SBS Launches Development Fund To Find Australia’s Next Top Documentaries

SBS Launches Development Fund To Find Australia’s Next Top Documentaries

SBS is searching for its most daring, unflinchingly fearless and boundary-smashing factual format yet, issuing a call out for impactful ideas for new documentary series unlike anything seen on Australian screens before, with up to $50,000 in development funding on offer.

Announced this morning at the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) in Melbourne, SBS is looking for original and ambitious ideas that explore inequality and social cohesion and tackle the fault lines of Australian society today. How the topic is approached is up for grabs, with SBS on a mission to redefine what risk-taking looks like on television, with a new format that can have a meaningful and positive impact.

Head of SBS unscripted, Joseph Maxwell said: “You hear a lot about taking risks in our industry, but what does that really mean? At SBS, we want to genuinely break new ground in ways we haven’t seen before.

“This first-of-its-kind initiative in Australia is an opportunity for creatives across the country to reach for new levels of courageousness in their craft and redefine what cutting-edge means, while creating what could be a new, channel-defining factual format for SBS.

“We want the biggest, boldest, and bravest ideas that get the nation-talking, and to challenge audience expectations. Surprise and even scare us through inventive approaches to help SBS unpack issues we face in society, and create must-see, talk-about TV that can create real impact.”

Entries are now open, with pitches being considered by SBS with a pot of up to $50,000 in development funding available. Ideas must have the SBS Charter at their core, and should also demonstrate scale, boldness and ambition in their approach to delivering something overwhelmingly new and fresh. Whether it’s genre-bending or format-flipping, ideas must be attention-grabbing, and have the ability to capture the hearts and minds of a wide Australian audience, on television and on SBS On Demand.

SBS is seeking original factual format ideas that are anything from 3-6 x 1 hour episodes.

Ideas must explore the subject of inequality and social cohesion in Australia.

Project proposals should be no more than three pages, and submissions must include a title, a logline and a single paragraph synopsis.

Ideas must be submitted to the SBS factual pitching portal by emailing, with the subject title ‘New Factual Format’.

All applications need to be eligible for state/federal documentary funding programs.

Entries are now open and will close 5 May 2024.

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