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27 August 2018



The Australian Directors’ Guild is thrilled to celebrate the recent successes of the inaugural Metro Screen Production Fellowship film Birdie, and also to launch the 2018/2019 Metro Screen Fellowships. 
The Metro Screen Fellowship program has been created and funded by Metro Screen in partnership with the Australian Directors’ Guild, and also with script development funding support from Screen Australia. 
Birdie, written and directed by Shelly Lauman and produced by Lizzie Carter, has been selected for both Melbourne International Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival. The film sees a casual gesture of friendliness quickly spiral into a paralysing moment for a woman on a train. Birdie tells a timely and bold story that engages audiences and clearly reflects the objectives of the Metro Screen Production Fellowship.
"We literally would not have been able to make this film without the support of the ADG/Metro Screen Production Fellowship. Aside from the actual funding, the nurture and guidance we received from everyone at the ADG, including the jury who selected the project, was absolutely above and beyond. I'm incredibly grateful.” – Shelly Lauman (writer/director, Birdie).
For the inaugural Metro Screen Open Fellowship, three talented screen practitioners were selected to share in the $15,000 to fund their development activities, including: attendance at a two-week workshop in Cuba with German auteur Werner Herzog (Brietta Hague); participation in the Hollywood Field Trip in LA (Amanda Hood); and involvement in the exclusive annual Stowe Story Lab in Vermont (Rebecca Ingram).  Last year, emerging director Rebecca Greensill was awarded the Open Fellowship, undertaking a full year’s mentorship with Ellie Beaumont and Drew Proffitt at Subtext Pictures (Dead Lucky), working on the development, creation and research of a number of new shows, as well as assisting in the final stages of post-production on their current slate.
"Through the assistance of the Metro Screen Open Fellowship I have had the incredible opportunity to be mentored by two world class Showrunners in Ellie Beaumont and Drew Proffitt at Subtext Pictures. This first-hand experience in show development, writing and producing has provided an invaluable next step for my career.” – Rebecca Greensill (Metro Screen Open Fellowship recipient, 2017).
The 2018 Metro Screen Fellowships are now open for application. 
Managed by the ADG, the Metro Screen Fellowships have been created to foster and develop emerging screen culture. It is anticipated that the Fellowships will be a stepping-stone to programs such as the ADG’s Shadow Directing program, Screen NSW’s Emerging Filmmakers Fund and SPA Ones To Watch.
$20,000 cash funding each to two NSW-based directors to support the production of their short screen work, not exceeding 12 minutes, in any genre and any format.
Last year the selection panel of the Production Fellowship concluded that the Fellowship would not be awarded and as a result TWO cash fellowships of $20,000 each will be awarded in 2018.
In the spirit of Metro Screen, the Production Fellowship seeks strong stories that are bold, brave and have something to say, stories that are authentic, informed by lived experiences, challenge assumptions and are charged with a creative use of screen media.  We seek engaging stories that must be told and are not currently seen on our screens.
• Applicants must be a Director;
• A NSW resident; and
• An individual, and not an organisation.
• Cash may not be spent on the purchase of equipment.
Application Materials
Contact details – Name, email, address, phone for producer and director (and writer if applicable).
Proof of NSW Residency – current proof of NSW Residency (e.g. driver’s licence, utilities bill, etc). 
Production Information – Round 1 Applications
The following materials must be submitted with application, and the following criteria addressed:
• Synopsis of the project: one paragraph;
• Final fictional script or documentary treatment (project must not exceed 12 minutes);
• Brief CV of principal director applicant: total of one page max;
• Vision statement, not exceeding two pages, that answers questions such as:
- Why do you want to tell this story?
- What is the story essentially about for you?
- How does this project reflect the spirit of Metro Screen in promising original stories that are bold, brave and/or different?
- How does this project fit into your career plan? 
Shortlisting and Judging Process – Round 2 Applications
Up to ten projects will be shortlisted to receive individual story development mentoring, after which these shortlisted projects will be considered for production funding. Final submission materials required for shortlisted projects will include:
• Budget: one page max;
• Full Production schedule;
• Brief CV’s of other key creatives (ie. producer, writer, DOP): total of one page each max;
• URL links to previous work for producer, director and/or writer (producer and director must have one relevant screen credit);
• Chain of title secured: producer signature.
Application Assessment
Submitted projects will be assessed against the following criteria:
• Bold and brave story that is missing from our screens;
• Creative use of screen media;
• Potential to engage an audience;
• Potential to be completed by deadline and within budget.
Up to $15,000 cash to support a screen career opportunity, or screen sector development opportunity.
The Open Fellowship is designed to foster fresh ideas and promote new perspectives in the screen industry culture. It aims to assist an emerging screen practitioner from any discipline, looking to further their professional development, perhaps via an industry placement, or through research into a specific area of expertise/interest. However, there are no restrictions as to what form this endeavour may take – with the exception that it is not to be used for production funding.
Possible opportunities/projects may include:
• a work opportunity/placement designed to benefit yourself as an individual; 
• a project to investigate, research or create something that would be beneficial to the screen industry as a whole, e.g.:
- a mentored development, attachment or internship;
- research into a new area pertaining to the screen industry;
- a community building opportunity, networking event, or innovative exhibition;
- purposeful travel to investigate opportunities currently not available in Australia.
• Applicants must be a NSW resident; and
• An emerging screen practitioner – representing any creative or crew position in the screen industry.
• Cash must not be spent on production.
Application Materials
Contact details – Applicant’s name, email, address, phone contact and referees.
Proof of NSW Residency – current proof of NSW Residency (e.g. driver’s licence, utilities bill, etc).
Application Proposal
Using Emerging Visions: Career Pathways in the Australian Screen Production Industry report as your reference, provide the following:
• Outline of the proposed activity to be undertaken: half-page;
• Monetary amount requested (up to $15K) and budget breakdown (including supplier quotes if relevant);
• Outline the impact of the proposed activity on your screen career and (if applicable) the screen career of others (e.g. if networking event etc): half-page;
• Outline the potential of this activity to contribute in a meaningful way to the diversity of screen content and/or screen culture: half-page;
• Outline how you will raise awareness of your activity and of the Fellowship: one or two paragraphs;
• Brief biography / CV;
• URL links to relevant previous work.
Application Assessment
Applications will be assessed against the following criteria:
• Potential to contribute to the applicant’s screen career, or to the careers of other emerging screen practitioners;
• Potential to contribute to the diversity and/or the cultural development of the screen sector;
• Evidence of research or development which underpins the project logic/premise;
• Appropriate references to, and understanding of, the Emerging Visions report mentioned above;
• The ability of the applicant to complete the project by the stated deadline (if applicable).
The Committee has the right to determine whether applications meet the desired criteria for each of the Fellowship categories. In the event that a Fellowship/s is not awarded, the associated funds will be rolled over into the following application year. The Committee has the right to award the Open Fellowship to more than one applicant (if individual applications are less than the full Fellowship funding available).
27 August 2018 Applications Open
24 September 2018 Applications Close
30 October 2018 Production Fellowship Shortlist announced & Open Fellowship Recipient/s announced
30 November 2018 Shortlisted Production Fellowship Applications deadline
December 2018 Production Fellowship Recipients/s announced
NOTE:  On completion, the Production Fellowship recipient/s will be required to hold a cast & crew screening of their completed screen work; and the Open Fellowship recipient/s will be required to provide a three-page overview of their project for industry publication.
Since its inception in 1981, Metro Screen provided a range of opportunities for emerging screen practitioners, and for the telling of stories which reflect the full diversity of Australian society. Regrettably, Metro Screen was forced to close at the end of 2015 due to Federal funding cuts. The surplus funds at closure are being used to fund this Fellowships program.
In Emerging Visions: Career Pathways in the Australian Screen Production Industry (the research undertaken by Metro Screen prior to its closure), the following statement continues to ring true:
“The future relevance and sustainability of screen culture relies on successful talent regeneration, fresh ideas, new perspectives, new voices and new audiences. And a diversity of voices given opportunities to show what they can do.”
For more information on Emerging Visions: Career Pathways in the Australian Screen Production Industry, go to:
Contact: Australian Directors’ Guild
Phone: (02) 9555-7045
Metro Screen Fellowship Partner Logo
The Metro Screen Fellowship program has been created and funded by Metro Screen in partnership with the Australian Directors’ Guild, and also with script development funding support from Screen Australia.