It’s the time of year where most of us are sitting next to, or on, the heater, wrapped in blankets and binge-watching series after series. But are you the kind of person who stands up, throws off their blanket and proclaims, “I can make this, but better?” Who wants to tell killer stories from new perspectives? Who is a passionate, unfiltered First Nations creative or filmmaker?

RAW, a new initiative for the next generation of Indigenous Australian creatives, is calling on filmmakers aged between 18 and 35 to pitch an original concept for a television series. The winning concept will be developed and made into a pilot with a budget of $60,000.

Leah Purcell and Wayne Blair, collaborators on acclaimed ABC series’ Cleverman and Redfern Now, will work with the young filmmakers as mentors and executive producers.

“There is a genuine appetite for contemporary Indigenous storytelling at the moment, but limited opportunity for those storytellers to be heard,” says Purcell.

Blair says RAW hopes to “nurture the talents of young Indigenous filmmakers by giving them real industry experience.”

The initiative is a partnership between ABC Indigenous, Artology and the Indigenous Unit at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS).

There are two phases to RAW: the first sees up to three concepts selected for development into a short form digital-first series, and the second invites additional writers, a producer and director to develop one of these three concepts into a fully produced pilot. The pilot will then be considered for a commissioning offer by ABC Indigenous.

The initiative also provides the chance for two more new and early career writers to form part of the writing team that will develop the new chosen concept.

Not a writer? Never fear, RAW will be running a second open submission call in early October to invite passionate, early career producers and directors to bring the successful concept to the screen. Keep an eye on the RAW website and Instagram page for updates.


Applications are open until August 28, 2017. Visit rawfilmmakers.com for details on how to apply.

Magenta Sheridan is a writer, illustrator and part of the editorial team at Going Down Swinging. She has had work published in Voiceworks and Feminartsy, and is currently completing her honours thesis in creative writing at the University of Melbourne.