Some 44 children’s content ideas and productions, 30 comedies, 15 dramas and 14 documentaries are among the beneficiaries of the ABC’s Fresh Start Fund.
The ABC launched the $5 million development fund in April to support Australian producers, creatives and musicians amid the shutdown of the production industry.
The fund, which received about 4,000 applications, is now fully committed, supporting more than 200 Australian projects and new content ideas. That includes almost 60 music projects and more than 30 specialist projects spanning podcasts, arts, science and religion and ethics.
The diverse slate includes adult animation series, digital short-form sketch comedies, family dramas, crime series, vertical comedy series, rom-coms and science fiction-fantasy.
Among the subjects are Indigenous musicians, autism, race, disability, eco-terrorism, ghost hunters, chess clubs, the coronavirus, the Australian wine industry, prison, pole dancing and the challenges faced by girls growing up in a dangerous world.
The fund will also nurture new entertainment series ranging from quiz shows to comedies.
In the factual realm, the slate encompasses natural history series, true crime stories, Australian documentaries and several digital short-form factual series from culturally and linguistically diverse creatives, many of whom are working with the ABC for the first time.
For listeners, the fund is assisting new science and history podcasts, radio dramas and series examining major moments and big ideas that changed Australia and the world.
ABC Classic and ABC Jazz will bring 25 new Australian works to audiences over the next year, including musical responses to COVID-19, new jazz projects, a suite of dances by female composers reflecting on the 2019-20 bushfire season and emerging Indigenous composers exploring the 250 years since Captain Cook’s landing.
In June the broadcaster revealed it had committed $3.2 million from the fund to assist more than 80 productions and ideas for dramas, documentaries, comedies, music, arts and children’s content.
Michael Carrington, ABC director entertainment and specialist, said today: “The impact of COVID-19 on the Australian production industry is ongoing and profound, leaving many content makers struggling to stay afloat
“As Australia’s biggest backer of homegrown content, the ABC will provide whatever help possible to support local talent in this incredibly challenging time. With so many people still impacted by social distancing and isolation, distinctive Australian stories that keep them informed and entertained are more important than ever.
“The ABC’s $5 million Fresh Start Fund will help supercharge more than 200 of those stories, providing lifeblood to local creatives at a time when they need it most.”