Aussie pubcaster ABC and government org Screen Australia are investing in inclusive kids programming with a new fund that will provide up to US$292,000 (AUD$400,000) to support production from culturally or linguistically diverse creators.
The Kaleidoscope Project will finance up to four individuals or teams to make standalone films for eight- to 12-year-olds that explore what it’s like to be a young marginalized person in Australia. Successful applicants will be given up to US$73,000 (AUD$100,000) to create a 20-minute short. Creators will receive editorial guidance from ABC Children’s and Screen Australia, and may also be mentored by experienced producers. The writer, producer and/or director behind each project needs to be a person who is culturally or linguistically diverse in order to qualify. Applications opened November 16 and will close on December 14.
The films are scheduled to air on ABC ME, the ABC Me app and ABC iview on March 21, 2022, which is Harmony Day in Australia—a day dedicated to celebrating inclusivity and multiculturalism across the country.
This isn’t the first time the ABC and Screen Australia have co-funded inclusive kids projects, including Epic Films’ live-action series First Day—which was recently picked up by the BBC (UK) and Hulu (US)—about a transgender girl’s first day of high school. And in 2018, the partners launched the DisRupted program to fund short films from creatives with disabilities, with the goal of reflecting and improving on the life of kids with disabilities.