Australian documentary makers have launched Indiegogo; a campaign to reignite the support of the ABC, SBS and Screen Australia to fund single documentaries.
Launched at the November 9th, Directors Guild Conference in Sydney, the campaign was motivated by the recent study Strewth! –Everything you always wanted to know about the one-off documentary but were too afraid to ask. The study, written by filmmaker Sharon Connelly, showed that just 21% of TV documentaries funded by Screen Australia in 2012-2013 were single docos, versus 79% for series documentaries. In addition, the number of single docos accessing the 20% TV producer offset had fallen from 40 in 2008/09 to only 16 in 2011/12.
This sparked the minds behind the campaign, who state on the Indiedoco’s Facebook page that:
“We are lucky to have public funding available for documentary in Australia. But public subsidies intended for documentaries with a high level of artistic and cultural merit are no longer being used for these purposes”.
The Indiedoco campaign focuses on key changes to the current distribution of Australia’s public documentary subsidies:
- We call on the ABC and SBS to follow the example of BBC2 by reinstating single documentary strands that, ‘will allow the very best filmmakers to find and tell stories that will illuminate, provoke and reveal modern Australia in all its staggering variety.’
- We call on Screen Australia to remove the requirement for a broadcaster pre-sale for the National Documentary Program, and to set up a new panel to select projects for NDP funding based on creative, cultural and artistic criteria.
- We call on Screen Australia to substantially increase the allocation of funds to the Signature Fund.
- We call for Screen Australia to reinstate a slate development program for documentary filmmakers similar to the General Development Investment Program that was offered by the AFC.
- We call for Screen Australia to change the definition of ‘bona fide release’ for feature documentaries, to accept the reality that feature documentaries can reach audiences in a myriad of different ways, and to enable more feature documentaries to qualify for the 40% Producer Offset.
To support the campaign head over to the Indiedoco Facebook page and hit Like, then share it on your feed.