Victorian-based Indigenous comedians and storytellers working in theatre and other creative disciplines are invited to participate in the workshop which will be run in Melbourne over five days in July in a hothouse environment led by well-known comedy writer and producer Mark O’Toole (Black Comedy, Full Frontal, Spicks and Specks).

The workshop will cover the basics of writing for narrative comedy in addition to focused sessions where participants will spend time working on their comedy concepts with the aim of being further developed and produced as short narrative content.

Applicants aren’t required to have existing screen credits but need to demonstrate a flair for comedy through performance, writing, directing, producing or other means.

Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley said “On the page or on the stage, there is so much talent to draw from here in Victoria – the creative state. The Victorian Government is proud to be a part of this initiative which will develop the skills of new and upcoming Indigenous screen practitioners, bring new voices to the screen and mine the comedy gold that is out there.”

Film Victoria CEO, Jenni Tosi said “We’re delighted to partner with NITV on ‘Bust Up’.  We hope this initiative will uncover talented Indigenous and Torres Strait Island storytellers who may also be working in theatre, stand up or elsewhere and have a funny take on the things that affect us as human beings and can make us laugh. This is a terrific opportunity for new talent to develop the skills which may lead to an ongoing career creating entertaining screen content. ”

NITV Channel Manager, Tanya Denning-Orman said: “Comedy whether it’s sketch, narrative, stand-up or anything else is a powerful thing. It can turn the big into the benign, the banal into the absurd and it can cut through into issues both great and small. Best and simplest of all is that it makes us happy.

“There’s nothing like laughing with your mob and the unique perspectives that come from Australia’s Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander people are diverse and unforgettable. NITV and its audience loves a good laugh, so we’re thrilled to partner with Film Victoria to flush out the freshest and funniest talent from the state.’”

Applications are open until 15 May.