Proudly presented by Screen Australia and AIDC, the Fresh Cuts Documentary Pitch supports filmmakers seeking market interest and development funding for documentaries that shine a spotlight on stories that appeal to young adult audiences.
The 2024 Fresh Cuts Documentary Pitch is calling for documentaries in development that present distinctive and bold stories reflecting a diversity of interests, concerns, dreams, and desires, that will appeal to and engage audiences aged 15-35.
Up to six teams will be selected to pitch their projects live on Sunday 3 March at AIDC 2024 to a world-class line-up of industry decision makers representing platforms, broadcasters, festivals, funds and online publications.
Three teams will be in the running for up to $30,000 in development funding from Screen Australia for their project.
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The selected project teams will receive pitch training and mentoring from industry experts prior to presenting their pitch live at AIDC 2024 to a world-class line-up of local and international decision makers seeking content for young audiences.
The six successful applicants/teams will each receive:
- The opportunity to participate in a live pitch-to-market at AIDC in March 2024, to a domestic and international line-up of industry decision makers representing a range of online platforms, broadcasters, festivals, funding bodies, and channels.
- 2 x Complimentary passes for pitching teams (max 2 members only, or 1 for individual applicants) to attend AIDC’s Innovation Day (Sunday 3 March 2024) and to pitch in Fresh Cuts, supplied by AIDC
- Travel and accommodation for 1 x interstate finalist per pitching team, to attend AIDC in Melbourne to pitch in Fresh Cuts, supported by Screen Australia.
- Pitch training and mentorship for pitching teams from experienced industry practitioners prior to AIDC (via Zoom).
Following the pitches at AIDC 2024, up to three successful applicants will receive documentary development funding of up to $30,000 for their project from Screen Australia. Final funding amount to be determined in consultation with Screen Australia.
FRESH CUTS DECISION MAKERS
- Opal H. Bennett, Senior Producer, POV / Executive Producer, POV Shorts, American Documentary, Inc. (USA)
- Christine Kecher, Senior Commissioning Editor, The New York Times Op-Docs (USA)
- Sarah Lash, Senior Director of Acquisitions, Condé Nast (USA)
- Hollie Fifer, Director of Australian Programs, Doc Society (Australia)
- Chloe Cassidy, Executive Producer – Development, ABC (Australia)
- Mia Falstein-Rush, Program Manager, Melbourne International Film Festival (Australia)
- Cieron Cody, Investment & Development Manager – Documentary, Screen Australia (Australia)
- Louise Cocks, Investment & Development Manager – Online, Screen Australia (Australia)
FRESH CUTS MENTORS
- Yvonne Ashley Kuadjo (Series Producer, The New York Times Op-Docs, USA)
- Jess Langely (Senior Producer, Truce, Australia)
Learn more about our Fresh Cuts Decision Makers and Mentors HERE.
We are inviting ideas for documentaries in development that shine a spotlight on stories that reflect a diversity of interests, concerns, dreams and desires that will appeal to and engage young adult audiences. We are looking for bold stories told with a fresh perspective, distinct voice and unique style.
Proposed pitches must be for factual/documentary (i.e. un-scripted) content suitable for a wide range of online and digital platforms, broadcast, festival, and / or streaming, and aimed at audiences aged 15-35.
There is no minimum length of content, but projects must not exceed 30 minutes.
A wide range of formats are acceptable, including:
- Web series
Please note: Audio docs (podcasts) XR, immersive or interactive works are NOT eligible for submission.
There are no restrictions on visual style, aesthetics, or treatment. Projects could be:
- Experimental / Hybrid / Poetic
- Animated Documentary
- Presenter-led / Participatory
Applicants must meet the general eligibility criteria for funding in Screen Australia’s Terms of Trade [link]
The following specific requirements also apply:
- Applications may come from individuals or teams.
- Solo applicants must be a writer, director or producer, or a combination of.
- Applicants, or one key creative in the team, must be able to demonstrate they have created at least one documentary or factual title as screen content which is readily available to Australian audiences via widely used platforms.
- Applications should demonstrate a focus on factual subject matter that seeks to connect to younger adult audiences and present a clear pathway to find the target audience.
- Proposed content should follow the principles and practices of inclusive storytelling [link]
Successful applicants must be available to attend:
- (via zoom) a minimum of two AIDC pitch training and mentorship sessions to be scheduled between Thursday 11 January 2024 and Wednesday 14 February 2024, and
- (in person) the final live pitching event to be held at AIDC in Melbourne on Sunday 3 March 2024. Where applications come from teams, travel for one person only will be supported by Screen Australia. Other team members will be able to join the pitch via zoom if unable to attend in person.
Applications from underrepresented communities are encouraged to apply. This can include First Nations practitioners; people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; Deaf and/or hard of hearing; people with disabilities; gender diverse identities; LGBTQIA+; people located in regional and remote areas.
Each application will be jointly assessed by AIDC and Screen Australia executives, taking into consideration the criteria below:
- Creative strength, originality of the project.
- Nature and quality of submitted video materials.
- Capacity of the individual/team to manage and deliver the project.
- The structure and practicality of the proposed development budget.
- The viability of the applicant’s approach to reaching target audience.
- Where appropriate, how the project (including the team /or individual) reflects principles of inclusive and authentic story-telling.
Applicants will be advised of the outcome in writing by Friday 22 December 2023.
Applications close 5pm AEDT Thursday 16 November 2023, and can be made through the Screen Australia application portal with the following materials:
- Fully completed application form including contact details and applicant eligibility.
- 2-3 page (maximum) creative outline of the project describing narrative approach, story, proposed characters and how it should appeal to the intended audience.
- 200-word (maximum) biography of the individual and/or team members listing previous work and clearly identifying core creative skills and experience.
- Downloadable video material to support your application in the form of both:
- Sample footage or sizzle reel of the project (five minutes maximum)
- Simple pitch to camera in a form where key creative present their vision for the project (two minutes maximum)
- A screening link example of previously released work on other projects (if available), stating the creative role of applicant.
- Budget for the proposed stage of development (maximum $30,000) and estimated final project production cost.
Hit the button below to be taken to the Screen Australia application page.
“FRESH CUTS OFFERS DOCUMENTARY MAKERS AN INCREDIBLE CAREER DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITY — PROVIDING ACCESS TO TRAINING AND MENTORING FROM SOME OF THE LEADING NAMES IN THE INDUSTRY, NOT TO MENTION THE LIVE PITCH EXPERIENCE GAINED AT AIDC. TOGETHER, WE WANT TO UNCOVER NEW VOICES AND SUPPORT OUR EMERGING TALENT TO GROW THEIR CAREERS AND TELL THE STORIES THAT MATTER TO YOUNG AUDIENCES.”
– ALEX WEST
HEAD OF DOCUMENTARY, SCREEN AUSTRALIA