We are excited to announce the UNTAPPED 2024 Masterclass Speakers are award-winning co-writer and co-director of the global breakout hit, A24’s Talk to Me, Danny Philippou; award-winning executive producer and writer of Amazon’s Expats, Alice Bell; award-winning writer and director of indie feature Shayda, Noora Niasari; and writer of Star Wars: The Bad Batch and Person of Interest, Sabir Pirzada.
UNTAPPED is a breakthrough online talent development program for undiscovered and historically-excluded Australian screenwriters and directors. The initiative is designed to provide the education and access needed to fast track careers and projects.
The program includes masterclasses from visionary creators who are boldly breaking down industry barriers plus mentorship from international creatives and executives via a virtual development lab.
The eight-month program, which runs online from March to November 2024, will provide practical creative pathways and foster exciting collaborations for a new and undiscovered generation of Australian filmmakers. First Nations Australians, culturally and linguistically diverse people, people with disabilities, LGBTQIA+ and those living in regional and remote locations will be prioritized.
The program begins with a series of open access online masterclasses for all eligible applicants. In each session, the attendees will hear from a different high profile, internationally successful writer or director. These visionary creators will provide in-depth discussions on craft including topics such as story structure, character development, and creating supporting materials in both features and series. The masterclasses will be designed to inspire UNTAPPED applicants by providing them with practical knowledge and skills that will best empower them to create impactful and exceptional material.
A survey will be sent out after each Masterclass to all the attendees asking about their key takeaways. Eligibility for the Development Lab is contingent upon attendance of the masterclasses and timely completion of the surveys.
Following the masterclasses, five-six creators or creative teams, working in scripted features or series, will be selected for the UNTAPPED Development Lab – a virtual four-month intensive mentorship program running from July – November 2024. Selected Lab participants will receive individualized mentorship, story consultation, creative feedback and professional development support from top industry mentors. Each creative team will receive a stipend of USD$2,000.
Over the course of the lab, this diverse group of five-six creators or creative teams will develop skills through online workshops focused on pitching, story development and navigating the film and television industry. Each participant or team will be paired with a US-based screenwriter or executive as their mentor as well as a writing coach whom they will meet with one-on-one several times over the course of the program via Zoom. Additionally, each of the mentors will join virtual roundtable sessions as guest speakers, offering the participants access to a range of industry professionals. AiF will facilitate monthly check-ins to create community among the participants and offer strategic, tailored support throughout the program.
By the end of the Development Lab, participants will have taken their project to the next level. e.g. a strategic plan for next steps as well as a revised outline, treatment, script, pitch deck or series document, if applicable.
February 20, 2024 - 3pm PST USA | February 21, 2024 - 10am AEDT AUS:
Untapped Application opens
March 15, 2024 - 5:59am PDT | March 15, 2024 - 11:59pm AEDT:
March - June 2024:
All eligible applicants will be invited to attend the UNTAPPED Masterclass series
All applicants will be notified of their status and selected participants will be announced
July - November 2024:
Untapped Development Lab
For consideration in the UNTAPPED program, applicants must submit an online application including a logline, project synopsis, applicant biography, statement of interest and prior directing work sample, if applicable. The program is for scripted feature and series projects only, not documentary.
If applying with a narrative fiction feature film project, you must submit a detailed treatment or screenplay.
If applying with a series project, you must submit a detailed treatment or pilot script along with a series overview.
There is a one-time application fee of $20 USD to cover some of the expenses incurred from eligibility checks and assessment of applications, and the attendance of applicants of the four masterclasses.
If you are experiencing financial hardship and would like to request a fee waiver, please send an email with an explanation of your hardship to email@example.com.
UNTAPPED is a program for emerging Australian writers and/or directors who have not yet received significant recognition and opportunity in their artistic career.
Priority will be given to applicants who have not received prior funding from Screen Australia or state agencies.
Applicants must be the writer and/or director of the submitted project. They may apply as an individual or with a co-applicant who is a writer and/or director on the project.
Applicants will only be considered if they meet the following eligibility requirements and Screen Australia’s Terms of Trade. If you are submitting as a team, the following must be true for the co-applicant as well:
- You have not previously participated in any of the following Australians in Film or Screen Australia Programs:
Global Producers Exchange
Talent USA: LA
● You are 18 years of age or older
● You are a permanent resident or citizen of Australia
● You are not enrolled full-time or part-time in a film, television or interactive digital media course at a film school or other tertiary educational institution
● You are not an employee of a broadcaster or commissioning platform (e.g. an SVOD service)
● You are not acting in the capacity of a trustee of a trust
● The project you are submitting is your original creation or is adapted from source material for which the applicant possesses the necessary rights
● Your project is not already produced, sold to a third party, or distributed online or otherwise
● Your project shall not infringe the copyright or any other proprietary right of another individual or entity. The creator/applicant is responsible for all rights pertaining to the project
Inclusion of diverse cultures and perspectives will be a priority in selecting the Development Lab participants and projects. Candidates are evaluated on the following criteria:
1. Uniqueness, creative potential and viability of concept
2. Sufficient development and execution of submitted screenplay or treatment
3. Specificity of stated goals and creative vision in the application
4. Demonstrated talent in project materials and work sample
5. Responsiveness to post-masterclass surveys and articulation of lessons learned
For questions about the application or eligibility please contact firstname.lastname@example.org