Six successful LGBTQIA+ web series have been shortlisted to enter the development stage for Screenwest and Screen Australia’s Out Now initiative and will each receive $2000 in development funding.
From Drag Alien Wrestling, ancient covens of mystical characters to explorations of disability, diverse and Indigenous queer identities, the selected teams from the Out Now initiative will commence development on some truly creative and unique Western Australian, LGBTQIA+ content.
The six shortlisted teams kicked off a series of development workshops in collaboration with some incredible screen professionals. The workshop series mentors include award winning writer, director and producer Julie Kalceff (Common Language Films), writer, actor and producer Tim Spencer (Wintergarden Pictures) and web series producer Melanie Rowland (Lilydale Films).
Interim Talent and Skills Development Manager, Chantal Chateauneuf explained, “We were so impressed with the originality and creativity of the applications we received, and I am very excited to see how the selected projects refine their stories and audience engagement strategies through these workshops. We hope that each team will come out of the workshops with an increased knowledge of the online space, a stronger project, and a better understanding of the development process.”
Screen Australia Senior Online Investment Manager Lee Naimo said, “We were delighted with the high calibre of applications for Out Now. We look forward to working with these six creative teams to further develop their story ideas in the upcoming workshops and ideally ready themselves for production.”
Development workshops with the successful teams commenced this week.
For selected project and team images and mentor headshots please access the dropbox here
Details of the funded projects and the workshop mentors are below.
The following applicants have been issued letters of offer for development funding:
DECENT YOUNG MEN
Format 6×5 minutes
Producer Alexa Teixeira
Director Sebastian Howard
Director, Writer Matthew Speijers
Logline 1973. The delicate truce between a gang of young criminals is shattered when they are forced to confront their bigotry, desires and inner demons.
DRAG ALIEN WRESTLING
Proposed Format 3×10 minutes
Production Company Somedae Pictures
Writer Glenn Wallis
Director Michael Thomas
Producer Stephanie Davis
Logline An alien-in-drag lands on Earth hoping to become a pro wrestler but finds his true opponent is the systemic prejudice within the community.
OUT OF HERE
Format 4×6 minutes
Writer Tina Fielding
Director Jacqueline Pelczar
Producer Sophia Armstrong
Executive Producer Cody Greenwood & Deborah May
Logline A young, gay woman living with Down syndrome goes to Gay Pride to find ‘her people’ and ends up having a wild and colourful adventure with new friends and finds her first love.
THE CURSE OF BABA YAGA
Format 6×5 minutes
Producer Brooke Batka
Director, Writer Christopher Colley
Logline Lucá, a gay university student, is in love, and only thing keeping him from his fairytale ending is that his family are an ancient coven of Witches, Daemons, and Deities.
Proposed Format 5×6 minutes
Production Company Oui Disco Films
Producer Emilia Jolakoska
Director Tristan Winter
Writers Tristan Winter and Tim Fitzgerald
Logline A behind the scenes look into the high-pressure world of an elite male burlesque troupe, as they balance their personal affairs and lives, while having to give sexy seamless performances to sell-out crowds night after night.
Format 5×5 minutes
Production Company Ramu Productions Pty Ltd
Producer Jodie Bell
Co-Producer, Writer Brooke Collard
Director Ngaire Pigram
Logline A Noongar teen disconnected from her culture, finds her identity in Japanese pop culture until she reconnects with an estranged family member.
The following screen industry professionals will be facilitating development workshops with the successful Out Now teams:
Julie Kalceff is an award-winning writer, director, and producer best known for writing, directing and co-producing the television series First Day. This ground-breaking story of a 12 year-old transgender girl starting high school was the first Australian series to star a transgender actor in the lead role. It has sold to multiple territories worldwide including the UK (CBBC) and the US (Hulu). First Day won the prestigious Rose d’Or Award for Best Children and Youth Series; the Kidscreen Award for Best Live-Action Series; First Prize in the Live Action Television Category at the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival; and the ATOM Award for Best Children’s Television Program. First Day was nominated for the AACTA Award for Best Children’s Program and Julie was nominated for Best Screenplay in Television.
Prior to this, Julie wrote, directed, and produced the international hit digital drama series Starting From Now. Attracting critical and popular acclaim, it is one of the most watched web series in the world — amassing over 160 million views in 230 countries. The series also sold to and played on broadcast television in Australia.
Julie is the founder and director of the Sydney-based production company Common Language Films. She has helped raise public awareness around the lack of diversity on screen and has paved the way by embedding diverse characters in stories with broad appeal.
Tim Spencer is a writer/actor/producer for film, television and theatre. His verbatim script, Show Me Yours, I’ll Show You Mine, won the 2012 Green Room Award for Best Independent Writing. In 2017 Tim formed Wintergarden Pictures with Joshua Longhurst and Rosie Braye.
Tim wrote the company’s first short film Cherry Season which received the Generator: Emerging Filmmaker’s Fund and was broadcast on SBS Viceland and won the Best Screenplay award at the 2019 Melbourne Queer Film Festival. He also developed and co-wrote the digital comedy series Ding Dong I’m Gay which was supported by Screen Australia and Screen NSW. The series has over 5 million views on YouTube and was nominated for Best Online Comedy in the 2020 AACTA awards.
Tim won Best Performance in a Digital Series in the 2021 Queerties awards. His half-hour adult animation Friend Mode is supported by ScriptedInk and is currently in development. He lives in Sydney and is a proud plant dad.
Melanie’s producing credits include two seasons of the LGBTQI+ teen drama series Flunk, sci-fi feature film Time Apart and online spin-off Neighbours VS Time Travel.
She has also worked in production across TV, features and digital series including Footballer Wants A Wife, Get Krackin, Ronny Chieng International Student, Holding The Man and Please Like Me.