Screen Australia and Al Jazeera English’s flagship documentary strand Witness, have announced a new pitching competition for early career documentary filmmakers.
The initiative offers applicants the chance to receive a $100,000 commission, with 50/50 funding from Screen Australia and Al Jazeera, for a 25 minute documentary to be released on AJE Witness across Al Jazeera platforms including television, online and apps.
Applications open today and up to six projects will be selected to take part in the pitching forum held at AIDC in Melbourne from 1-4 March 2020.
Head of Documentary Bernadine Lim said, “We want to inspire and support early career documentary filmmakers to discover and embrace international opportunities in this rapidly changing media landscape. This collaboration with AJE Witness and AIDC offers an incredible opportunity for practitioners to make a documentary for a highly acclaimed platform with access to a global audience. For the three winning projects $100,000 is a significant amount of money, and I can’t wait to see the caliber of projects and ideas that come in.”
Executive Producer of AJE Witness, Fiona Lawson-Baker said, “We are delighted to partner with Screen Australia and the AIDC on this exciting documentary initiative. We very much look forward to collaborating with independent Australian filmmakers on observational documentaries that place human experience at the heart of the story, with unique and empowering perspectives that inform and connect with our global audiences.”
AIDC Conference Director Alice Burgin said, “Al Jazeera’s Witness strand is an unparalleled go-to for powerful documentary storytelling that reaches huge international audiences. This initiative driven by Screen Australia and Al Jazeera demonstrates a strong vision for new Australian stories, and we cannot wait to showcase these at AIDC.”