The ABC has launched a $5 million development fund to provide urgent and critical support to independent Australian producers and safeguard local content and creativity during these unprecedented times.
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 critical time.
Funding applications open from 4th May to 12th June. Click here for more information.