(Image: Tourism NT, Screen Territory).

Early career, regionally-based Indigenous writers are encouraged to apply for the Yellow Water Development Lab, being run by Screenworks in partnership with Tamarind Tree Pictures and Flying Bark Productions.

The four and half day lab will be held in the Northern Territory, working to craft children’s animated series Yellow Water Billabong set in Kakadu National Park.

A total of five Indigenous writers from across Australia will be selected to participate in the lab, and each paid a fee of $4,500, with additional travel and accommodation expenses also covered.

Danielle MacLean is the series creator, producer and writer, and will lead the lab with Indigenous writers, together with producer Anna Grieve from Tamarind Tree Pictures and Flying Bark’s creative director Alexs Stadermann and head of animation Alexia Gates-Foale.

MacLean said: “Our interest is doing a full creative and cultural overhaul on our Yellow Water series retaining the essential elements (the location, the talking animals). Yellow Water Billabong has some really beautiful natural environments and unusual animals but we want to rethink the role of the humans and further develop the cultural spiritual world.”

The lab forms part of of Screenworks’ Regional Script Lab X initiative and is supported by Screen Australia and Screen Territory. The latter has also supported the development of the series.

To be considered, applicants must be Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, be able demonstrate previous experience in screenwriting and be living in regional, rural or remote Australia. Applicants also need to be available to travel to the Northern Territory at the end of September.

Flying Bark CEO Barbara Stephen said: “We are excited to be working with Tamarind on this uniquely Australian story. We commend Screenworks, Screen Territory and Screen Australia for funding this initiative and our team are looking forward to sharing ideas and working together with wonderful talent at
the development lab.”

Screenworks CEO Ken Crouch said: “We’re excited to be partnering with Screen Australia, Screen Territory, Tamarind Tree Pictures and Flying Bark Productions on this development lab. It’s critical that new career pathways are available to people living outside the main production hubs and as the premier industry organisation for the regional screen industry we’re excited to be creating these opportunities, particularly for Indigenous creatives.”

Applications are now open and will close August 13. The Yellow Water Development Lab will run September 27 to October 1 in the NT.

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