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SBS Wants More Australia Uncovered Stories

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Australia Uncovered, SBS’s strand of prime-time single documentaries exploring diversity and equality in contemporary Australia, is continuing with SBS now inviting proposals for projects to be broadcast in 2023. 

It follows the successful first season of projects broadcast in 2021, which tackled some of the biggest issues in Australia today, in the most revealing, surprising and compelling ways, receiving audience and critical acclaim.

Australia Uncovered will feature up to six single documentaries ranging from one hour to feature-length. Filmmakers are encouraged to be creative in their approach to style, form and construct, and the uniting factor once again is that all submissions must have something compelling to say about Australia today and align with the SBS Charter. 

Shortlisted proposals seeking either development or production funding will once again participate in a pitching session as part of the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC), 6-9 March 2022. 

Joseph Maxwell, Head of Documentaries at SBS, said:

“We were thrilled with the high calibre of shows broadcast this year in the inaugural season, and we are delighted that the Australia Uncovered strand remains a key part of our commissioned documentaries.

“Single documentaries allow us to explore critical issues impacting society in innovative, and surprising ways. Through Australia Uncovered, we can tell unexpected stories, or provide a different perspective on a subject, with the aim of helping us all understand what it means to be Australian today. Through the strand, we are not only able to reflect the diversity of contemporary Australia, but it’s also an opportunity to showcase the creativity and quality of our local sector. We can’t wait to see what this year’s submissions bring.”

Natasha Gadd CEO / Conference Director, AIDC, said:

“SBS’s Australia Uncovered series is a vital opportunity to showcase single docs that support unique voices and visions of Australia today. AIDC is proud to collaborate with SBS for the third year running to present a live pitching session at AIDC 2022 – always a highly anticipated event in the AIDC schedule!”

SBS has a long history of supporting the broadcast of single documentaries with the financial support of Screen Australia who have also committed to support Australia Uncovered titles.

There are several ways filmmakers can submit their documentary ideas:

Applications for Development Funding

Applicants are required to submit their proposals with ‘Australia Uncovered Submission’ in the subject line to [email protected] by 28 January 2022. 

Proposals must include the following:

  • 2-4 page proposal for an original one-hour or feature length documentaries
  • 2-5 minute teaser, character reel or proof of concept reel.

The shortlist of documentaries will be revealed by SBS on 14 February 2022.

After a competitive pitching session held as part of the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) 6-9 March 2022, SBS will commit total development funding of up to $80,000 across the successful projects.

Applications for Production Funding

Production companies can also submit ideas that are already fully developed for production funding from SBS.

To be eligible, companies will need to submit a full treatment, a polished reel and a final budget.

This funding route will be open until 30 June 2022.

Applicants are required to submit their proposals with ‘Australia Uncovered Submission’ in the subject line to [email protected].

Applications for Post Production Funding

Production companies can also submit projects that are in mid-production or close to finishing.

To be eligible for funding, companies will need to submit a full treatment, a pre-title or short reel, a rough cut or assembly, and a budget.

This funding route is open from until 30 June 2022.

Applicants are required to submit their proposals with ‘Australia Uncovered Submission’ in the subject line to [email protected].

Funding for the Australia Uncovered strand is only available to production companies with relevant experience in long form documentary storytelling. In addition, the creative team responsible for the project must include one producer, director or writer who has at least two eligible TV credits in their respective role.

Applications for funding from sources beyond SBS

Australia Uncovered projects commissioned by SBS may also be eligible for state and federal screen agency funding.

Producers need to apply for this funding directly with the relevant agency. For Screen Australia, all production funding is subject to a creative assessment as per the published guidelines and eligibility requirements.

Further information is available at sbs.com.au/commissionedcontent.