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Screenability Filmmakers Fund

The Screenability Filmmakers Fund is part of a suite of initiatives under Screenability NSW, an open-ended policy commitment by Create NSW to work with industry to create opportunities for Australian filmmakers with disability in the screen sector.

The Fund is open to short film proposals of a 15-minute maximum duration to teams who must have at least one key creative (writer, director, producer) identifying as having a disability.

Applications for Screenability are open from Wednesday 26th September and close at 11.59pm on Sunday 28th October 2018.


What funding is available?

Create NSW will fund up to three teams to realise their ambition of producing a short film to be considered for premiere at the 66thSydney Film Festival in 2019.

On approval, the successful teams will receive $30,000 each in production funding.

An Executive Producer will be appointed by Create NSW who will brief and liaise with the successful teams.


Producers will need to raise any additional finance to produce their films. We encourage applicants to approach industry facilities and negotiate deals, as well as crowd funding, distribution and other sources of funds to finance their project.

Who is eligible?

At least one of the three key creatives (writer, director, producer) of the project must identify as having a disability. The person who identifies as having a disability does not need to be NSW permanent resident. By disability, we refer to the Social Model of Disability, using the term ‘disability’ to refer to barriers, rather than medical conditions or impairments. These barriers are seen as being the disabling factors, which prevent or limit opportunities.

Eligibility in this case covers people with sensory or physical impairments (including deaf people), hidden impairments, intellectual impairments, learning difficulties or mental health conditions, who face barriers accessing opportunities in the screen industry.

This fund is designed to support filmmakers intent on a career in the screen industry. All key creatives must demonstrate an intention to develop a career in screen content creation.

The Applicant must be the producer and must have a valid ABN and, if required by law, be registered for GST.

The Applicant may be an individual or a production company and must be a NSW permanent resident or NSW based company.

The Applicant must own or control the rights in the script and all other rights necessary to carry out the project.

The project should be production ready at the time of application and be capable of being delivered no later than by February 2019 

The “key creative team” normally means a writer, director and producer.

At least one of the key creatives must be a permanent resident of NSW.

At least one of the key creatives of the project must identify as having a disability. This person does not need to be a NSW permanent resident.

A team must comprise of at least two members, and all teams must include a producer.

One person cannot be both the producer and director on the project. However, writer/director or writer/producer are eligible.

The key creative team may include only one person who has substantial previous professional (i.e. paid) film or television experience as a writer, director or producer.

A different set of key creatives may apply on non-linear projects, digital media or animation. 

Previous Emerging Filmmakers Fund (EFF) and Generator: Emerging Filmmakers Fund (GEFF) recipients are not eligible to apply to Screenability, however any key creative who has previously been a recipient of EFF or GEFF is eligible to apply in a different role (eg a producer can be a writer etc.)

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

What project formats are eligible?

We are seeking proposals for short films that are between 5-15 minute duration.

Projects can be drama, factual, animation or experimental.

For general applications, the proposal must be fully developed and ready to shoot on/or close to the application closing date;

For post-production applications, applications must be at the fine-cut or rough-cut stage with the latest footage having been shot within one year of the application closing date;

The project must be filmed and post produced entirely in NSW;

Projects must be shot on and mastered on HD and able to be screened via theatrical release, television, online or mobile.


The following project formats are NOT eligible:

  • Infotainment/lifestyle/travel/magazine/sports/education/game shows.
  • Current affairs/news programs.
  • Community television programs.
  • Projects that have received production funding from Create NSW or other government film funding bodies.
  • Existing student films or projects that formed or will form part of any assessment at any educational or training institution.

Please note: projects which receive funding through Screenability cannot apply for Screen Australia Hot Shots Short Film Fund.

Grant monies cannot be used for retrospective funding or to purchase equipment.

Third-party investment is allowed under specific conditions and following consultation with Create NSW. Third-party investors must sit behind any deferrals in the recoupment structure.

Sponsorship and product placement is allowed in the form of a grant, not an investment (it cannot be recoupable) but must be approved by Create NSW in advance.

How and when can I apply?

Applications are open from Wednesday 26th September and close at 11.59pm on Sunday 28th October 2018.

Submit an application form and supporting materials here.

If you are having trouble accessing this application form you can request a word version by emailing or

How will my applications be assessed?

Your application will be competitively assessed against the following criteria:

  • Your eligibility;
  • The originality and distinctiveness of the idea and/or story;
  • The quality of the script, the director’s vision, and other creative materials;
  • Creative potential of the team, their unity of vision, and their balance of experience, along with a potential for skills development;
  • The appropriateness of the budget and schedule, and the team’s ability to realize the project within it;
  • Evidence that the project/story is fully developed and ready for production;
  • The cultural and economic benefit the project will provide to NSW, including career development;
  • Description of disability or should you choose not to disclose: support or access needs.

The Screenability executive and a member of the Create NSW Sector Investment team and the external Executive Producer will read all applications and compile a shortlist.

Shortlisted teams will be interviewed by the Screenability Executive Producer and an additional executive of the Create NSW sector investment team who will make a recommendation on the final selections and the recommendation will be considered by Director Sector Investment.

What are the terms of funding?

Please read these guidelines alongside the Create NSW Terms of Trade which outline general eligibility requirements.

Successful teams will have a briefing with the Screenability Executive Producer.


At that point we will discuss Create NSW requirements, provide feedback, and go over any questions you may have. You will need to finalise and execute the Create NSW grant agreement within 4 weeks from the date of the briefing, unless otherwise agreed in writing.


If this does not occur, the decision to financially support the project may lapse. Obligations to Create NSW will include the following:

Create NSW will contract only with the Applicant

  • Projects must be completed in accordance with the terms of the Create NSW agreements. The Applicant will need to enter into a service agreement with each member of the key creative team and enter into any other agreements required in order for the applicant to own or control of the rights in the project.
  • Create NSW will need to approve these agreements noted above prior to issuing its grant agreement to the Applicant.
  • Grant funds cannot be drawn down until a grant agreement with Create NSW has been executed and specific conditions met.
  • The Create NSW EP will receive the following credit: “The Create NSW: Screenability Executive Producer”.
  • Principal photography must begin within 8 weeks of approval.


For further information contact:

Sofya Gollan
Screen Investment Manager, Development & Production

Skype: sofya.snsw
Mobile: 0414 322 760

For further information contact:
Development & Production