Docs

SBS Television looks for multicultural pitches

Screen Australia and SBS Television have banded together in a search for ideas for a new multicultural history documentary series. Denise Eriksen, manager of commissioned content for SBS, explains further.
September 8, 2008

Screen Australia and SBS Television have banded together in a search for ideas for a new multicultural history documentary series.

The new series will focus on Australia’s immigration policies from the 20th and 21st centuries. Screen Australia’s National Interest Program will fund the programs and will be broadcast on SBS Television and Online.

Producers are invited to submit proposals up to 5 pages long and framed against a budget of approximately $500,000 per episode. For more details, see www.sbs.com.au.

Denise Eriksen (pictured), manager of commissioned content for SBS, explains further.

Why are these multicultural documentaries so important for SBS Australia?
We’re just about to air a major historical series on the Indigenous history of Australia in First Australians. It offers an amazing perspective and insight which has been largely ignored in the past. We believe there is room now for a series examining Australia’s history from a variety of other perspectives. It’s not a new idea but we’ll be looking for new voices and new ways of telling the stories from the multicultural patchwork that makes up contemporary Australia. This series is coming out of the National Initiative Programme of Screen Australia – the national funding body – which shares these aspirations.

How will this series of documentaries relate to the rest of your programming?
Excellent, exciting and credible documentary is a crucial part of our slate which tells stories other Australian Networks don’t, takes our audience into parts of their community they may not know, featuring the face of multicultural Australia – and all in an entertaining and engaging way. Our brand is ‘Six Billion Stories… and counting’.

What are some tips for people who are pitching to you for the first time?
Be aware of our Charter, take into account contemporary Australian society, take us to places where other broadcasters don’t go, bring us your best and most exciting ideas first, don’t be afraid to be provocative and ground breaking – and involve us early so we can let you know quickly if you’re on the right track.

Should pitches also include radio and online ideas?
Because SBS broadcasts on many screens and platforms, we would expect the ideas to include these components.

About The Author
Meagan Kashty is an associate editor of realscreen, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Meagan is an award-winning business journalist. Prior to joining the realscreen team, Meagan was online editor of Canadian Grocer, named Magazine of the Year at the 2015 Canadian Business Media Awards. She can be reached at mkashty@brunico.com, and you can follow her on Twitter @MegKashty

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