Cairns and Townsville Filmmakers to Create Authentic Short Documentaries


10 March 2021

This month, Queensland filmmakers from Cairns and Townsville start production on their short documentary projects, as part of Authentic – a Screen Queensland initiative, delivered by Australia’s premier regional screen industry organisation, Screenworks.

Opened in October 2020, Authentic is a fully funded $4,000 opportunity for three filmmaking teams, based in Far North Queensland and extending to North Queensland, to produce short films about significant personalities in their region.

Each team will work closely with a mentoring producer from ABC to refine their shooting scripts, production planning, rough cuts and final edits, with potential for completed work to be greenlit to screen on ABC platforms.

The project aims to create opportunities for the local screen industry, pursuant to the Advanced Queensland Far North Queensland Screen Production Strategic Plan, launched in August 2019 by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

Screen Queensland Chief Creative Officer Jo Dillon congratulated the recipients, saying that one of the agency’s primary objectives is to invest in exciting talent across the entire state, as part of its brief to support diverse and original storytelling for screen.

“We are delighted to announce Cairns teams Janne Rytkönen with Samantha Martin, and Shontell Leah Ketchell with Ewan Cutler, alongside Townsville-based creative Robert Crispe, as recipients of the Authentic initiative.

“By providing access to mentoring from expert decision-makers at ABC, we’re actively growing local screen know-how in northern parts of our state, while opening pathways for emerging practitioners to develop strong concepts with broadcast potential.”

Screenworks CEO Ken Crouch said he was excited about the impact these projects will have on the growth of the screen industry in the region.

“This program is designed to develop the professional skills and capabilities of regional screen practitioners based in the North and Far North, and should lead to more local stories and productions being made in the region.

“Screenworks is delighted to partner with Screen Queensland to continue offering these types of invaluable opportunities and ongoing support for the burgeoning screen industry in FNQ and beyond,” he said.

Director of ABC Regional & Local, Judith Whelan, said ABC content-makers based in Townsville and Cairns look forward to working with the region’s emerging filmmakers.

“Local storytelling is at the heart of everything the ABC does in regional Australia and this initiative from Screen Queensland and Screenworks gives us the opportunity to foster and develop the storytellers of tomorrow, ” said Ms Whelan.

“Not only is it a wonderful opportunity for this year’s recipients to enhance their filmmaking skills, but also it gives back to our audiences in North and Far North Queensland by relaying the stories of prominent people in their communities.”

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