Investment & Support

First Facts — First Nations Factual Showcase 2023

February 17, 2023

UPDATE: Congratulations to the First Facts: First Nations Factual Showcase Screen Queensland-supported participants, Kathleen ‘Kat’ Dingwall and Dena Curtis.

Screen Australia’s First Nations Department, in partnership with Network 10, Screen Queensland and other state and territory screen agencies, is calling on First Nations filmmakers to submit story ideas for short documentaries as part of the First Facts – First Nations Factual Showcase 2023.

The First Nations Factual Showcase 2023 aims to develop and foster First Nations talent to create innovative and compelling 10-minute documentaries to be streamed exclusively on 10 Play

Up to 10 teams (comprising of the roles detailed in the guidelines below) will be selected to each receive a development grant of $5,000 and an opportunity for all members of the team (other than the producer) to attend an in-person development workshop in. Sydney in June 2023 (with travel support).

At the conclusion of the 3-day development workshop, each team must pitch its developed project to a panel of industry professionals, which will shortlist 6 teams to each receive up to a maximum of $70,000 in production funding to produce and deliver a 10 minute documentary.

Screen Australia and Network 10 are dedicated to telling stories that represent all Australians and are proud to be collaborating on this initiative aimed at nurturing new First Nations talent and providing a vital screen credit for emerging and mid-career practitioners.


Screen Australia
Program Operations 1800507 901


Each team must consist of:

a director and a writer (2 individuals); or (ii) an individual writer/director who:

  • identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander;
  • are in an emerging to mid-career stage of their career;
  • demonstrate an interest in pursuing a career in the field of storytelling / content production (previous experience in writing or directing is not essential);
  • are able to attend the in-person workshop in Sydney between 14th June 2023 and 16th June 2023

a producer who:

  • is at a mid-to-established stage of their career i.e. not at an emerging stage;
  • has at least 1 producer credit for an eligible documentary project.
  • An eligible documentary project means a linear documentary that is 30 minutes or longer in duration that has been broadcast on a recognised Commissioning Platform; or had a commercial theatrical release; or been invited to screen at IDFA, Hot Docs, or equivalent; or an interactive linear documentary which has been publicly released
  • is able to attend an online learning session e.g. via zoom on or about late June 2023 (exact date TBD).

    All team members must:
  • be over 18 years of age;
  • be Australian citizens or a permanent residents;
  • meet the general eligibility requirements set out in Screen Australia’s Terms of Trade;
  • not be enrolled on a full time basis at a tertiary education institution; and
  • not be currently employed by a Commissioning Platform.
  • Applicant companies must be incorporated and carrying on business in Australia. (Commissioning Platform means any free-to-air or subscription television broadcaster and / or any video-on-demand provider.)

First Facts is a two stage initiative.

Stage 1:
Up to 10 teams will:

• be selected to each receive a development grant of $5,000 to develop its story idea further;
• have the opportunity to attend a 3 day development workshop in-person in Sydney in June 2023 (noting each team’s producer will not attend the development workshop). The workshop will
– keynote lectures and panel discussions on career development presented by industry
leaders and practitioners;
– formal training and briefings run by Network 10, Screen Australia’s First Nations Department and a selection of external experts; and
– workshops to refine the project ideas and pitches, with access to industry mentors;

For each team member attending the workshop who lives outside of Sydney, Screen Australia will provide (i) reasonable return travel expenses; (ii) per diems; and (iii) accommodation for the duration of the workshop.

On the final day of the development workshop, each team must:
• prepare and submit an electronic copy of a pitch deck including the full final treatment; and
• present a 20 minute pitch using the pitch deck to a panel of industryprofessionals.

At the completion of all pitches, the panel will then select 6 teams to progress to Stage 2.

Stage 2:
Each of the 6 selected teams:
• must submit: (i) a full A-Z production budget (accounting for all insurances and legal expenses); Finance Plan; and (ii) a production schedule, to Screen Australia and Network 10 following the online learning session and upon applying for production funding;
• will receive up to a maximum of $70,000 in production funding to produce and deliver a 10 minute
documentary; and
• will receive the opportunity to work with an experienced Executive Producer to assist with the management of content creation throughout Stage 2.

Each of the selected teams must deliver a completed 10 minute documentary and all other required deliverables to Screen Australia and Network 10 no later than 5 months from the date the team is notified they are selected to participate in Stage 2 of the Initiative.


There are no set themes as to what story ideas may be submitted at the application stage, however the ideas need to be original, character-driven, engaging, compelling and thought-provoking; providing audiences with unique access and insight into a relevant and contemporary subject matter that brings to light a new perspective. Each idea must be conceived, authored and crafted by First Nations people.

(1) Fully completed application form via the Screen Australia application portal including contact details and which addresses each applicant eligibility criteria;

(2) A 1-minute downloadable video sharing a bit about yourself and your team’s idea; and

(3) A short, written treatment of the story idea; no more than 1 typed page.


Once we receive your application, a member of Screen Australia will review your application to ensure it is (i) complete; and (ii) meets all eligibility requirements. If required, you will be contacted with any further questions or requests for additional information.

Complete and eligible applications will be reviewed by both Screen Australia and Network 10 Executives, and external industry specialists as required.

Assessment Criteria
Screen Australia and Network 10 will take the following equally weighted criteria into account when considering applications for the Initiative at both Stages 1 and 2:
• Strength and distinctiveness of idea;
• Creative approach;
• Quality of pitch/treatment;
• Creative team;
• Project potential in relation to the team’s demonstrated understanding of intended audience, the
production strategy or vision for the project and proposed talent/participants; and
• Viability of the project to be made within these Guidelines.

All applicants will be advised of the outcome no later than 28 April 2023.


If your application is successful, the following key terms and conditions will apply:

• Screen Australia funding is provided as a grant. See Screen Australia’s Terms of Trade for more detail;
• Each successful team must either have or establish a corporate entity capable of receiving funding and carrying out all the necessary contracting for the production and delivery of its documentary;
• Each successful applicant team will need to enter into up to 4 agreements: (i) Development Agreement (Screen Australia); (ii) Production Grant Agreement (PGA) (Screen Australia); (iii)
Production Grant Agreement with the State Agency and (iv) Program Licence Agreement (PLA) (Network 10).
• Delivery materials must be delivered to Screen Australia at each stage of the production cycle which will be outlined in the PGA;
• Each successful applicant (excluding each team’s producer) must be available to attend in person for the full duration of the workshop in June 2023;
• Where there is Indigenous community participation or content involved in a project, written confirmation of the involvement of both the subject/s and the community is essential; and
• Network 10 will be granted the exclusive right to promote and communicate each of the 6 10- minute documentaries via (i) 10 Play; (ii) Network Ten’s free-to-air channels; and (iii) Network 10 social accounts, after a 12 month holdback, which period is to enable teams to submit their completed documentaries for screenings at film festivals only.

Additional Terms

  • Network 10 will issue a PLA for rights in each selected documentary, including the right for each documentary to be hosted on its digital platform 10 Play exclusively for 12 months(geoblocked to Australia) and the right to broadcast each documentary via its free to air channels;
  • Project creators will retain 100% copyright and be entitled to monetise their projects internationally i.e. on other platforms; and
  • In addition to each completed documentary, filmmakers will also need to deliver (i) program images or stills; and (ii) a group image of the filmmaking team.

If you are unsure about your eligibility for this initiative or have questions about the application form, please email us at or call Program Operations on 1800507 901. Please note that we are not able to provide creative advice or suggestions to strengthen your application.