L-R Executive Producers Jackson Lapsley Scott and Meg O’Connell. Photo by Rhett Hammerton
Calling all Queensland filmmakers from under-represented backgrounds to apply to create six short films through RIDE Shorts – part of the RIDE (Respect, Inclusivity, Diversity, Equality) Initiative to foster a fair and respectful screen industry while opening doors for diverse practitioners around the state.
Up to six early-mid career creatives teams will be selected to work with Queensland Executive Producers Meg O’Connell and Jackson Lapsley Scott from Unless Pictures to create six short films. RIDE Shorts is supported by RIDE partners – Screen Queensland, SBS, Madman Entertainment and The Post Lounge.
The shorts will premiere at the Brisbane International Film Festival later this year, with potential to stream on SBS On Demand and to be packaged together as a feature film for theatrical distribution by Madman.
Screen Queensland’s Chief Creative Officer Jo Dillon said the RIDE Shorts aims to unearth the hottest creative talent across the state and further the important values at the heart of the agency’s RIDE commitment.
“RIDE Shorts combines drivers we know contribute to accelerating Queensland’s screen talent in a way that promotes diversity while providing a platform for filmmakers with distinctive voices and original ideas to bring their stories to the big screen.
“The opportunity to work with Meg and Jackson from Unless Pictures is another way participants will develop as practitioners, and we are incredibly excited to see what emerges.”
Each team will receive up to $55,000 to create the shorts, as well as creative feedback and guidance from Unless Pictures throughout development, production, post, delivery and distribution.
Launched at the TV Week Logies in 2019, Screen Queensland’s RIDE Initiative is designed to expand opportunities for diverse screen practitioners identifying as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, culturally and linguistically diverse, female, non-binary, LGBTQIA+, disabled, and/or regional or remotely based. Since its launch, six feature films have entered development with the RIDE partners, with the goal to produce one feature-length film per year for three years.
Applications for RIDE Shorts open 8 March and close 5pm, Monday 12 April 2021 via screenqueensland.com.au
ABOUT SCREEN QUEENSLAND Screen Queensland is a Queensland Government owned company that invests in talent and production to grow a creative, innovative and successful screen industry with a focus on stories and audience, secures production and post, digital and vfx to Queensland, and delivers an active screen culture through festivals and events funding across the state. Screen Queensland invests in stories and talent through a range of mechanisms including development, production investment, initiatives, SQhub and mentorships. Screen Queensland is deeply committed to increasing diversity in the screen industry to reflect the Australian community. For more information visit screenqld.com.au
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.