Developing passion projects process
The average filmmaker spends five years developing one film. It sounds long because it is long. Five years ago Corona was a type of beer, TikTok was called Musical.ly and Apple TV and Disney+ didn’t exist. To keep pace with audiences and industry, filmmakers require upgrades to their creative processes, not just their projects.
Supported by Screenrights Cultural Fund, For Film’s Sake and the Sydney Film Festival introduce Platform – a rapid development incubator for emerging and established screen producers and multidisciplinary creatives. Guided by international industry leaders, ten Australian creatives will collaborate, create and pitch new works of screen fiction in just four days. Maybe it will lead to a new project or a future partnership or maybe it will be an intensive, inductive and iterative exploration into new creative processes better suited to our digital age. Either way, Platform is here for a good time, not a long time.
Platform Dates: 13-17th June 2023
Venue: SFF Festival Venues
Pitch Day: Saturday 17th June, 12:30pm
Applications are now closed.
Who is Platform for?
Platform has been designed for screen producers and other screen creatives. Screen producers could be producers of commercial, shortform, web content, social media content or long form formats. Other screen creatives are any maker that does or can realistically generate screen-based material or work. You could be a writer, artist, image maker, animator, comedian, performer, influencer or anything else that you feel puts you in the screen-based category. Directors who also write are warmly invited to apply, directors who work primarily with third-party content may struggle.
What dates does Platform run?
Platform will run the second week of SFF from the 13-18th of June. We ask that filmmakers arrive no later than midday on Tuesday 13th and leave no later than midday Sunday 18th.
Where will Platform be held, in person or online?
Platform will be held in person at venues of the Sydney Film Festival. Participants must be available for the stipulated dates and cannot attend sessions virtually.
What will we do at Platform?
Workshops will be between 6 and 8 hours of content per day, excluding writing time and scheduled SFF screenings. Sessions will focus on skills of rapid content development and testing based on a process of design thinking. The idea is to quickly, succinctly and successfully find the strengths and weaknesses in a project and design solutions to improve your work and skills.
I live outside of Sydney, can I apply?
Yes, of course! Platform is designed for all Australian based creatives. If you are selected for Platform, your Sydney accommodation, daily lunches and festival badge will be supplied by FFS and SFF. You will need to pay for your return flights, ground transportation and evening meals as they are outside the program scope.
I’m a concession card holder so paying for flights is going to be hard, what do I do?
FFS has a limited, non-competitive bursary available for concession card holders only. You must indicate your intention to access support at application and all accepted applicants will have the total bursary split evenly between them. As FFS is a small charity, the total allocated bursary is small and will likely represent a partial contribution to your costs, depending on your location and the number of applicants intending to access support. However, we will discuss this with you at the point of acceptance.
Do I need screen credits to apply for Platform?
Nope. Unlike many other development schemes, Platform isn’t interested in whether you’ve made something for the screen before, or if you intend to make the project you create at Platform. We are interested in selecting dedicated, insightful, adaptable creatives who are committed to creative and professional growth, rather than their big idea.
Who is running Platform?
Platform has been designed by FFS and will be delivered by FFS Executive Director Sophie Mathisen and Samm Haillay, creator of the BFI Producer Programme. Additionally, international guests of the Sydney Film Festival will be stopping by to work with Platform participants but we can’t announce those folk just yet.
Could I get funding from Platform?
Maybe, maybe not. The culminating pitch will be for the domestic market who will give live feedback on your project and work. We can’t guarantee but we hope attendees will make valuable connections to benefit you in future. Regardless, the point of Platform is to help sharpen your skills and insight into development rather than trying to find finance for whatever you create at Platform.
I’ve been working on this idea for a film/series/webisode. Could I work on that at Platform?
Nope. You’re tasked with finding a new collaborator(s) within the Platform group and creating work with them. You’ll need to be open to their ideas as much as they’ll need to be open to yours. Attempting to retool or rework existing work will likely be less impactful as well as less fun for you and those you’ll be working with.
When does Platform open for applications and when does it close?
It’s open now and closes Sunday 14th May at midnight. We’ve streamlined the application process deliberately so we can’t accept any late applications.
Is there any follow up from the submission?
A shortlist will be invited for a short 15-30 minute video call on either the 16th or 17th of May. All applicants will be advised of their application on the 18th of May.
What do I need to apply?
You will need to answer the questions in the application form that you can preview and send in a two minute pitch video outlining why you want to participate in Platform. That’s it!
Why a video?
Platform is a public-facing program and you’ll be working collaboratively within a diverse, creative group. We want to get a sense of how comfortable you are in a social context which we can’t do from written answers alone. Don’t hire a studio and don’t overthink it!
Need more answers?
Get in touch with email@example.com