PUBLISHED09 Oct 2019

Australia Uncovered

SBS partners with Documentary Australia Foundation to uncover unique stories of contemporary Australia

SBS, in partnership with Documentary Australia Foundation (DAF), is inviting proposals for a brand new prime time single documentary strand for broadcast in 2021.

Australia Uncovered will feature up to eight single documentaries ranging from one hour to feature-length, that explore diversity and equality in contemporary Australia, with the aim of contributing to positive social change.

Filmmakers are encouraged to be creative in their approach to style, form and construct, but the uniting factor is that all submissions must have something compelling to say about Australia today, and align with SBS’s Charter.

Shortlisted proposals seeking development funding will be invited to take part in a live pitching session at the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) in March 2020, with successful participants receiving a share of development funding from SBS.

‘Visible Farmer’

Australia Uncovered will be a curation of the most compelling new contemporary documentaries from across Australia.  Single documentaries remain an important part of our schedule and allow for a diversity of voices and stories to be told in fresh and inspiring ways”
–  Joseph Maxwell, Head of Documentaries at SBS

We're thrilled to partner on the creation of a new slot for one off documentaries. We're seeing many critically successful documentaries engage audiences and inspire them to act in distinctive ways that build social cohesion. It will be powerful to work with SBS to amplify our shared objectives to maximise audience engagement.” - Mitzi Goldman, Documentary Australia Foundation CEO
‘In My Blood It Runs’

SBS has a long history of supporting the broadcast of single documentaries including through the Untold Australia strand with the financial support of Screen Australia who have also committed to support Australia Uncovered titles.

“The AIDC applauds SBS and the Documentary Australia Foundation for their commitment to creating new opportunities for filmmakers to tell impactful and diverse, contemporary Australian stories.  We are honoured to be hosting the live pitch at AIDC to help kick-start this exciting new chapter of Australian documentary.”
– Alice Burgin, CEO and Conference Director at AIDC

There are several ways filmmakers can submit their documentary ideas


Applications for Development Funding:
Applicants are required to submit their proposals with ‘Australia Uncovered Submission’ in the subject line to:  [email protected] by 30 January, 2020:

Proposals must include the following:
– 2-4 page proposal for an original one-hour or feature-length documentaries
– 2-5 minute teaser character reel or proof of concept reel.

The shortlist will be announced by SBS on the 14th of February 2020

After a competitive live pitching session at the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) on Wednesday 4th of March 2020, SBS will commit total development funding of up to $80,000 across the successful projects.


Applications for Production Funding:

Production companies can also submit ideas that are already fully developed for production funding from SBS.

To be eligible, companies will need to submit a full treatment, a polished reel and a final budget.

This funding route will be open from the 1st of November 2019 until the 1st of July 2020.

Applicants are required to submit their proposals with ‘Australia Uncovered Submission’ in the subject line to: [email protected] .

Applications for Post Production Funding:

Production companies can also submit projects that are in mid-production or close to finishing.

To be eligible for funding, companies will need to submit a full treatment, a pre-title or short reel, a rough cut or assembly, and a budget.

This funding route is open from the 1st of November 2019 until the 1st of October 2020

Applicants are required to submit their proposals with ‘Australia Uncovered Submission’ in the subject line to:  [email protected] .

Funding for the Australia Uncovered strand is only available to production companies with relevant experience in long-form documentary storytelling. In addition, the creative team responsible for the project must include one producer, director or writer who has at least two eligible TV credits in their respective role.

Applications for funding from sources beyond SBS:

Australia Uncovered projects commissioned by SBS may also be eligible for state and federal screen agency funding.

Producers need to apply for this funding directly with the relevant agency. For Screen Australia, all production funding is subject to a creative assessment as per the published guidelines and eligibility requirements.

Further information is available at www.sbs.com.au/commissionedcontent