SQ News

Image: Shaun The Sheep’s Circus Show by Circa. Photo by Prudence Upton courtesy of Circa.

Enquiries:
content@screenqld.com.au
07 3248 0500

Screen Queensland’s $5 million Screen Ventures Fund is designed to back bold and innovative screen and screen-related projects – from anywhere in Australia, to be made in Queensland – that demonstrate strong investment returns potential. 

Originally conceived in early 2020, the Fund first invested in Circa’s Shaun the Sheep’s Circus Show, which premiered at QPAC in March 2021.

Screen Queensland is calling for commercially focused, ready-to-launch or production-ready screen projects from across Australia, to be produced in Queensland. 

Projects should demonstrate exciting ways to further Screen Queensland’s goals to drive employment, deliver Queensland Production Expenditure (QPE) and provide opportunities to explore new partnerships and models of business relevant to screen.  

Investments range from $10,000 to $750,000 in the context of size of audience, overall budget, benefits to Queensland and other financial commitment secured from partners and investors, with returns expected within five years. 

Developing and premiering Shaun the Sheep’s Circus Show in Queensland was made possible by the support of key partners including Screen Queensland.  To realise this unique collaboration between Circa and Academy Award winning animation studio Aardman, we required not only commercial investment in the project, but also relationships and expertise for the local development of key elements.  Screen Queensland identified the numerous synergies with the new production, and assisted us to connect with the local film sector in the creation of new animation for the show.

We additionally were able to connect Screen Queensland with Aardman’s animation academy, who delivered workshops and other sector development initiatives to support the local industry here in Queensland.

We are thrilled at the result and look forward to taking Shaun the Sheep’s Circus Show to the world in 2022.

Shaun Comerford
Executive Director, Circa Contemporary Circus
Producer, Shaun the Sheep’s Circus Show.

Guidelines
Aims of the fund

The Screen Ventures Fund is a commercially-focused investment fund. It will invest $5 million in the four years to 2024-5 to grow and diversify the Queensland screen industry through driving and reinvesting returns on investment in projects, and creating opportunities to explore new investment partnerships and business/financing models. 

The Fund  will back commercial content with the ability to drive strong returns on investment, create jobs and Queensland Production Expenditure (QPE).  

Investment proposals can come from anywhere in Australia but projects must be made in Queensland.  

The objectives of the Screen Ventures Fund are to: 

  • Create content that excites audiences in Australia and internationally 
  • Drive returns on investment (ROI)  
  • Explore new models and partnerships to fund screen and screen-related projects 
  • Diversify the Queensland screen industry and economy 
  • Grow the Screen Ventures Fund to allow further and ongoing investment 
  •  

The Fund targets a 5-10% return on investment in five years. 

Eligibility

This program is open to all Australian creators, producers, production companies and studios with commercially-focused, ready-to-launch or production-ready screen projects, screen-related projects or cross-platform projects with a strong screen component.[Provide link to Shaun The Sheep At The Circus release.] 

  • Eligible projects will:Spend at least $10 for every $1 invested in Queensland and/or demonstrate clear potential to generate returns on investment to Screen Queensland 
  • Employ Queensland creatives and crews 
  • Support the distribution and exhibition of screen content in Queensland 
  • Offer opportunities to partner with change-makers and innovators – whether commissioners, platforms or funds – to explore new models to create and finance screen content 

To be eligible, applicants must at least: 

  • Meet the general eligible requirements set out in Screen Queensland’s Terms of Trade including, but not limited to the following: 
    A. Being an Australian incorporated entity; 
    B. Having a valid ABN 
Investment Amount

Investments range from $10,000 to $750,000 and will be determined in the context of size of audience, overall budget, benefits to Queensland and other financial commitment secured from partners and investors, with returns expected within five years.  

The investment amount will be at the discretion of Screen Queensland and is subject to the availability of funding at the time of application.  

Assessment Criteria

Applications for the Screen Ventures Fund are assessed in accordance with these guidelines, taking into consideration how the project will deliver ROI to Screen Queensland with a focus on the following criteria: 

  • Is it a great idea with an audience? 
  • Does the team know who their audience is and how to reach them? 
  • Is the budget appropriate for the kind of project and the size of audience? 
  • Has the team got the skills to make this happen and a good reputation for delivering what it says it will? 
  • How will this impact the growth and diversification (new partnerships, new models, innovative ideas) of the state screen sector? 
  • How will this return on Screen Queensland’s investment? 
Application Process

Applications must be made online through Screen Queensland’s SmartyGrants system. The application is available to preview prior to starting.

During the application process you will be required to provide:

  • Creative pitch
  • Business plan (this may include a finance plan, commercial plan, recoupment structure, sales or sales estimates, comparisons etc. but must demonstrate how the project will deliver ROI, through the project and, where applicable, through ancillaries, merchandising, format and spin-off rights)
  • Audience plan (this may include a distribution plan, marketing analysis/plan or otherwise demonstrate pathways to audience)
  • Benefits to Queensland (outline key benefits including QPE, job numbers, career and skills development opportunities, opportunities to grow and diversify individual businesses, and benefits to the sector)
  • Team (who is attached and what is their track record)
  • Market (who is attached and on what basis)
  • Legal materials and supporting documents

Within 30 minutes of submitting your application an automated application email will be sent to you as confirmation that Screen Queensland has received your application. It is the applicant’s responsibility to contact Screen Queensland if you do not receive an application receipt email. Please allow for system downtime or internet service provider problems when completing your application and save the application regularly.

Decision Timeline

Following the receipt of an application, it will be assessed internally against these guidelines. A recommendation will be made following the assessment which may proceed to the Screen Queensland Board for consideration. Due dates for board assessments are detailed here. on our board page.

Successful Applicants

Successful applicants will be notified as soon as possible. A letter of offer with the investment amount approved will be sent to the applicant. Applicants who accept the investment will then enter into a formal agreement with Screen Queensland that outlines the conditions and deliverables required for payment of the investment.

Successful Applicants

Successful applicants will be notified as soon as possible. A letter of offer with the investment amount approved will be sent to the applicant. Applicants who accept the investment will then enter into a formal agreement with Screen Queensland that outlines the conditions and deliverables required for payment of the investment.

Conditions and Deliverables

The contract with Screen Queensland will set out the terms and conditions of the investment.

Confidentiality

The investment application and any investment approved by Screen Queensland are commercial in confidence and Screen Queensland and the applicant must maintain confidentiality.

Publicity

Successful applicants will be expected to assist Screen Queensland and the Queensland Government in relation to publicity and media opportunities prior to and during the production’s filming in Queensland.

Reporting Requirements

Successful funding applicants must provide detailed reporting and acquittal information on the activities undertaken which will be negotiated between the successful applicant and Screen Queensland at the time of contracting..

Unsuccessful Applicants

If an application is unsuccessful, a member of the Content team will contact the applicant. Applicants can contact Screen Queensland for feedback on the application.