Investment & Support

L-R Executive Producers Jackson Lapsley Scott and Meg O’Connell. Photo by Rhett Hammerton

Applications close 5pm 12 April 2021

RIDE Shorts will see six short films produced by early career Queensland teams from underrepresented backgrounds.

Created with the guidance of Executive Producers Meg O’Connell and Jackson Lapsley Scott of Unless Pictures, the films will premiere at the Brisbane International Film Festival along with the potential of screening on SBS On Demand and being packaged as an anthology feature post premiere.

The shorts will undergo an intensive period of development in May, including a development lab led by Meg, Jackson and other experts matched to the teams. These shorts will be linked by an overarching theme and/or narrative concept which will be developed and refined when the six teams are selected.

Each team will receive up to $55,000 to create a short film (approx. 15min) and will also be supported through development, production, post-production, delivery and distribution.

While the preference is to have a complete team at application, writers and directors can apply without a producer if they are open to being swiftly paired with a suitable producer if successful.

Producers from an underrepresented background can submit a Producer EOIs to be paired with writer/director teams

Please contact Screen Queensland if you require any reasonable accommodations to submit your application.

CONTACT 07 3248 0500

Who can apply?

This opportunity aims to elevate the careers of emerging Queensland storytellers from an underrepresented background.

Applications are open to Queensland teams including writers, directors and producers, with anywhere from zero to two feature film credits in their nominated role, from an under-represented background. While the preference is to have a complete team at application, writers and directors can apply without a producer if they are open to being swiftly paired with a suitable producer if successful.

Producers from an underrepresented background can submit a Producer EOIs to be paired with writer/director teams

You must also be able to demonstrate that you own the rights to the story you are trying to tell.

It is important that your team of key creatives authentically represent the story and characters in your application. If your story includes content or characters from an under-represented background, e.g. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people; culturally and linguistically diverse people; people with a disability; female; non-binary; or LGBTQIA+ people, then at least one of the three key creative roles (writer, director, producer) must be held by a person who is representative of that diversity.

If your project is an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander story, some or all intellectual property must be owned by members of this community and at least two of the three key creative roles must be held by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander talent. If the producer role is not held by an Indigenous person then an early career Indigenous producer attachment must be brought onto the project.

If you are unsure about what this means for your project, please contact Screen Queensland 07 3248 0500 or

What are underrepresented communities?

For the purposes of this program this is recognised as differences in gender; age; Aboriginal identity; Torres Strait Islander identity; cultural and linguistic diversity (CaLD); disability; sexuality and gender identities, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI+), location (including regional and remote areas); and socio-economic status.

What is Screen Queensland looking for?

We are looking for unproduced short film scripts of any scripted genre that can be made for $55,000. We encourage you to submit scripts that speak to the kind of distinct screen stories you wish to create and that can be used as a calling card for your work.

While you may choose to create a proof of concept for a longer form project, the short film you make must have a satisfying, complete, stand-alone story.

Successful applications will be selected based on:

  • The strength of the story submitted
  • The potential of the Queensland creative team
  • The impact on the team, including how this short will lead to further opportunities for underrepresented Queensland talent.

Key Dates
5pm, 12 April 2021Applications close
Late April 2021Successful applicants notified
May 2021Development with EPs and other experts matched to team
Late May 2021Final scripts locked
June 2021Pre-Production
July 2021Production
August 2021Rough cut
September 2021Final delivery
October 2021BIFF Premiere
Important documents to read before you apply

You must read our Terms of Trade, QPE definition and our corporate and strategic plans before preparing your application.

About the Executive Producers, Unless Pictures

JACKSON LAPSLEY SCOTT is a producer and film festival organiser. He’s produced music videos in Sydney, Brisbane and London for Sony and Universal, and indie labels. The videos have received multiple awards and nominations, and have cumulatively over a million views online. Jackson produced the feature Grace, Who Waits Alone (Georgia Temple, 2015), which played Queensland Film Festival and won Best Script at the Beunos Aires Arte Non-Stop Festival, and the short Fitting (Emily Avila, 2017), which screened at Palm Springs, London BFI, Sydney Film Festival. He was AACTA-nominated for his work on the web series Content, which was reviewed in The Guardian and The New York Times, and listed as one of Junkee’s 50 Shows That Defined the Decade. In 2020, he was a producer on Retrograde, a 6 x 22 min narrative dramedy for the ABC that was entirely created and aired during the pandemic lockdown. This was his first show for Unless Pictures, and he has continued on with them as development executive. Jackson has a background in theatre and live event production, was Program Manager for the Heart of Gold International Short Film Festival for four years and in 2020 took the role of Festival Director. 

MEG O’CONNELL is an International Emmy® award-winning and nominated producer. She’s the company director at Unless Pictures where she co-created, wrote and produced Retrograde for ABC TV, co-produced with Orange Entertainment Co. Meg is part of Screen Australia’s Talent USA delegation for 2021. Meg was the development manager on the Logie and International Emmy® award winning Ludo Studio series Bluey. During her time at Ludo, Meg produced the International Emmy® award-winning Doodles for ABC ME, the AACTA award-winning Robbie Hood for SBS On Demand, and Content for ABC iview. Content was recently nominated for an International Emmy®. Meg sits on the Screen Australia Gender Matters Taskforce. Unless Pictures is currently developing a slate of original work, supported by Screen Queensland Enterprise funding.