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The 68th Sydney Film Festival is set to take place in 2022. With COVID-19 and lockdowns changing the 2021 dates, organisers are looking forward to bringing a little bit of hope and happiness back into the City. With the festival being one of the most popular in Australia, we look at how they plan to make the event accessible and inclusive. 

Sydney Film Festival is aiming to provide opportunities for people with disabilities in the New South Wales community. Do you have an interest in filmmaking? Are you creative? The Screenability Filmmakers Fund might be just what you need to get started. 

Screenability Filmmakers Fund

Screen New South Wales and the Sydney Film Festival offer an initiative known as the Screenability Filmmakers Fund. This fund aims to work with the State film industry to provide opportunities for Australian Filmmakers with a disability. The Screenability Filmmakers Fund allows short film entries of 15 minutes (maximum). The entry criteria include one creative involved in the process and being a person with a disability. Examples of these include writers, directors and producers. 

If you are one of the three teams selected under this funding, you will receive $30,000 to be used for production funding. The production created will be considered for premier at the 2021 Sydney Film Festival this November. Not only will you receive the funds to produce a high-quality short film, but Screen New South Wales will select an executive producer to assist the teams. It is important to note that any extra money needed to produce the films will need to be raised by the teams themselves. Screen NSW suggests crowdfunding as an option should the teams need more than the $30,000 given. 

Entry Criteria


  • Key Creatives should demonstrate a desire to have a career in screen content creation.
  • The applicant must be the producer and hold a valid ABN.
  •  Applicant can be an individual or a part of a production company.
  • Must be an NSW resident or NSW based company.
  • At least one of the key creatives must identify as having a disability.
  • A team must have a minimum of 2 team members, with all teams needing a producer.
  • One person can't be both producer and director.
  • One person on the team may have previous professional experience in film (paid).
  • Proposals for short films must be between 5-15 minutes.
  • Projects can be drama, factual, animation or experimental.
  • Must be filmed and post-produced in NSW only.
  • The proposal must be fully developed and ready to shoot on or near to application closing date.

How to Apply

Applications for screenability will be considered for next years festival.

Having issues accessing the form? Another version can be requested via the contact details below:

Sector Investment Manager (Screen)Development & Production

Company: Screen NSW
Name: Sofya Gollan
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Disability Inclusion Action Plan

In addition to this initiative, the Sydney Film Festival is taking measures to remain accessible to all members of the community. They are doing this in the way of companion cards, wheelchair spaces, audio description, open captioning, assistance animals being allowed in venues, assistive listening, Auslan interpreted question and answer sessions and introductions, subtitled screening and relaxed screening with quiet areas available for those on the spectrum. 

For more information please the below Disability Inclusion Action Plan for the festival.

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