SheDoc 2023 applications open to female-identifying documentary filmmakers

SheDoc is providing grants to female documentary makers to support travel, research and project development.

Documentary Australia and Screen Queensland have opened applications for SheDoc, a grants program aimed at giving women and girls ‘a stronger and more equal voice’ in documentary storytelling.

The grants will be offered to up to six Queensland-based female documentary filmmakers to support travel, research, and development of their projects, with funding from $10,000 to $30,000 available per recipient.

‘We want to hear more stories to be told by women about women, while at the same time strengthening and elevating the careers of talented female filmmakers,’ said Documentary Australia CEO, Dr Mitzi Goldman. 

‘Women’s perspectives and treatment of issues through documentary need to be given space to ensure that female voices are heard in mainstream media,’ said Goldman. ‘The program nurtures and elevates the careers of filmmakers and their projects’ outcomes.’

Read: Kitty Green, Royal Hotel director, talks imposter syndrome and women’s stories

In addition to support from the Queensland Government through Screen Queensland, the grants also comprise of funding from the estate of James Simpson Love, with the additional support of the Nelson Meers Foundation.

The SheDoc 2024 grants are open to Queensland-resident documentary makers at any stage of their career, who are working or pursuing careers in key creative roles including editing, sound and cinematography. Practitioners can apply for funding to pursue a range of professional development opportunities, including but not limited to course tuition, mentoring, conference registration, consultant fees, research, travel and accommodation. 

Screen Queensland CEO Jacqui Feeney said the broad nature of the SheDoc 2024 initiative offers tailored support for documentary makers of all levels and disciplines.

‘Queensland-based, female key creatives are behind some of the country’s most important documentaries to have recently screened to Australian and international audiences, including WildBear Entertainment’s Ford Vs Holden and The Black Hand, Inkey Media’s Rebel with a Cause, Blackfella Films’ First Weapons and Flick Chicks’ Bowled Over: A Dragumentary,‘ said Feeney. 

‘This valuable partnership with Documentary Australia will open doors exclusively to Queensland practitioners for the first time since the program’s inception, boosting the career trajectory and national profile of our state’s talented, female factual filmmakers.’

Formed in 2016, the SheDoc Fellowship was established by Documentary Australia to address the underrepresentation of women in key creative roles in media and documentary filmmaking. The program fits within Documentary Australia’s seven key focus areas: Environment, Youth & Education, Indigenous, Human Rights & Social Justice, Health & Wellbeing, Women & Girls, and The Arts.

Since launch, SheDoc has boosted the careers and projects of a number of documentary makers, including director Vera Hong, filmmaker Gemma Quilty, producer Charlotte Mars, Philippa Batemen, Justine Moyle and Georgia Quinn.

Read: Daniel Johns, Ben Folds and David Helffgott in neurodiversity documentary The Musical Mind

Applications are encouraged from women from under-represented backgrounds, including those identifying as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, LGBTQIA+, culturally and linguistically diverse, living with disability and based in regional and remote areas.

Previous recipient and award-winning producer, Philippa Bateman, said the initiative had provided her with unparalleled support: ‘SheDoc was professionally life-changing,’ she said. ‘It gave me the confidence to do things outside how I was defined in the industry.’

Applications for SheDoc 2024 close on 15 December. For more information, see the Documentary Australia website.

Silvi Vann-Wall is a journalist, podcaster, and filmmaker. They joined ScreenHub as Film Content Lead in 2022. Twitter: @SilviReports