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Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization Australians in Film on Tuesday unveiled a talent development program for undiscovered and underrepresented filmmakers.
Dubbed Untapped, the nine-month online program will feature masterclasses from top filmmakers such as Honey Boy director Alma Har’el, Thor: Ragnarok helmer Taika Waititi, Late Night director Nisha Ganatra and Search Party co-creators Sarah-Violet Bliss and Charles Rogers.
Priority for inclusion in the program will be given to Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander filmmakers, as well as those with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ community and people living in remote locations. Applicants must be Australian citizens or permanent residents.
“We see and understand the frustration and struggle of underrepresented and undiscovered filmmakers in Australia, and with our partners the HFPA and Screen Australia, we have established UNTAPPED to create tangible pathways for new talent,” said AiF executive director Peter Ritchie. “We want to support their dreams and to help them grow as storytellers. Hollywood is definitely listening to find new voices and UNTAPPED will help open doors for emerging Australian creatives who often find the industry impenetrable.”
Following the masterclasses, five creators or teams will be selected for the Untapped Development Lab, a four month intensive workshop. Lab participants will receive individual mentorship, story consultations and professional support from executives at companies including Nicole Kidman’s Blossom Films, Margot Robbie’s LuckyChap Entertainment and Bruna Papandrea’s Made Up Stories.
Untapped, which runs from April to December, 2021, is launched in association with Screen Australia and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
Australians in Film was founded in 2001 to support and promote Australian filmmakers, offering such programs as the Heath Ledger scholarship. Its headquarters are based at Raleigh Studios, where film screenings and discussions are regularly held for members. There is also a networking space for screenwriters and directors to work and collaborate on projects.
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