Story telling with a diversity focus

Posted 6 years ago by Alexandra Stopford
The participants of the 2017 Developing the Developer workshop (Source: Screen Australia)
The participants of the 2017 Developing the Developer workshop (Source: Screen Australia)

A four-day workshop in Sydney is encouraging diversity in the production world by opening up applications to people from a cultural background, those with disability or who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Transexual, Bisexual, Questioning or Intersex (LGBTIQ).

Run and organised by Screen Australia, Developing the Developer aims to increase the diversity of practitioners who work in screen story development to create a pool of developers more broadly reflective of Australian society.

The program was first run in 2017 following a report by Screen Australia on diversity in TV drama which revealed that characters of non-Anglo Celtic backgrounds, those with disability or identified as LGBTIQI were all under represented on screen.

From this, Senior Development Executive, Screen Australia Nerida Moore says the company saw an opportunity to identify and support a number of emerging screen development professionals – leading to Developing the Developer which she says is part of “a range of opportunities” offered by Screen Australia to address this problem.

As a result, the program is seeking applicants from these diverse and underrepresented backgrounds who are able to demonstrate some track record in story or new work development from any genre, platform or narrative art-form.

“Screen Australia recognises that in order to contribute to our story development capacity and culture – we need to continue to identify, nurture, develop and collaborate with new generations of fiction developers across story platforms and formats,” Ms Moore says.

“We would encourage individuals who are committed to contributing to a development culture reflective of Australian society and passionate about facilitating other people’s creative visions, to apply for this initiative and be part of this new generation.”

Ms Moore says that any successful applicants for the workshop from outside of Greater Sydney will have all of their costs covered by the program.

They are looking for eight to ten applicants who, over the four days will build on, develop, analyse skills, methods and practice in the sector, with Screen Australia engaging with each participant after the workshop concludes to discuss their goals and work with them to unlock support opportunities for participants to continue their practice in the story development field.

From the 16 creatives selected to participate in the first workshop last year, to date seven have gone on to secure professional placements.

Assistant Minister for Social Services, Jane Prentice, has welcomed the program and its aims saying it is “encouraging” to see the community and organisations supporting initiatives like Developing the Developer.

“We all know that communities are better places when everyone is included and made to feel welcome,” she says.

“The more that we can do as a community to be inclusive, the better we will all be for it.”

Click here for more information about this year’s workshop and how to apply.