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Launched in August 2019, Centralised is a ground-breaking initiative to boost First Nations filmmakers and screen creatives in South Australia and Northern Territory with specialised funding, support and development opportunities.

Developed by the SAFC and Screen Territory together with collaborating partners Screen Australia’s Indigenous Department, Documentary Australia, AFTRS Indigenous (Australian Film, Television & Radio School), ABC and NITV, Centralised delivers a range of opportunities for First Nations screen creatives through the centre of Australia, creating clear pathways for emerging talent including mentoring, workshops, attachments and internships.

The focus of Centralised is to encourage screen storytelling, practitioner and audience development in South Australia and the Northern Territory, with an emphasis on collaboration that crosses state borders.

Main image: Deadly Family Portraits: Sansbury Sisters (2019)

Travis Akbar

Centralised First Nations Documentary Australia Fellowship

The prestigious Centralised First Nations Documentary Australia Fellowship is an unparalleled career-boosting opportunity for First Nations documentary filmmakers in the Northern Territory and South Australia.

Now in its third year, the Fellowship is a unique partnership between Documentary Australia (DA), the South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC), Screen Territory, National Indigenous Television (NITV) and Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS First Nations & Outreach) to empower storytelling and kickstart new projects from early to mid-career First Nations documentary filmmakers through the centre of Australia.

The current Fellow is Travis Akbar, a Waljen man from the Wongutha First Nation from the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia, raised on Wirangu country near Ceduna, South Australia.

As the third Fellow awarded under the initiative, Travis will write, direct and co-produce his documentary Kuta New Wiltja (Toward New Camp) with a grant of up to $30,000 for professional development and mentoring, as well as up to $10,000 of in-kind support to attend training opportunities at AFTRS.

Previous awardees are filmmaker and inaugural fellow Tamara Whyte from Nhulunbuy in the Northern Territory, who undertook professional development to further her documentary project kin, exploring the use of mathematics in First Nations cultures, and South Australian Ngarrindjeri filmmaker Josh Trevorrow who has been developing his documentary project Kondoli, examining the pivotal role of the Ngarrindjeri people in the US and European whaling trade in 1800s South Australia.

Image: 2022 Centralised First Nations Documentary Australia Fellow Travis Akbar, image supplied.

A man wearing a virtual reality headset and holding controllers standing in front of a whiteboard covered in colourful post-it notes

Diving into VR

First Nations screen creatives from South Australia and the Northern Territory have learned new skills in immersive storytelling in an exciting hands-on workshop program presented by the SAFC, Screen Territory, Screen Australia’s First Nations Department and AFTRS Indigenous.

Held at the SAFC’s Adelaide Studios from 13-18 May 2022, the Centralised Immersive Storytelling Lab 2022 took participants through the latest immersive storytelling technologies with expert guidance and mentoring, helping them to devise and develop their own interactive virtual reality (VR) projects.

Led by interactive media and VR specialists Tom Millen and Mark Atkin of UK team Crossover Labs, the six-day residential workshop saw practitioners work in teams to produce a functioning prototype VR experience that could be shown as a “proof of concept” to future funders and investors.

Image: A participant at the Centralised First Nations Immersive Storytelling Lab 2022.

Elaine Crombie, Deadly Family Portraits (2019)

Deadly Family Portraits

This SAFC and ABC digital series brings to the screen three remarkable South Australian First Nations families – mother and daughter performers Lillian and Elaine Crombie, artist father and musician son Robert and Zaachariaha Fielding, and dancer sisters Taree and Caleena Sansbury – in three short films produced and directed by teams of emerging First Nations South Australian filmmakers.

The series premiered on ABC iview on Friday August 9, 2019 marking the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People.

Find out more about each film by clicking the links below.

Image: Elaine Crombie in Deadly Family Portraits: Crombie Crew (2019)

Centralised Interactive Storytelling Workshop

Centralised Interactive Storytelling Workshop 2020

First Nations screen creatives in South Australia and the Northern Territory dived into the world of interactive storytelling in the Centralised Interactive Storytelling Workshop (26-27 August, 2020), presented by the SAFC and Screen Territory.

Run by interactive media expert Brett Cullen and held virtually via Zoom, the two-day intensive workshop introduced participants to design concepts, strategies and ideas for storytelling via interactive platforms such as VR, AR, digital games and more.

Centralised Web Series Development Workshop participants and mentors at CAAMA in Alice Springs, October 2019. Photo by Nara Wilson.
Centralised Web Series Development Workshop participants and mentors. Photo by Nara Wilson.

Centralised Web Series Development Workshop

Thirteen First Nations screen creatives from South Australia and the Northern Territory gathered at Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA) in Alice Springs in October 2019 for this four-day workshop facilitated by The Sapphires and Top End Wedding director Wayne Blair.

The program covered all aspects of creating a web series and featured presentations from a star-studded lineup of screen talent including filmmakers Dylan River and Tanith Glynn-Maloney (Robbie Hood) and writer, producer and actor Trisha Morton-Thomas (Redfern Now).

Wayne Blair, Tanith Glynn-Maloney, Dena Curtis, Adrian Russell Wills, Gillian Moody and Nakkiah Lui at the Bunya Creative Talent Incubator, December 2019. Photo by Nara Wilson.
Wayne Blair, Tanith Glynn-Maloney, Dena Curtis, Adrian Russell Wills, Gillian Moody, Nakkiah Lui. Photo by Nara Wilson.

Bunya Creative Talent Incubator

Supported by Screen Australia’s Enterprise Business and Ideas Program and the SAFC, Bunya Productions presented the Bunya Creative Talent Incubator for First Nations producers, writers, writer/directors or director/producers with a compelling idea for a web series, TV series or feature.

Held at the SAFC’s Adelaide Studios from November 29 to December 1, 2019 the three-day workshop was facilitated by producer/writer Gillian Moody (Family Rules, Black Divaz) and producer Tanith Glynn-Maloney (Robbie Hood, She Who Must be Loved) with producer/director Dena Curtis (Grace Beside Me), director Adrian Russell Wills (88, Black Divaz), Wayne Blair (Top End Wedding, Mystery Road) and rising star actor and writer Nakkiah Lui (Kiki and Kitty, Black Comedy) as mentors. 

The workshop saw eight teams of First Nations producers, writers and directors from South Australia and Northern Territory develop their ideas for new web series, TV series and feature films, and finishing the program with pitch-ready documents.