The ABC has launched a $5 million development fund to provide urgent and critical support to independent Australian producers and safeguard local content and creativity during the COVID-19 crisis.
Aptly titled the Fresh Start Fund, this money will support the sustainability and growth of Australia’s production industry during the current coronavirus crisis and supercharge the development of new Australian content for audiences across multiple genres, including drama, comedy, children’s, factual, music and the arts.
Spanning five streams, the ABC’s Fresh Start Fund recognises the essential role played by independent producers in helping the ABC deliver Australian stories for audiences, across all its platforms and services. The fund also supports emerging Australian talent and creatives for the Australian market, to ensure the viable future of the local production industry.
These are the streams included in the ABC Fresh Start Fund:
Enhanced Development & Production Fund
This stream supports Australian production companies that have worked with the ABC or gained some industry recognition, across existing productions (Supercharging development assistance to kickstart productions impacted by COVID-19 after the lifting of restrictions) and new concepts (Supporting new stories in any genre about Australian culture and communities, particularly in new formats).
This stream supports individual Australian creatives who may not have worked with the ABC previously. The Innovation Fund backs Australian talent with bold and innovative content ideas across multiple genres aimed at audiences under 55.
Arts Digital Fund
This stream supports Australian creatives and production companies with innovative ideas for new arts content, particularly documentary storytelling.
Children’s Content Fund
Supports excellence in children’s content across areas including Scripted/Factual (supporting production companies with current animation or live-action development or productions) and music (commissioning new pieces of children’s music from talented and prolific Australian musicians for ABC Kids listen).
Perhaps the most relevant for local artists, this stream provides support for independent Australian artists and musicians across all ABC music networks, including new music (commissioning new works for ABC Classic and ABC Jazz) and music scholarships (supporting diverse emerging artists across multiple genres and themes, driven by triple j and triple j Unearthed).
Michael Carrington, ABC Director of Entertainment & Specialist content says the fund will develop original new content for potential broadcast on ABC channels and online platforms. “As Australia’s biggest backer of local content, the ABC will provide whatever help possible within our means to shore up the viability of independent producers, who are struggling during this incredibly disruptive time,” he said.
“The Fresh Start Fund will ramp up the development of original and outstanding Australian content to keep our production sector afloat during the COVID-19 restrictions. In times like this we all need to pull together and the ABC remains open for business in supporting Australian talent and stories.”
Funding applications open from 4 May to 12 June. You can find out more deets here.