Access to Screen Australia’s development funds is highly competitive so it is in your interest to apply for funds only when you are thoroughly prepared and can submit the strongest application to us for consideration. Two consecutive unsuccessful applications will make the project ineligible for this program.
Applications are evaluated on merit, based on the criteria set out in these guidelines.
The program is open to applications for funding covering:
- a first or subsequent draft feature screenplay, including, where appropriate, fees for writer, producer, director, development executive/script editor, digital media consultant, legal and/or department head;
- casting, pre-visualisation work, financing or pitching costs, or other materials that enhance the likelihood of production; travel, production budgeting and scheduling expenses. Please note: the stage of project development will be looked at closely in such cases as these funds are not intended to provide gap financing in pre-production nor to duplicate funding provided in programs through Screen Australia’s Business and Audience Department.
Draft funding: Applications can be for any amount up to $50,000 per tranche, and may be made at any time.
Late-stage development funding: Where there is no full draft funding for late-stage development, a final polish or director’s pass may be required. Funding will be capped at $20,000. A strong emphasis will be placed on the script’s readiness to move into production.
Matched development funding up to $50,000 may be available if a project has an offer of cash development funding from a genuine arm’s length marketplace entity. See Matched Development Funding.
From time to time we may invite applicants to attach a script consultant or mentor to a project. In such a case Screen Australia may cover the cost of the consultant or mentor.
- Recipients of Enterprise Program funding should refer to the Enterprise Program guidelines regarding their eligibility for this program.
- Applications must be from a producer on behalf of a team involving at least a writer or writer/director.
- The producer must have an ‘eligible producing credit’, or have a producer or executive producer with two such credits (as producer or executive producer) working with them (see definitions below). This is in recognition of the complexity of international film financing and the need for market knowledge and financing skills on the producing team, as well as the ability to creatively develop the project.
- Where an executive producer is attached in order to satisfy eligibility requirements, strong consideration will be given to the nature of their involvement and their creative intentions.
- In recognition of their level of experience and/or success, the following may apply for one tranche of development funding without an eligible producer or executive producer attached:
- a writer or writer/director with an ‘eligible writing credit’;
- a director with an ‘eligible directing credit’ in conjunction with a writer.
In these cases, the application must include plans to attach a producer, and subsequent applications must be made with an eligible producer on board.
- An eligible producer who also has an ‘eligible writing credit’ may apply without a writer.
- Outstanding projects that emerge through Screen Australia’s Talent Escalator programs, exceptional teams that emerge through Screen Australia’s short film programs and multiplatform drama programs, or teams who have a narrative video on YouTube with greater than 1 million views for a single clip (or more than 100,000 subscribers to their YouTube channel) may be given special eligibility consideration.
- If a project has previously been assessed and declined for funding under this program or the Australian Film Commission’s feature development programs, a statement must be provided setting out the major changes made since the previous submission. Screen Australia will take this statement into account when considering whether or not to accept the application and assess it again for funding. Note that after two unsuccessful submissions, no further applications for that project will be accepted.