Digital Originals Allows For Emerging Creatives To Pitch To SBS And More

Digital Originals Allows For Emerging Creatives To Pitch To SBS And More

Twelve teams of emerging creatives from under-represented backgrounds will have the chance to pitch their drama projects to SBS, NITV and Screen Australia as the Digital Originals initiative gets underway for 2022, with a week-long workshop for the first round of selected teams kicking off today.

A partnership between SBS, NITV and Screen Australia, Digital Originals aims to develop exciting, innovative and risk-taking short-form drama projects to premiere on SBS On Demand and NITV, from emerging screen creatives who are currently under-represented in the sector.

This includes people who identify as culturally and linguistically diverse, First Nations Australians, people with disability, female and gender diverse, LGBTQIA+; and those who are located in regional and remote areas.

Following a call out for applications in January, 12 creative teams from across Australia have been chosen to take part in an exclusive workshop run by Screen Australia, SBS and NITV this week. The workshop features sessions focusing on a range of short form content creation skills and will also include case studies of past Digital Originals and other dramas.

Facilitated by filmmaker Rosie Lourde (Starting From Now), over the course of the workshop, teams will also have access to a host of guest presenters and industry figures including Sierra Teller Ornelas (Rutherford Falls), Leah Purcell (The Drover’s Wife), Michael McMahon (Nowhere Boys), Kodie Bedford (Firebite) and Corrie Chen (New Gold Mountain).

The workshop will culminate in teams pitching their projects to Screen Australia, SBS and NITV on 14 June, with a selection of teams chosen to take their projects into further development. From those, up to three will be chosen for production funding and commissioning with SBS, NITV and Screen Australia.

Director and screenwriter Corrie Chen, one of the presenters across the week, said that Digital Originals is an important platform for the next generation of Australian creatives.

“Having gotten my start in short form filmmaking, it is extremely important to me that the industry continue to support initiatives like Digital Originals. An opportunity like this not only provides a space for exciting voices to share their unique stories, it’s a chance to learn and access valuable support along the way.”

Commissioning Editor, SBS Scripted, Loani Arman, said: “We were so impressed by the quality of applications for Digital Originals this year that we decided to add two additional places in the workshop. In preparation for pitching to SBS, NITV, and Screen Australia, the workshop will support the teams to interrogate their stories and further develop their projects. Not only will they have the chance to gain insight from incredible industry practitioners, but also learn from each other, building connections with some of the most exciting new talent in the country.”

Digital Originals must align with the SBS Charter and be in the format of 6 x 10 minute episodes, which form a one hour program for broadcast.

The initiative is one of the many delivered by SBS designed to improve diversity and inclusion in the screen industry. Read more about this work here.




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