Applications extended for SPA Ones to Watch program

SPA has also announced the return of the $10,000 Screen Internship supported by Screen Australia.
Ljudan Michaelis-Thorpe

Applications are open for the Screen Producers Australia (SPA) Ones to Watch program. This influential and select program (there were more than 100 applicants for 12 spots last year) is for dynamic emerging producers who want to boost their careers through mentorship and professional experience, networking and pitching at the annual Screen Forever conference and beyond.

The yearly Ones to Watch cohort has become a who’s who of the up and comers in the screen industry. Since its inception in 2013 (initially as part of SPA Fringe), Ones To Watch has hothoused and networked the talent of more than 120 emerging Australian producers from all states, and across platforms and formats. You can check out the alumni and their matched mentors here.

Read: Ones to Watch 2020: Twelve Emerging Producers you need to know about

SPA has also announced the return of the $10,000 Screen Internship, supported by Screen Australia as part of this year’s Ones to Watch program. The internship allows participants to undertake a placement anywhere in Australia to the value of AU$10,000, and has been a part of the program since 2013.

Previous recipients of the internship have included mover and shaker Ljudan Michaelis-Thorpe (2020, pictured, and she’ll also be one of ScreenHub’s diverse new writers), Rachel Higgins (2019), Yingna Lu (2016) and Bridget Callow-Wright (2015). Winners have secured placements with some of Australia’s leading production companies.

As SPA CEO Matthew Deaner said, ‘The Internship can unlock invaluable insights into production practices, international market trends, management procedures, and sales and distribution approaches, with previous winners securing placements with some of Australia’s leading production companies, such as Fremantle Australia, CJZ and Media Stockade.’

Other opportunities included in the Ones to Watch program are a discounted pass to the Screen Forever conference, access to a Screen Business Essentials workshop, and an exclusive skills-focused webinar series. Each participant is also matched with a leading producer from within the SPA membership for one-on-one advice and career guidance.

Experience working across all platforms and formats will be considered. The deadline for Ones to Watch applications has been extended to 11.59pm AEST on Tuesday, 31 August 2021.

To be eligible for the 2021 Ones to Watch program you must already be something of a proven talent. You must:

  1. Have up to four (4) years of continuous and recent experience as a screen producer.
  2. Have at least two (2) producing credits for projects which were exhibited:
    1. on broadcast television;  
    2. on a streaming platform; 
    3. theatrically; and/or 
    4. at an eligible domestic or international festival, as defined by Screen Australia here
      NB: Other festivals will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  3. Have at least one (1) project currently in progress which you can develop throughout the Ones to Watch program and pitch at SCREEN FOREVER.
  4. Be an Australian citizen or Permanent Australian Resident.
  5. Not have not previously been selected for the Ones to Watch program.
  6. Be available to attend SCREEN FOREVER.
  7. Pay the Application Fee and hold a current SPA Membership as at 30 September 2021.

The next Screen Forever conference is slated for 28-30 March, 2022 on the Gold Coast. An online component is expected for every event.

Rochelle Siemienowicz is a journalist for Screenhub. She is a writer, film critic and cultural commentator with a PhD in Australian cinema. She was the co-host of Australia's longest-running film podcast 'Hell is for Hyphenates' and has written a memoir, Fallen, published by Affirm Press. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram