The ABC’s Fresh Start Fund will support the sustainability and growth
of Australia’s production industry during the COVID-19 shutdown and
supercharge the development of new Australian content for audiences
across multiple genres, including drama, comedy, children’s, factual,
music and the arts.
The ABC is already working closely with production companies on
current projects that have been delayed or suspended due to COVID-19, to
find supportive solutions where possible. The ABC is being flexible
around delivery and has varied cash flows as appropriate on a
title-by-title basis to help protect jobs in the independent sector.
The public broadcaster is also acquiring additional Australian
content for broadcast on ABC TV and iview to keep the nation informed,
educated and entertained during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Spanning five streams, detailed below, the ABC’s Fresh Start Fund
recognises the essential role played by independent producers in helping
the ABC deliver Australian stories for audiences, across all its
platforms and services. The fund also supports emerging Australian
talent and creatives for the Australian market, to ensure the viable
future of the local production industry.
Michael Carrington, ABC Director of Entertainment & Specialist
content, said the fund will develop original new content for potential
broadcast on ABC channels and online platforms. “As Australia’s biggest
backer of local content, the ABC will provide whatever help possible
within our means to shore up the viability of independent producers, who
are struggling during this incredibly disruptive time,” he said.
“The Fresh Start Fund will ramp up the development of original and
outstanding Australian content to keep our production sector afloat
during the COVID-19 restrictions. In times like this we all need to pull
together and the ABC remains open for business in supporting Australian
talent and stories.”
The funds to support this initiative have been identified by the ABC
as a result of the impact of COVID-19 on normal business operations.
These business restrictions have given the ABC the opportunity to
reprioritise expenditure to support Australia’s production sector at a
ABC FRESH START FUND STREAMS
1. Enhanced Development & Production Fund
Supports Australian production companies that have worked with the ABC or gained some industry recognition, across two areas:
a. Existing productions: Supercharging development assistance to kickstart productions impacted by COVID-19 after the lifting of restrictions.
b. New concepts: Supporting new stories in any genre about Australian culture and communities, particularly in new formats.
2. Innovation Fund
Supports individual Australian creatives who may not have worked with
the ABC previously. The Innovation Fund backs Australian talent with
bold and innovative content ideas across multiple genres aimed at
audiences under 55.
3. Arts Digital Fund
Supports Australian creatives and production companies with
innovative ideas for new arts content, particularly documentary
4. Children’s Content Fund
Supports excellence in children’s content across two areas:
a. Scripted/Factual: Supporting production companies with current animation or live-action development or productions.
b. Music: Commissioning new pieces of children’s music from talented and prolific Australian musicians for ABC Kids listen.
5. Australian Music
Supports independent Australian artists and musicians across all ABC music networks, including:
a. New music: Commissioning new works for ABC Classic and ABC Jazz.
b. Music scholarships: Supporting diverse emerging artists across multiple genres and themes, driven by triple j and triple j Unearthed.
Funding applications open from 4 May to 12 June. Click here for more information.