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New round of SKIP AHEAD offers $120K for Aussie Youtube creators

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Skip Ahead by Screen Australia & YouTube Australia offers funding and support for Aussie creators. Apply now to bring your project to life!

Screen Australia, in partnership with YouTube Australia, has announced the opening of applications for the ninth iteration of the Skip Ahead program. This initiative is designed to assist Australian YouTube content creators in enhancing their narrative capabilities, creative vision, and the quality of their productions.

For the 2024 round, Skip Ahead is set to offer up to $120,000 in funding, distributed across a maximum of four YouTube projects. This year marks a notable first for the program, with an emphasis on supporting at least one project specifically tailored for children, which will debut on YouTube Kids.

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Since its inception in 2014, Skip Ahead has allocated over $5.1 million to support 39 teams in their skill development endeavors. Among the beneficiaries are notable creators such as RackaRacka (Talk to Me), Superwog, Lyanna Kea, Julian O’Shea, Wengie, Beau Miles, Aunty Donna, and Tibees, with many transitioning successfully into television and film.

Highlighting success stories, Danny and Michael Philippou of RackaRacka, who received Skip Ahead funding in 2016, launched their feature film Talk to Me, which emerged as one of A24’s most profitable global releases at the North American box office in 2023, amassing over USD $93.3 million worldwide. Additionally, the film secured eight awards at the 2024 AACTA Awards, including accolades for Best Film, Best Director, and Best Lead Actress for Sophie Wilde.

The program has also spurred other success stories, such as Aunty Donna, who leveraged their Skip Ahead-funded project 1999 into Netflix’s Aunty Donna’s Big Ol’ House of Fun and Aunty Donna’s Coffee Café for the ABC. The Superwog pilot enabled the Saidden brothers to secure a series on ABC TV; Over and Out by Adele Vuko and Christiaan Van Vuuren won Best Short Form Series at Canneseries 2019; and Jenny Zhou’s Celebration Nation was an AACTA Award nominee in 2021.

Documentaries funded through Skip Ahead have also achieved remarkable viewership on YouTube, with Beau MilesBad River surpassing 3 million views, Quantum Experiments at Home from Looking Glass Universe hitting over 2 million views, and Small Footprint reaching over 1 million views.

Deirdre Brennan, the CEO of Screen Australia, expressed enthusiasm about the ongoing collaboration with YouTube. She noted,

“YouTube serves as a platform for extraordinary Australian storytellers. The Skip Ahead program has demonstrated its capacity to significantly advance careers and garner international acclaim for these projects.

We’re excited to persist in this creative partnership with YouTube, presenting a pivotal opportunity for local talents to refine their abilities, engage with new audiences, and exhibit their innovative work to the wider industry.”

Ed Miles, YouTube Australia & New Zealand’s Director, also shared his excitement about the partnership’s achievements and future prospects. He stated,

“YouTube is immensely proud of our decade-long partnership with Screen Australia and the doors the Skip Ahead initiative has opened for Australian creators.

We eagerly anticipate discovering the formidable creators who will join us in 2024, witnessing the realization of their distinctive and impactful narratives, and assisting in introducing their work to global audiences.”

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Content creators with a substantial YouTube presence, including significant subscriber counts or videos with at least 1 million views, are invited to apply.

Selected participants will benefit from a workshop scheduled for the week of 22 July 2024 in Sydney, along with continuous development support and production funding. For teams located outside Sydney, provisions for travel and accommodation will be made available for up to three members per project.

The application deadline is set for 5pm AEDT on Thursday, 21 March 2024.

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Kevin Perry
Kevin Perryhttps://tvblackbox.com.au/author-kevin-perry/
Senior Editor and Co-Owner of the TV Blackbox website, Kevin Perry is an experienced media commentator focused on TV Production, Consumer Tech, SVOD & Sports Broadcasting. Media enquiries please Call or Text 0428-275-111

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