Digital First Comedy Initiative, funding, images

Digital First Comedy Initiative

Digital First Comedy is currently closed.

Create NSW, ABC iview and Information Cultural and Exchange (ICE), are looking to develop up to three high-impact, youth-focused and digital first, Australian short-form narrative comedy series that will premiere on ABC iview and showcase talent and stories from NSW.

These projects must appeal to a youth audience, from NSW-based teams that include at least one key creative from Western Sydney. Comedy projects can include narrative comedy, sketch comedy, adult animation, comedy/drama and comedy in hybrid genres (such as comedy/horror and sci-fi comedy).

Applications for the Digital First Comedy Initiative are now closed.

All applicants will be contacted as to the outcome of their application. For information about future initiatives and announcements it's best to subscribe to our newsletter or social media channels.

What project formats are eligible?

Projects will be returnable and suitable for viewing on ABC iview. Diversity, both on and off screen, is a priority, as is a focus on younger audiences (under 50). Projects should be 4 to 6 episodes with a run time of 5 to 7 minutes each to be considered for jointly funded production investment from Create NSW and ABC iview.

We’re targeting ideas that are strong and unique enough to compete against the likes of some of the most successful short-form narrative comedy series of recent years including: Bondi Hipsters, Kiki and Kitty, The Katering Show, Bin Chickens, Lost in Pronunciation, Goober and Almost Midnight.

Create NSW and ABC iview are initially seeking 1-2 page pitch documents for projects with 4 to 6 episodes, each episode having a run time of 5 to 7 minutes to be considered for jointly funded production finance.

Create NSW and ABC iview (through ABC’s comedy team) will select up to three NSW-based teams who will receive up to $75,000 to produce a short form comedy series, deliverable by the end of December 2018.

Once selected, teams will have access to the professional development services of representatives from Create NSW and ICE, plus an ABC Commissioning Editor to guide the projects and build relationships with the broadcaster.

In addition, ABC will promote the comedy series across appropriate pan-ABC network touchpoints, such as the iview home page, ABC social accounts, on-air and or across the ABC radio network.

A briefing and Q&A session for interested potential applicants will be held at ICE on 8 May 2018.

An individual can submit or be attached to multiple applications; however we’d advise you to put your most competitive projects forward.

The closing date for submissions is Sunday 17 June 2018.

Who is eligible?

Applicants will generally be a NSW based key creative, individual or company or have at least one NSW based key creative (writer, producer or director) attached.

Teams would generally need to include a key creative with credits in drama or comedy (though an application of quality will not be rejected for lacking a person with such credits and Create NSW/ABC may later assist a team with the addition of such a person, should it be considered advisable for the project).

Teams are required to include at least one female key creative.

Teams are required to include at least one key creative currently living in Western Sydney. The boundaries for Western Sydney are:
12 local government areas; namely located within the Blacktown, Blue Mountains, Canterbury-Bankstown, Camden, Campbelltown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Hawkesbury, Liverpool, Parramatta, Penrith and Wollondilly. Please find the map here.

You must hold the rights in your project.

Create NSW general eligibility requirements can be found in the Create NSW Terms of Trade, which should be read in conjunction with these guidelines.

Create NSW is committed to supporting increased participation in the industry of people from underrepresented groups including women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, people from CaLD backgrounds, people with disability, LGBTQI people, people from western Sydney and people from regional NSW. Priority will be given to teams including people from under-represented groups.

When can I apply?

Applications are now closed.

All applicants will be contacted as to the outcome of their application.

What do I need to submit?

Applicants must complete the online application formand submit a 1-2 page pitch document (with the option of including additional story materials e.g. episode scripts or proof of concept films).

Apply via the online portal here.


What is the assessment process?

Create NSW and ABC will jointly review and assess the applications against the following criteria:

  • The strength and distinctiveness of the concept;
  • The strength of the story and the quality of the submitted materials;
  • The potential of the project to reach its target audience;
  • The track record of the Key Creative(s) and/or associated companies;
  • The potential of the project to contribute to a robust screen industry in NSW;
  • The potential of the project to be realised from Initial Development through to production, and then final distribution and exhibition.
Who should I talk to about my application?

If you have any queries about your application, please contact Saara March, Sector Investment Officer at or 02 8289 6493 or Miranda Ryan, Acting Sector Investment Manager, Screen at or 02 8289 6420.

For further information contact:
Development & Production