Two talented Victorian creatives from diverse and traditionally under-represented backgrounds are set to embark on a career-changing journey thanks to a new internship program, made possible by a unique screen industry partnership.

Davey Thompson and Nikki Tran are the recipients of the Victorian Screen Development Internships, which will open up access to Australia’s leading production teams and give them the opportunity to fast-track their careers.

Over 12 months, Davey and Nikki will follow the full lifecycle of developing content, learning how to assess pitches, scripts and funding applications with Film Victoria, working with commissioning editors and EPs across the production process at the ABC, and learning first-hand from principal producers at Matchbox Pictures and Princess Pictures.

From a field of 65 applicants, with 19 then longlisted by Film Victoria, Davey and Nikki impressed representatives from the ABC, Princess Pictures and Matchbox Pictures with their career aspirations and the clarity of what they were each looking to gain from the internship.

The internships were open to creatives with a passion for storytelling, regardless of their artistic discipline, providing they have some experience developing, producing, writing or editing creative content, project or productions.

Davey has a strong background in theatre and circus. After studying acting and dance at the Aboriginal Centre for Performing Arts in Brisbane, he took on programming roles at Queensland Performing Arts Centre and Circus Oz, and was an associate producer on Guesswork Television’s Dirty Feet and at ILBIJERRI Theatre Company.

Davey Thompson said: “I’m incredibly excited for this opportunity having been so passionate about this method of storytelling for as long as I can remember. I’m very keen to get out there and share my stories, as well as help bring other people’s stories to life.”

A graduate of RMIT University and the Victorian College of the Arts, Nikki’s love for creating content has seen her write, produce and perform in short films, television series and short-form digital series. Her online dramedy FRESH! screened at the LA Film Festival, NYC Web Fest and Series Mania Melbourne. For her latest web series, Girl, Interpreted, Nikki collaborated with writer/director Grace Feng, whom she met at the Film Victoria-supported AFTRS Talent Camp.

Nikki Tran said: “I love that the aim of this program is to tailor the internship so that it builds upon my skills and career goals in the industry. It's an exciting and rare opportunity to have such a holistic insight into how a screen agency, broadcaster and production company each engages with screen production.”

Film Victoria CEO Caroline Pitcher congratulated to Davey and Nikki on being selected for this unique, highly competitive opportunity.

“Never before have two emerging creatives had the chance to go behind the scenes of four Victorian screen organisations over 12 months and experience first-hand the full spectrum of the content development process. We can’t wait to share in their journey – and see where their career takes them.”

Michael Carrington, ABC Director Entertainment & Specialist, said: “We look forward to welcoming Davey and Nikki to the ABC and giving them the opportunity to work alongside our teams in delivering outstanding content to audiences. We are proud to support emerging creatives from diverse backgrounds to develop their impressive storytelling skills, enabling future generations of Australian talent to shine.”

Alastair McKinnon, Managing Director of Matchbox Pictures, said: “We are so pleased to be associated with this initiative. It will accelerate the careers of some genuinely bright talent. It has helped us to identify more than a couple of people we think will be in the next generation of diverse Australian writers and producers. We are so looking forward to having Davey and Nikki in the building and working on our projects.”

Laura Waters, Producer and Company Founder of Princess Pictures, said: “We were excited by Davey and Nikki's unique experience and can’t wait to see what they bring to our eclectic slate. Davey will be joining us first up to work on everything from an animated series for Adult Swim to a surrealist children’s series and How To Stay Married Season 2 for Network Ten, along with the multiple comedy, drama and unscripted projects we have in development, and Nikki will be working with us on the 2020 slate."