Film Victoria Project Development funding is back following outstanding industry response

Submit your bold, new story ideas now!

Film Victoria is committed to supporting high quality, diverse and engaging content – whether you’re a new voice or a more experienced practitioner.

Building on this, we launched our new Project Development program last year, offering new avenues for early career practitioners to access development funding by removing the need for screen credits, and enabling all creators to develop screen stories for a wider range of release platforms.

Video pitches were also introduced, breaking down barriers for some sectors of our community, and providing a simple way for applicants to show their creativity straight up front!

The response to the first deadline was outstanding. Not only did we receive one of our largest number of applications in recent times, but after a competitive assessment process we supported 12 new film, television, online and VR projects whose creators will now be able to take them to the next stage of development. 

Given this fantastic response, we’re pleased to re-open our Project Development program once again, and are calling for applications from producers, writers and writer/directors with compelling ideas for narrative fiction and documentary projects. Apply by 4 April 2019, and read on for information about the last round of successful applicants.



The inaugural Project Development round in 2018 garnered huge interest and resulted in support for seven documentary and five fiction submissions, with practitioners sharing a total of $135,500 to develop their film, television, VR and online projects.

The successful projects had strong ideas, explored myriad themes, and were led by diverse creative teams, with a number of new voices coming to the fore. The projects demonstrated the depth of talent in Victoria and the wealth of ideas from creatives of all levels of experience that are waiting to be discovered.

The majority of submissions were from practitioners who would not previously have been eligible for our development funding – indicating its success in providing an avenue for emerging talent.


The supported projects are:


  • Benny’s Game by Steven Arriagada – based on a true story about marginal teenagers who were indoctrinated into an international crime syndicate, taking part in one of the most prominent drug rings in Australian history, the corrupt cops who let it happen, and the community and the families destroyed in the process.
  • Carmenta by Holly Alexander and Marisa Nathar – in a luxury fertility retreat in the near future, a trio of women create new families while trying to stop their own from imploding.
  • Guests by Meleesha Bardolia – the relationships between migrant staff at a Melbourne airport hotel are thrown into turmoil when some of the hotel employees are accused of being involved in a foiled terrorist attack at the airport, forcing workers to question the precarity of their place and others' 'rightful place' in Australia.
  • Shelter by Nora Niasari – after escaping her husband to live in a women's shelter, a defiant Iranian mother will do anything to protect her newfound freedom.
  • The Future is Now by Mondo Studio Films – when Holly is given a glimpse into a disastrous future, she must choose between saving the love of her life and the life of the planet.



The Producer and Director teams are:

  • Petrichor by Emma Roberts and Ben Andrews – an interactive VR documentary bringing the story of Australian climate change to life in an innovative immersive experience.
  • Queens of Concrete by Gena Lida Riess and Eliza Cox – a real life journey of discovery as three girls wrestle adolescence in pursuit of Olympic history.
  • The Afghan Bug by Brooke Silcox and Travis Beard – unearthing the hedonistic expat lifestyle during the Western Intervention in Afghanistan and the footprint they left behind.
  • The Fly Trap by Grace Mckenzie and Brian Mckenzie – set on an island in Sweden, this program follows Fredrik Sjoberg as he tackles the mysteries of the hoverfly.
  • Track Winding Back by Dan Warner of Tilt Media – a documentary series exploring the reasons why unique types of Australian popular music emerged in certain cities at certain times – as told through the observations of the musicians who created those styles, all interviewed in the aisles of their home-town record stores.
  • Untitled Logan Documentary by Britt Arthur and Sari Braithwaite – when a family has been so intertwined to survive, how do you loosen the ties enough to find independence?
  • We Don’t Want You Here by Sue Thomson and Esther Takac – as fear and hate continue to divide the Middle East, this story follows an Australian psychologist as she explores how four Israelis and Palestinians who lost a child or parent in the conflict are transforming their pain into a bridge of hope.



With the current round of Project Development funding now open, we’re once again seeking bold, compelling story ideas told from fresh perspectives. Whether you are an established or emerging practitioner, we want to hear your best ideas and see your strategic thinking around story, audience and platform choice, with a focus on original ideas and exciting storytelling concepts.

For more information, visit the Project Development program page and read the guidelines, FAQ’s and Terms of Trade. Be sure to note all of the required application materials, and give yourself plenty of time to apply. Late applications will not be accepted.


Applications are open now until 11pm on 4 April 2019.



For industry news, program updates and to find out about other opportunities like this one, sign up to our e-news, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


Image: Funding recipients Marisa Nathar and Holly Alexander received funding for Carmenta