SQ News

Authentic NQ opens to First Nations Filmmakers

Screen Queensland in partnership with Screenworks and the ABC has announced the return of Authentic NQ, an initiative championing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander filmmakers from North and Far North Queensland. 

Authentic NQ will provide $4,000 funding to support three filmmaking teams to tell local stories in the form of original 3–5 minute microfilms. Participants will also receive mentoring from the ABC to refine their shooting scripts, production planning, rough cuts and final edits, with the aim of delivering a high-quality microfilm for streaming on ABC platforms.  

Authentic NQ will support more productions to be made in North and Far North Queensland — a region where there is no shortage of stories and local screen talent. Running for the second time, this initiative is part of Screen Queensland’s commitment to growing a stronger regional screen industry, which is a key focus of the agency’s North Queensland Regional Program. 

Screen Queensland Acting CEO Dr Belinda Burns said Authentic NQ backs First Nations storytellers as they pursue careers in the burgeoning regional screen industry, which is set to expand in 2024 with the opening of the $12.6 million Screen Queensland Studios, Cairns development. 

“North and Far North Queensland has local talent and stories unlike anywhere else in the world. As Queensland moves along its Path to Treaty, it’s never been more important for our First Nations practitioners to have access to the screen industry. 

“This initiative is investing in First Nations filmmakers by increasing their professional capabilities and connecting them with industry experts,” Dr Burns said.

ABC Head of Regional, Rural & Emergency Hugh Martin said Authentic NQ returns to share more fascinating stories from the North Queensland region.

“In 2021 three authentic Queensland stories were captured by local filmmakers – a woman’s rise to national champion, a story of island life and turtle rehab, and a musician’s struggles with abuse and purpose.

“These local stories are what the ABC is about, and this partnership with Screen Queensland and Screenworks connects local content makers and filmmakers to tell authentic stories about northern Australia’s most interesting communities,” Mr Martin said.

Screenworks CEO Lisa O’Meara said it is a pleasure to continue supporting the screen industry in North and Far North Queensland through partnerships with Screen Queensland and the ABC.

“By continuing to provide these opportunities, we are supporting the growth of skills and capabilities of screen practitioners in North and Far North Queensland. Enabling local filmmakers to tell local stories increases the capacity of the region and should lead to more productions being made in the region.

“Screenworks is delighted to partner with Screen Queensland and the ABC to continue offering these invaluable opportunities and ongoing support for the screen industry in North and Far North Queensland.”

Authentic NQ officially opens during NAIDOC Week. In 2021, the First Nations-focused films by inaugural Authentic participants, Janne Rytkönen (The Good Fight), Shontell Leah Ketchell (Naytive) and Robert Crispe (Yunbenun Charm) aired on ABC as part of NAIDOC Week celebrations. They highlighted Cairns boxing champion Leah Reuben, Cairns music artist Naomi ‘Nay’ Wenitong and Yunbenun (Magnetic Island) Traditional Owner Uncle Brian Johnson and tour guide Craig Crichton.

This initiative is part of Screen Queensland’s North Queensland Regional Program delivered by Screenworks in association with the ABC. Opened for the first time in October 2020, Authentic NQ is a fully funded opportunity for filmmaking teams to produce microfilms to stream on ABC platforms. Applications for Authentic NQ close Sunday 6 August. Click here for more information and to apply.

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Media contact
Amanda Lawson, Head of Marketing and Communications
07 3248 0500