Aussie kidcaster ABC ME and Screen Australia have launched DisRupted, a new film-based funding initiative that puts the spotlight on young Aussie creatives with disabilities.
In an effort to improve the under-representation of people living with disabilities in the media landscape, the program will fund three to four individuals or teams to create a standalone comedy, drama or documentary film roughly 20 minutes long that captures what it’s like to be a young person with a disability in Australia.
Successful applicants ages 18 years and up will be given up to US$70,000 (AUD$100,000) to make a film targeting eight- to 12-year-olds that will air on ABC ME, the ABC ME app and ABC iview on December 3, 2019, the International Day of People with Disability.
The program provides opportunities both behind and in front of the camera, as each film will feature a writer, producer and/or director with a disability and give child actors with disabilities their first acting credits.
DisRupted finalists will also receive production and editorial mentorship from professionals including ABC Children’s acting head, Libbie Doherty, and executive producer Amanda Isdale, as well as Screen Australia’s head of development, Nerida Moore, and development executive Ester Harding.
The closing date for applications is December 12, 2018. Additional information can be found here.
The new funding program follows in the wake of last year’s successful Girls initiative from ABC ME and Screen Australia to fund five films led by female creatives that capture what it’s like to be a 12-year-old girl in Australia. It also comes at a time when more work is being done in the kids space to produce TV shows, video games and consumer products that cater specifically to kids living with disabilities.
In August, this movement saw New York pubcaster WNET and its partners THIRTEEN Productions and accessible media company Bridge Multimedia launch Railway Hero, a new accessible digital math game based on hit PBS KIDS series Cyberchase. The game was designed using a born-accessible approach, with accessibility functions built into the game design from the ground up to help children with physical and cognitive impairments.
For its part, Bridge has also developed two disability mapping guides—one for children’s television producers and another for children’s game developers—that are currently in the final stage of review by the US Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs.