program we are looking for a screenwriter/content creator who has had a certain level of success and who is ready to go to LA and benefit from the four-week program.”
Ritchie said: “This partnership will support and connect screenwriters or screen creators living in regional, rural or remote Australia to the global industry and will create an exciting platform and entry into Hollywood.”
A nationwide call for applicants will be made in the next 4-6 weeks. Screenworks will assemble an independent panel to assess the applications. The recipient will get about $20,000 to cover air fares, accommodation and living costs in LA.
Screenworks and AiF are encouraging regional creators to connect with both organisations on social media to be the first to know when applications open.
Any individual or company that wishes to support the Scholarship scheme is asked to contact Screenworks or online at www.givenow.com.au/regionalscreenscholarship. Donations are tax-deductible.