The ABC will triple its budget for for independently-produced documentaries to in excess of $8million this year, continuing its lead as the broadcaster with the most Australian documentaries on television.
ABC’s Director of Television Kim Dalton told the Australian Independent Documentary Conference in Adelaide last night, “In 2008/09, we expect our independent documentary slate to total $30million of production.
“We have embedded Australian documentaries as a central and successful part of our primetime schedule, and we have consolidated our relationship with the independent production community.”
According to Screen Australia, in the 2007 calendar year ABC TV had 137 hours of first release documentaries followed by SBS (88 hours), Seven / Nine ( both 45 hours), and TEN (29 hours).
The ABC also announced the fourth round of the triple jtv docs 4 initiative for emerging directors. ABC is increasing its commitment, with a production fund of $400,000 available for this round, an increase of $100,000 on previous years.
Both ABC and National Geographic Television International will contribute $20,000 towards a natural history pitching competition. Last year’s winner Under Southern Seas is now in post production.
ABC also hosts a “one stop” website for independent producers with information about genres, slots, initiatives, plus proposing, commissioning and contracting process: www.abc.net.au/tv/independent