New seasons of ABC children’s animation Ginger & the Vegesaurs and the TikTok romantic comedy The formal are among nine online projects to share $2 million from Screen Australia.
Other supported titles include comedy documentary No violationon the “bad” First Nations words of YouTuber Gabriel Willie, aka Bush Tucker Bunjie, and documentary wonderful wastewhich explores the design of sustainable homes and furniture.
Lee Naimo, Head of Screen Australia Online, said the programming was part of Australia’s golden age of online content production.
“We are thrilled to fund such a variety of projects with boundary-pushing documentaries, smart and original dramas, comedies as well as an animated children’s series,” he said.
“We would love to see even more children’s content online, as it increasingly becomes an important way to reach young viewers.
“It’s great to see alumni of our Skip Ahead initiative with Google further develop their careers and create distinctive content, with Gabriel Willie embarking on the documentary on No violation and the team behind Small Footprint is now producing wonderful waste.
“We are also thrilled to support the comeback series of The formal and To failas we were impressed to see both teams building highly engaged fanbases with their authentic Aussie LGBTQI+ stories.
In 2021/22, Screen Australia provided over $8 million in funding to online creators and has provided over $20 million over the past four years.
The funded projects are as follows:
To fail (season five): a 40 x 8 minute teen drama for YouTube. Picking up from previous seasons, which have racked up 90 million views to date, season five explores identity, peer pressure and bullying at an outside Melbourne high school. Writer/director Ric Forster and producer Melanie Rowland are joined by screenwriters Grace Valerie-Lynette, Pippa Whishaw, Rhian Wilson and Sophie Joske.
Ginger & the Vegesaurs (season two): A 20 x 5 minute series for ABC Kids and ABC iview, which takes viewers back in time to a time dominated by the juiciest, crunchiest creatures to ever rule the planet: the mighty Vegesaurs. The second season sees the return of series director David Webster and co-creators Gary Eck and Nick O’Sullivan, as well as writers Sylvie van Dijk, Bruce Griffiths and Sam Carroll. Executive producer Patrick Egerton and producer Celine Goetz are also back. They are joined by series director Cindy Scharka (Kangaroo Beach), emerging writer Caitlin Farrell and producer Amanda Spagnolo (Androids). This project is funded in association with Studio 100, which will handle worldwide distribution and licensing.
Growing pains: A 20 x 1 min documentary series for TikTok that follows four young Australians living in Brisbane, all from migrant backgrounds and diverse cultures, as they navigate the challenges of their early 20s. Influenced by their African, Middle Eastern and Peace-loving backgrounds, their stories highlight how growth and inner strength come from facing life’s challenges as they find joy, purpose and meaning. This series is directed and produced by Devina Saberi, under the creative direction of Sabil Saberi. Associate producers Sheida Vazir-Zadeh and Sara Stephanus are also attached.
No violation: A 6 x 6 minute factual comedy series for social media channels ABC and iview created by New South Wales-based production company Jibber Jabber and hosted and co-written by comedian Gabriel Willie, also known as name of YouTuber Bush Tucker Bunjie. The series follows Gabriel as he goes in search of “swear words” in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages to replace the white swear words he uses so freely. During his travels, he interacts with aunties and elders, teachers, linguists, community leaders, teenagers and many others, discovering the words they use when things annoy them and they have to let go, while discovering remarkable truths about First Nations cultures. and languages along the way. The creative team also includes director Michael Hudson (Ties that bind), writer/executive producer Faith Baisden (The language and me) and writer/producer Rami Fischler (make known).
She flies: An 8 x 15 minute documentary about the gender imbalance in the aviation industry, which explores why only 5% of pilots and 1.4% of captains are women. She flies highlights the power of facing the things that can hold people back, overcoming problems, reaching new heights and achieving goals. This series from producer Bridget May (History comes back strong) and director Stephen Limkin will be released on YouTube.
suburban legends: An 8 x 3 minute documentary series for TikTok that travels Australia in search of the most obscure local celebrities and legends, from Adelaide’s Dancing Guy to Canberra’s DJ Sue. This lighthearted series embraces Australian microheroes and shares them with the world. The series is written and directed by Kristina Kraskov (How the mule saved a town), produced by Anna Charalambous (How the mule saved a town), and executive produced by Nick Wray. It will be posted exclusively on VICE Australia’s Instagram and TikTok accounts.
Disposables: A one-hour show on ABC ME and ABC iview, TikTok Live, and a 30 x 2 minute vertical action-adventure series, about refugee Priya whose father is missing and is accused of unleashing a supernatural beast in the western suburbs of Sydney. Convinced that he is in grave danger, Priya and her best friend Obi must fight adversity and exclusion – and a terrifying plastic-eating monster – to find her father, save their neighborhood and obtain their visa. The creative team includes writer, director and producer Renny Wijeyamohan (girl class), writer/director Sonia Whiteman (Len’s love story), writers Keir Wilkins (Survive the summer), and Saman Shad and producer Karen Radzyner (paper giants).
The formal (season four): A new 6 x 5 minute season of the popular queer romantic comedy TikTok which has over 8 million views, centers on college students Hannah and Monique as they plan the biggest night of their lives, the 12th year ceremony. In season four, longer episodes on TikTok and YouTube follow Hannah and Monique as they figure out what will happen to their relationship now that the ceremony is over and their adult life has officially begun. Writers/directors and stars Monique Terry and Hannah-Rae Meegan are once again teaming up with producer Sarah Lang (how to stay married).
wonderful waste: A 6 x 10 min documentary series from the creators of small footprint, which explores the role design can play in the inherently useless and unsustainable construction of our homes and the things that fill them. It will draw on six key designers and inventors who find use in forgotten furniture, discarded plastics, construction waste and discarded appliances. This series is directed by Colin Chee, written and produced by Luke Clark and Elizabeth Price, and produced by James McPherson. It will air on the Never Too Small team’s YouTube channel, which is dedicated to design and space-saving living and has over 2 million subscribers.