Gender Matters: Screen Australia announces $3 million funding for Brilliant Stories by women

The Dressmaker - Jocelyn Moorhouse with Kate Winslet

Screen Australia LogoThe Australian Government has today revealed the 58 recipients of Screen Australia’s Gender Matters: Brilliant Stories and Brilliant Careers, marking the largest cohort of projects funded in a single day in the agency’s history. The Brilliant Stories slate includes 45 original concepts by Australia women, including 16 television productions, 11 online  and 18 feature films. 

A combined 45 story ideas and 13 industry projects led by Australian women will share in more than $3 million of dedicated funding. The funds give creative teams the opportunity to fast-track the development of their creative concepts. Even better, the TV stories in particular explore Australia’s love of genre shows, delving into sci-fi and superhero fare on the small screen. The success of ABC’s Cleverman is undoubtedly one of the driving factors in helping fund these projects.

“Gender Matters is unashamedly providing express-lane access to female business ideas and stories…It’s now time for action,” said Screen Australia Chief Operating Officer, Fiona Cameron. Check out the Screen Australia Newsroom website for more detail, including the Brilliant Careers recipients.

Feature films

Feature film concepts include RIDE LIKE A GIRLthe story of the first woman to win Melbourne Cup (with Rachel Griffiths making her feature film directing debut). CLOUD MONEY sees an elderly artist from a remote community run away to France to fulfill her lifelong dream to visit Claude Monet’s garden. 2015 NSW Young Australian of the Year Genevieve Clay-Smith, whose work in supporting underrepresented people continues with BABY CAT a tale of a vivacious young woman with Down syndrome, determined to make it on the international krumping stage.

THE LAST FLIGHT tells the true story of the brave Pan Am flight attendants on a rescue mission into Vietnam during the war, and in GIRLS IN HOTELS, Gracie Otto and Jessica Carrera from Dollhouse Pictures work with writer Lee Tulloch to reveal the last 24 hours in the life of one woman. Meanwhile, producer Alex White and writer Mirrah Foulkes (the sole female member of Blue Tongue Films) are teaming up with acclaimed filmmakers Jan Chapman and Jane Campion, who are set to executive produce their drama-thriller RUNAWAY.

Bella Heathcote and Gracie Otto girls in hotels LA Picture by Guy Lowndes

GIRLS IN HOTELS – Bella Heathcote and Gracie Otto.
LA Picture by Guy Lowndes


Television concepts include SEX IN THE WEST, the story of three mixed-faith friends living in Western Sydney and I AM WOMAN — the life of one of the mothers of modern feminism. Diana Glenn and Offspring’s Kat Stewart and Jane Harber move behind the camera into first-time writing roles with THE ELEMENTALS, penning the tale of a group of washed-up superheroes in a share house. PUBLIC RELATIONS is a comedy set in a PR firm that puts our culture of spin in the spotlight, while SIXTEEN is a sci-fi tale of sixteen girls who disappear on a three night hike. Writer Elise McCredie is also set to pen crime drama OVERFLOW with Claudia Karvan on board as producer.


The online slate includes Skitbox, the brains behind viral hit Activewear, teaming up with online sensation SketchShe to create MANIFEST, three female creatives adjusting to life without chai lattes in a post-apocalyptic creative slum. TRIPLE OH! follows the antics of a mismatched pair of ambulance paramedics, while FUNNY RABBIT is a dark satire created by one-woman producer/writer/director Biddy O’Loughlin, told through the eyes of a rabbit named Bill. In SHEILAS, two sisters dramatically explore the forgotten and most ‘badass’ women in Australia, and GOOD GRIEF is a funny and touching series on the inevitability and inconvenience of grief and mourning.