Screen Australia launches development programme for high-end TV drama

Louise Duffy | 13-10-2013

Screen Australia will launch a programme to support the development of internationally driven high-end television drama before the end of the year.

The High-end Television Development Program has been set up in recognition of the unprecedented audience and market growth for high-end television, and the ambitious, authorial and emotionally engaging storytelling that has connected with high-end global audiences, who flocked to shows such as Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Top of the Lake, House of Cards and The Bridge.

The first of its kind to be launched by Screen Australia, the programme aims to assist Australian producers to develop inventive, high-end ideas from concept to series bible and first draft pilot script. It will fund up to five projects each year in two rounds, with up to $40,000 available for each successful project.

Projects will be selected following a creative assessment but must be supported by a formal letter of interest from a major international broadcaster or major internet streaming company. Involvement of an Australian broadcaster is not a requirement for this programme.

The hope is that the programme will identify inventive high-end TV series ideas with an international key market, enabling Australian producers to work in an international broadcasting landscape. It will also be distinguished by projects that tell specific but universal stories, with a creatively ambitious vision and a cinematic sensibility to encourage the cross-fertilisation of the best Australian cinema and TV creative talent.

Screen Australia head of development, Martha Coleman, said: “High-end television is responsible for water cooler conversations all over the world, winning its audience with complex, nuanced stories and creative brilliance. We know that Australia has the ideas and the talent to make a global impact through its storytelling, and this fund will assist our producers and writers to rise to the challenge and engage in this space."

Full details of the programme, including eligibility, deadlines and how to apply, will be published shortly on the Screen Australia website.