Regional screen industry organisation Screenworks and Los Angeles-based Australians In Film (AiF) have formed an exciting partnership that will connect screen writersand content creators living in regional, rural and remote Australia with Hollywood and for AiF members to connect with regional screen creatives and stories to bolster the regional screen industry in Australia. This initiative comes at a time when Australian regionally-produced content is being watched worldwide as global streaming services demand new and fresh content.
The new partnership will involve the establishment of an annual philanthropically-funded Regional Screen in LA Scholarship Program and reciprocal benefits for members of both organisations, which AiF and Screenworks hope will increase the number of regional screen practitioners in Australia applying to AiF programs and initiatives, and for AiF members to connect to regional screen practitioners and stories, and Screenworks’ programs and initiatives.
The Regional Screen in LA Scholarship Program will be an annual bespoke 4-week residency program in Los Angeles for an Australian screenwriter and content creator from regional, rural and remote Australia. The residency will be based at Charlie’s AiF’s creative share workspace at the historic Raleigh Studios, home to classic movies Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, iconic TV shows such as Dallas and now Netflix.
As stated in the Top 100 Australian Feature Films of All Time (Screen Australia, February 2017), the majority of the top 20 are films made in regional areas or are stories set in the distinctly Australian landscape, and international audiences are now watching regionally based TV episodic dramas, such as The Kettering Incident, Glitch, Picnic at Hanging Rock, and Rosehaven.
“To feed this audience hunger for authentic regional Australian stories, the industry needs to find more talented storytellers and screenwriters living in regional Australia,”explains Screenworks CEO Ken Crouch.
”Hollywood has a huge appetite for new and distinctive voices and Australia has a renowned history of rich and bold storytellers with a unique Australian tone, ” adds AiF Executive Director Peter Ritchie. “This partnership between Screenworks and AiF will support and connect screenwriters or screen creators living in regional, rural or remote Australia to the global industry and will create an exciting platform and entry into Hollywood.”
For the Regional Screen in LA Scholarship Program, Screenworks will undertake a nationwide call-out for regional screen creatives/screenwriters who have achieved initial success and are able to demonstrate significant talent and career potential. Each annual scholarship opportunity is valued at approximately $20,000 AUD.
To fund the program, Screenworks has already secured an initial anonymous donation of $20,000 for the first scholarship placement, with Screenworks now looking for a further $40,000 to secure a three-year program. If any individual or company wishes to support the regional screen industry and have their name associated with the Scholarship, please contact Screenworks or online at www.givenow.com.au/regionalscr
Applications for the inaugural Regional Screen in LA Scholarship Program will open in the coming weeks. Screenworks and AiF are encouraging regional creators to connect with both organisations on social media to be the first to know when applications open.
For information about reciprocal benefits, also please check both Screenworks and AiF’s websites or social media.
Ken Crouch – Chief Executive Officer, Screenworks
Peter Ritchie – Executive Director, Australians in Film