The ABC and Screen Australia have put out a call for LGBTI filmmakers to produce a new series of documentaries to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras next year.
“Love Bites” will be a series of 10 five-minute documentary short films made by queer filmmakers across the country to provide “an accessible, engaging and entertaining insight into the lives and interests of the LGBTI community,” the ABC announced.
The content, tone and style of the short films are entirely up to creators, and all interpretations of the medium of documentary are encouraged. The curated series of “Love Bites” shorts will premiere on the Arts channel on ABC iview during Mardi Gras in March next year.
“ABC Arts on iview seeks to reflect the great diversity of stories and storytellers that exist across the country,” ABC TV Arts head Mandy Chang said in a statement.
“Love Bites is a great opportunity for us to work with LGBTI filmmakers in a celebration of the 40th anniversary of Mardi Gras.”
ABC TV and Screen Australia have announced they’ll commit a total of $100,000 to this initiative, offering 10 filmmakers $10,000 each to make short films for delivery in January 2018.
Last August, Screen Australia released a report into diversity on Australian TV that found only 5% of characters on Australian TV programs are from the queer spectrum, less than the 11% of Australians the report says identify as being LGBTI.
“Last year’s milestone study Seeing Ourselves showed that we need to see Australians from all parts of our community both on screen and behind the camera,” Liz Stevens from Screen Australia said.
Teams applying to the “Love Bites” project must consist of at least a director and a producer, one of whom identifies as part of the LGBTI community and one of whom has at least one screen credit in their respective roles on a project that has already been publicly released.
Submissions for “Love Bites” are now open and will close at 11pm on August 6. More information about the project and how to apply is available at the Screen Australia website.
(Photo by Jeffrey Feng/Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras)