Documentary makers inspect new Screen Australia guidelines

Discussion about the proposed changes to Screen Australia guidelines unleashes deeper passions.

The moment when Screen Australia puts a new set of guidelines out for discussion tends to focus the sector’s hopes and paranoia on one document.

In this context, the response of the documentary community to the latest proposal seems to be pretty mild. The real problem is not structure or priorities but the simple lack of money. While the agency is trapped around the $16m/year mark for documentaries, a new generation has arrived, the diversity of acknowledged creative people increases, and the demand for blue chip spectaculars continues to grow. 

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David Tiley was the Editor of Screenhub from 2005 until he became Content Lead for Film in 2021 with a special interest in policy. He is a writer in screen media with a long career in educational programs, documentary, and government funding, with a side order in script editing. He values curiosity, humour and objectivity in support of Australian visions and the art of storytelling.