Ready to RAW – New initiative launched to support indigenous filmmakers

Leah Purcell

Indigenous filmmakers aged 18-35 can now apply for RAW, a new initiative that will develop skills through the production of a TV pilot that will be pitched to Australia’s ABC. The initiative is backed by industry celebrated Leah Purcell and Wayne Blair as Mentors and Executive Producers.

RAW comprises two phases. In the first phase up to three concepts will be selected for development into a shortform digital-first series. From these three, one concept will be chosen to continue through to become a completed TV pilot. In the second phase, additional writers, a producer and director will have the opportunity to develop the chosen concept into a fully produced pilot, to the production value of $60,000. The pilot will then be considered for full production by ABC Indigenous. The initiative includes intensive Writers Room workshops with leading industry figures, and all participant expenses will be covered.

Celebrated Indigenous directors Blair and Purcell – known for their collaboration on acclaimed ABC TV series’ Cleverman and Redfern Now – are the lead mentors for the  young filmmakers.

“The recent success of Cleverman and its return for a second season demonstrates there is a genuine appetite for contemporary Indigenous storytelling at the moment, but limited opportunity for those storytellers to be heard,” Purcell said.

“Our aim is to nurture the talents of young Indigenous filmmakers by giving them real industry experience, while also bringing Indigenous content made by talented storytellers, to an international audience who’s hungry for bold storytelling”, Blair said.

Wayne Blair.

RAW is supported by Artology – an award-winning organisation focused on championing youth creativity – in collaboration with ABC Indigenous, and run in partnership with the Indigenous Unit at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS).

Artology’s Creative Producer for RAW, Liliana Muñoz, said the program was a first in that it encourages young Indigenous content makers to pitch their very own shortform originals for the opportunity to ultimately have it made for premium online platforms in Australia and internationally.

“RAW is a very exciting initiative,” said ABC TV Head of Indigenous Kelrick Martin, “and we look forward to seeing incredible ideas submitted from young Indigenous filmmakers around the country that reflect their unique world and their point of view.”

The three concepts, and up to seven successful applicants will be chosen from ideas submitted online, with the selections made by Blair, Purcell, Head of ABC Indigenous Kelrick Martin, and AFTRS Head of Indigenous Unit, Kyas Sherriff.

“What we’ll be looking for are applicants with original concepts and a creative approach that will meet the demand for new Indigenous content head-on, and with a global appeal,” Sherriff said.

Applications are open until August 28, 2017. Visit for details on how to apply.

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