01 February, 2022
Australians in Film and Screen Australia announced today the return of UNTAPPED, the breakthrough professional development program for undiscovered and historically excluded Australian writers and directors, featuring masterclasses from award-winning filmmakers Destin Daniel Cretton (Shang-Chi, Short Term 12), Marta Cunningham (Insecure, Transparent), Silas Howard (Dickinson, Pose) and Oscar-nominated screenwriter Meg LeFauve (Inside Out, Captain Marvel).
This year’s mentors include executives from leading Hollywood production companies James Wan’s Atomic Monster, Nicole Kidman’s Blossom Films, Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine and Tanya Saracho’s Ojalá Productions. Additionally, individualised story consultations and pitch coaching will be led by writing mentors Ellen Shanman and Patricia Verducci.
After a hugely successful inaugural launch in 2021 which drew applications from over 800 new and emerging Australian writers and directors, UNTAPPED is again offering the opportunity for Australian screen creatives to fast track their careers and projects and create meaningful professional relationships in Hollywood. The five creatives will also be welcomed into the global AiF membership community.
UNTAPPED is broken into two parts: First, the masterclass series running from March – May 2022, led by some of the most exciting voices in the global screen industry to which all Untapped applicants are invited; and second, an intensive four-month development lab running August – November 2022 for the five selected creators or creative teams, with mentorship from award-winning Hollywood production companies and leading story development consultants.
First Nations Australians, culturally and linguistically diverse people, people with disabilities, LGBTQIA+ and people living in regional and remote locations are strongly encouraged to apply for Untapped.
One of the screenwriters selected for Untapped 2021, Shannan Tamby Lim, said, “I can’t imagine my project without UNTAPPED. The story-driven feedback, the international perspective, the support of our mentors and peers. It’s helped me understand why making the work is so important to me and ultimately, why an audience will connect with it.”
Another Untapped 2021 filmmaker, Kylie O’Donnell, said, “I can’t describe UNTAPPED as anything other than explosive. With an incendiary mix of industry connections, expert feedback and backstage insights, it’s propelled me years ahead in my career, and sent my project flying into the next phase of development.”
Peter Ritchie, Executive Director of Australians in Film said, “The results and reaction to UNTAPPED 2021 speak volumes. We expect most of the projects to go into further development as a result of the lab. The demand for screen content is at an all-time high, and AiF’s role, with the support of Screen Australia and our other partners, is to create substantial and meaningful professional bridges to key LA decision makers and creatives, and in the process increase the quality of the output and grow the sector.”
Graeme Mason, CEO of Screen Australia said, “We were delighted to see the success of Untapped in helping talented creatives forge pathways in the US industry and advance their careers, and we can’t wait to support a new crop of filmmakers in 2022. Untapped, made possible thanks to additional funding provided to Screen Australia by the Australian Government, will continue to help Australian creatives make meaningful connections in the industry and be well-positioned to reach global audiences.”
UNTAPPED 2022 is presented by Australians in Film and Screen Australia. Supporting partners include Screen NSW, Film Victoria, South Australian Film Corporation and Scripted Ink. Industry Partners include Australian Directors Guild, Australian Writers Guild, Screen Canberra, Screen Producers Australia, Screen Queensland, Screen Tasmania, Screen Territory, Screenwest and Screenworks.
Applications must be submitted by March 1, 11:59pm PST. For further information on how to apply, please go to the AiF website here.