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Umbrella Entertainment and No Coincidence Media to develop a feature from a First Nations writer

27 July 2023

Jon Bell’s ‘The Moogai’

No Coincidence Media and Umbrella Entertainment have put the call out for First Nations screenwriters to submit their feature ideas, offering to fund one concept with development costs of up to $40,000.

Writers or writing teams who have an early-stage concept treatment or first-draft script in the genres of horror, comedy, romance, comedy, science fiction or thriller are encouraged to get in touch.

According to the criteria for the initiative, applicants should “have a CV that demonstrates their ability to write fiction with a short film that has played at a top-tier film festival locally or internationally, a television episode or feature film writing credit”. First Nations literature and theatre writers are also welcome to apply.

Mitch Stanley of No Coincidence Media will produce the film and hold rights to the project, while Umbrella Entertainment will distribute the film in Australia and New Zealand.

Stanley said No Coincidence Media was excited to continue its long-standing relationship with Umbrella Entertainment, which goes back to the 2016 documentary Servant or Slave.

“Working with First Nations writers and practitioners in telling our stories is what No Coincidence Media strives to continue doing,” he said.

“Building upon our strengths in working with some of Australia’s most awarded and recognised filmmakers such as Warwick Thornton, Beck Cole, Danielle Maclean, Steven McGregor, and Jon Bell, this is also an opportunity to further grow the sector with new Indigenous voices that we’re always on the lookout for, and who are wanting the chance to break through.”

The announcement comes as Umbrella Entertainment and No Coincidence Media complete work on their first feature drama together, Jon Bell’s The Moogai, currently in post-production.

Umbrella Entertainment general manager Ari Harrison said the development callout was a great opportunity to strengthen the relationship and “fast track an exciting, genre-driven First Nations project and creative into development production with market attachments”.

To apply, writers should send a one-page synopsis, a CV, a one-page writer’s statement outlining why their story needs to be written, and at what stage they’re at to [email protected] by close of business on Friday, September 1. Short-listed candidates will be selected by Friday, October 6.

This article was originally posted on Inside Film. Read the article here