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Film Lab: New Voices returns for a second round with three new South Australian filmmaking teams

22 March 2022
The three successful teams stand against a brick wall ; 1. Tom Phillips, Leela Varghese, Emma Hough Hobbs, 2. Josh Trevorrow (front) Travis Akbar, (not pictured - Thibul Nettle) 3. Alies Sluiter and William Littleton
The practitioners selected for Film Lab: New Voices round two (L-R) Tom Phillips, Leela Varghese, Emma Hough Hobbs, Josh Trevorrow, Travis Akbar, Alies Sluiter and William Littleton. Not pictured is Thibul Nettle.

South Australia’s successful low-budget feature film development initiative Film Lab: New Voices is once again set to foster even more diverse South Australian filmmaking talent with the three successful creative teams for round two of the program announced today.

The announcement comes hot on the heels of the success of the inaugural Film Lab: New Voices program which has seen one feature film greenlit for production, and two other filmmaking teams readying their projects to take to market.

The three successful teams for Film Lab: New Voices round two are:

The initiative from the South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC) and Adelaide Film Festival (AFF), with in-kind support from Mercury CX, once again welcomes the support of Screen Australia in delivering the second round of the program which will put the three teams through 12-months of skills development and mentoring with industry experts to  develop a low-budget feature film script.

At the end of the development phase one project will be selected to move into production with $400,000 in funding, with the final film to be wholly produced and post-produced in South Australia and premiere at the Adelaide Film Festival in 2024.

As part of a commitment to supporting diversity in the South Australian screen industry, at least  one member of each selected filmmaking team is required to be from a group under-represented in the sector including women filmmakers, First Nations filmmakers, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) filmmakers, Deaf and disabled filmmakers, LGBTQIA+ filmmakers and filmmakers from regional and remote South Australia.

New to the program in 2022, in a further boost for South Australia’s First Nations screen sector, one of the three teams selected is required to be First Nations led, with at least two members of the key creative team identifying as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.

SAFC CEO Kate Croser said: “We are delighted to launch the return of Film Lab: New Voices and build on the success of the inaugural round of the program to create even more opportunities for diverse, up-and-coming South Australian filmmakers.

“With one feature film already moving into production from round one, and two other projects continuing with further development, this innovative program is already enabling South Australian ‘Greenlighters’ to obtain their first feature film credits, one of the most valuable tools for filmmakers to break through in the film and TV industry.

“We congratulate the three successful creative teams for round two, which reflect the incredible diversity and outstanding talent of South Australia’s screen sector, and we are especially delighted to welcome the program’s first 100% First Nations led filmmaking team of writer Travis Akbar, director Thibul Nettle and producer Joshua Trevorrow.”

CEO and Creative Director of the Adelaide Film Festival Mat Kesting said: “Adelaide Film Festival is thrilled to collaborate with our partners to launch Film Lab New Voices round two. Huge congratulations to the filmmakers selected for the program, which came from a remarkable and diverse field of new South Australian talent. We look forward to supporting the teams and unveiling the work selected for production at AFF 2024”.   

Screen Australia’s Head of Development Louise Gough said “Congratulations to these three teams. We are delighted to support the second year of this change-making initiative, supporting South Australian talent to expand their skills, develop their projects, and for one project to be produced and meet audience.  I look forward to seeing their projects develop.”

CEO of Mercury CX Karena Slaninka said “Bespoke development that enhances skills whilst developing a project is a proven methodology that works. Mercury CX strongly supports this approach and is delighted to be able to contribute to this initiative to elevate creative development practice that leads to a production outcome. We are incredibly proud to have supported many of these practitioners on their journey through our professional development programs, and champion the diversity of voices selected to participate in Film Lab: New Voices round two.”

The selected round two teams will follow in the footsteps of the three inaugural Film Lab: New Voices round one teams which began in March 2021. As announced last month, round one’s ultimately successful team of writer Lucy Campbell, director Matt Vesely and producer Bettina Hamilton are now set to enter production of their feature film Monolith, ahead of a premiere at the 2022 Adelaide Film Festival in October.

For more information about the program, go to


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