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Early Development

What project formats are eligible?
We fund the development of:


We do not fund the development of:


*For further guidance on the distinction between infotainment, lifestyle, magazine programs and documentary/factual programs refer to the advice on Screen Australia’s website.

How much can I apply for?

What can I use the money for?

We contribute to the following:

Who is eligible?

Screen NSW general eligibility requirements can be found in the Screen NSW Terms of Trade which should be read in conjunction with these guidelines.

Applicants will generally be a NSW based Key Creative, individual or company. If you are not based in NSW you must:


You must intend to produce or post produce your project in NSW.
You must hold the rights in your project.

Teams generally need to include a Key Creative with credits in a relevant genre. If your team does not have these credits, please provide other information demonstrating that you have the relevant market knowledge and relationships.

Screen NSW is committed to supporting increased participation in the industry of people from underrepresented groups including women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, people from CaLD backgrounds, people with disability, LGBTQI people, people from western Sydney and people from regional NSW. Priority will be given to teams including people from under-represented groups.


How and when can I apply?

You can apply at any time.

Complete an online application form.


What do I need to submit?

You must submit all core materials listed on the form.

For Early Development we assess short documents and draft scripts. We also prefer that you have opened a dialogue with a distributor, broadcaster or online content commissioner.

The creative materials required may vary according to the project type.


Your short document should demonstrate the following:



We are generally looking for a preliminary pitch document and an indication of intended market.

We generally do not require marketplace attachment up front however we are unlikely to fund more than a mini bible without broadcaster interest.

If you have secured broadcaster development please indicate this in the ‘previous funding’ or ‘other funding for this stage’ section of your application form.


Your pitch document should concisely describe:

If your program is reliant on the participation of a particular person or people you will need to have a document verifying that they consent to take part.



Your application materials should provide:


How will my application be assessed?

Your application will be competitively assessed against the following criteria:


If we commission an indigenous assessment, the project will be assessed with reference to Screen Australia’s guidelines Pathways & Protocols: a filmmaker’s guide to working with Indigenous people, culture and concepts.

If your application is not successful the project may be resubmitted if substantially reworked. A project that is declined for Early Development can be considered for Advanced Development or Market Travel if it has advanced sufficiently.


How long will it take to receive a decision?
Between four and six weeks from the date that we acknowledge receipt of a completed application.

What are the terms of funding?
Please refer to the Screen NSW Terms of Trade.

If you would like to provide us with feedback, or believe you have cause for complaint, please consult our Feedback, Review and Formal Complaints Procedures.