Skip Ahead offers $120k to creative Australian Youtubers

Youtubers will be eligible for up to $120,000 in production funding through Skip Ahead, which is funded by Screen Australia and Google Australia. Applications are open now.
Before Netflix, Auntie Donna won funding through Skip Ahead. Image: Netflix

Screen Australia and Google Australia have partnered again on the Skip Ahead program, now in its seventh year. The program is designed to support established Youtubers who would use the extra funding to further support their creative ambition and production values.

Youtubers with an existing audience are eligible to apply for up to $120,000 in production funding per project. Both scripted and documentary applications are welcome for Skip Ahead 7, and up to four projects will be funded. Applications are open now until 5pm, 16 September.

READ: The Australia Council for the Arts wants to fund videogames

Last year, the fund distributed over $900,000 to five productions across scripted and documentary content. This included Colin Chee’s latest Youtube series on micro urban design, which reached his NEVER TOO SMALL audience of 1.7 million subscribers.

In addition to receiving production funding, successful applicants will also participate in two workshops in November. The first, on 16 November will be virtual, and the second will take place 23-6 November in Sydney or online, pending travel restrictions. Travel and accommodation support will be provided for up to four members per project if in-person workshops are able to go ahead.

Screen Australia’s Senior Online Investment Manager, Lee Naimo expressed how impressed he was with ‘the heights our Skip Ahead alumni reach,’ explaining that the funding allows creators with a strong audience and creative identity to ‘expand their production values and unlock new creative opportunities.’

READ: Supporting Indigenous Filmmaking with Australia’s audio-visual heritage

‘Skip Ahead is one of our most valued partnerships in the Screen Australia Online department,’ he continued, ‘and we look forward to receiving another round of high concept scripted and documentary applications for Skip Ahead 7 and championing world-class online content made by Australians.’

Since 2014, Screen Australia and Google Australia have dedicated $3.8 million to 29 different Youtube projects through the Skip Ahead program. Previous projects supported by Skip Ahead have now become household names, including comedians Auntie Donna and SUPERWOG. 

Other Skip Ahead projects have also received critical acclaim. Graduating project Over and Out, created by Adele Vuko and Christiaan Van Vuuren, was awarded Best Short Form Series at Canneseries 2019. Michael Shanks’ project Rebooted was nominated for Best Short Film at the AACTA Awards 2019, and won Best Australian Animated Short Film at Flickerfest,

Applications close 5pm AEST, 16 September, 2021. For more information, or to apply, visit Screen Australia.

Jini Maxwell is a writer and curator who lives in Naarm. They are an assistant curator at ACMI, where they also host the Women & Non-binary gamers club. They write about videogames and the people who make them. You can find them on Twitter @astroblob