Applications for HIVE FUND #4 have now closed.


The HIVE FUND seeks ambitious /audacious arts projects to be presented at the 2018 Adelaide Film Festival and for broadcast on ABC TV.

This funding initiative is designed to support one-off, stand-alone films for production and post-production – be they half hour, one hour or feature length projects. Documentary or drama series proposals will not be considered. The fund supports work by artists and filmmakers for theatrical and/or broadcast release.

In terms of genre we are seeking a wide range of forms including documentary, hybrid and drama projects.

In 2011 AFF, ABC Arts and Australia Council for the Arts invested in three projects for premiere at Adelaide Film Festival in October 2013 and later for broadcast on ABC TV. Each of these films was directed, or co-directed by a leading Australian artist and are a collaboration with leading Australian filmmakers. These films have gone on to garner awards, critical success and audience acclaim.

In 2013, AFF, ABC Arts, Australia Council for the Arts and Screen Australia enabled a second round of distinctive new work which premiered at the 2015 Adelaide Film Festival.

In 2015, AFF, ABC Arts, Australia Council for the Arts and Screen Australia are committed to another round of distinctive new work for premiere at AFF 2017 and broadcast on ABC TV.

In 2017, AFF, ABC Arts and Screen Australia are calling for another round of distinctive new work for premiere at AFF 2018 and broadcast on ABC TV.

The amount we can offer to each project selected is considered on its own merits.

  • up to $110,000 for a half-hour documentary/hybrid
  • up to $180,000 for a one-hour documentary
  • up to $180,000 for a one-hour short feature
  • up to $400,000 for a feature length work

Submission Process

Please send all application materials via email to with “HIVE FUND 4” in the subject line.

Applications for Stage 1 close at 5pm on Monday 29th January, 2018.

We strongly prefer screen elements of the application to be presented via online links, which should be listed in the body of your application email. If you have issues with your application, please call (08) 8394 2505.

HIVE FUND Application Materials

Stage 1

  • a one-line and half-page synopsis
  • a treatment or script of the work
  • if appropriate, describe cross-platform components and opportunities
  • Resumes of producer, writer and director, and any other confirmed key creative personnel (DOP, editor, composer, key cast etc)
  • one example of the director’s previous work, eg. a complete film (not a show reel) or evidence of artistic achievement in other art form genre
  • if a documentary work is proposed, and if available, please include footage of characters or key elements, preferably via online link and written confirmation of key subjects’ willingness to participate
  • where there is Indigenous community participation or content involved in the project, written confirmation of the willingness of both the subject(s) and the community to be involved in the project is essential
  • proposed finance plan for production, including all sources of funding

Stage 2

  • a budget in the Screen Australia A-Z format

Please note materials will not be returned, so applicants must ensure they keep copies of everything, including all AV materials.


  • Teams of a director and producer are required. Preference will be given to projects where an established artist is attached as director or co-director, and an experienced film producer is attached.
  • The producer must have at least one screen credit that was either broadcast and/or screened at a recognised film festival. Credits could be in documentary or drama production, and could include short films and television series.
  • Projects are only eligible if proof of access to key subjects is provided with the application. This can be a signed letter or an email originating from the subject
  • Appropriate releases must be obtained from the key subjects, together with all other necessary clearances, releases and chain of title documents.
  • Projects agree to world premiere the finished work at the 2018 Adelaide Film Festival (October 2018), and are subject to the Hive Fund Guidelines
  • Feature projects may be able to deliver after October 2018. This will be negotiated per project and with all HIVE partners.
  • Be an Australian film, video or cross platform project and must have a TV broadcast element.
  • Be at an advanced stage of development with a realistic finance plan which is to be confirmed by Funders.
  • The applicant must be an Australian Permanent Resident or an Australian Citizen
  • The applicant must comply with Screen Australia’s eligibility requirements as set out in its Terms of Trade.

Assessment Criteria

The HIVE FUND encourages art form cross-pollination, and seeks projects from filmmakers exploring creative development methodologies and working with collaborators from other art forms. Equally we seek proposals from artists from other art form genres exploring film as a creative outlet.

The selection criteria for assessment examined the following:

  • strength of idea, originality of approach, distinctiveness of vision, art form convergence, relevance for a prime-time audience.
  • the story, characters, issues and themes in treatment or script that articulates the stylistic and visual approach of their film, highlighting the art form convergence (be it embedded in creative process or project content)
  • we value bold and imaginative cross-platform ideas and strategies for your project, so we would encourage you to provide these with your application. Please note that we view live performance or exhibition elements as platforms
  • is the budget feasible and in line with the story; and can the team raise the remaining money in the required time-frame? (For shortlisted projects an assessment undertaken by an outside budget consultant will inform the overall assessment of the project against this criterion.)
  • is the project ready to go into production?

Assessment Process

AFF, ABC TV, and Screen Australia will select a shortlist of projects from the proposals offered and will notify the teams who are not successful by letter or email.

Selected Projects

Selected Projects will be subject to the ABC’s Content Executive Meeting and commissioning process in order to be commissioned and broadcast by the ABC. Successful applicants will be required to enter into an ABC Licence Agreement which grants the ABC certain broadcast rights within Australia.

All programs broadcast by the ABC are subject to the ABC’s Editorial Policy Guidelines available here.


Applications cannot be accepted after the deadline. Posted applications will only be accepted if they are post marked on or before the closing date.

You will receive written acknowledgement of your application within two weeks of the closing date.

Application materials for all eligible projects will not be returned. All other material, including audiovisual items, will be destroyed by secure document and media destruction. Please do not send any originals and ensure that you only send copies.

Stage 1                deadline for applications 29th January 2018

Shortlist               projects will be notified 14th February 2018

Stage 2                deadline for shortlisted applicants 28th February 2018

The materials you are required to send with your application are set out in the application form for this initiative. Applications that do not include all the requested submission materials are considered ineligible and cannot be assessed. Additional material cannot be accepted after the closing date.


Your application will be assessed for eligibility according to the criteria listed previously in these guidelines. Ineligible applicants will be advised by letter or email, and cannot be assessed for funding.

Statement of Reason

Upon written request, short listed projects can be provided with a statement of reasons explaining why the application was unsuccessful. The AFF has a conflict of interest policy applicable to staff and consultants.

Budgeting Advice to Applicants

Please use the A–Z Budget Form available from the Screen Australia website.

  • Where cast and crew are employed at least MEAA minimum rates must be paid
  • Production budgets should allow for appropriate production insurances, legals and an audit at the end for production
  • A provision for marketing costs must be included in the budget ($2,000 for half-hour and $3,000 for one-hour documentaries

Please ensue the following delivery items are costed:

  • ABC – digibeta masters and publicity stills and production paperwork including post-production scripts
  • AFF – Digital Cinema Package (DCP) of the film, DVD copies of the film, copy of master set of production stills of CD, final cost report, electronic press kit and written publicity pack for the film, theatrical or other promotional posters, copy of the soundtrack on CD (if and when available) and each cross platform element of the film (if and when available)
  • Screen Australia – DVD copies of the Film, copy of master set of production stills of CD, final cost report and statutory declaration, electronic press kit and written publicity pack for the film, theatrical or other promotional posters, copy of the soundtrack on CD (if and when available) and each cross platform element of the film (if and when available)

Rights and Legal Advice to Applicants

You will need to obtain independent legal advice about all agreements you will be required to enter into if your project is supported. The agreements will include the following minimum rights to be granted:

  • World premiere screening at the 2018 Adelaide Film Festival plus two additional screenings
  • Promotional rights to be granted to the ABC, AFF and Screen Australia.
  • Exclusive Australian free-to-air television rights for ten free-to-air television runs (includes simulcast stream) over 5 years, commencing after AFF Premiere. Subject to clearance of actors’ rights.
  • Website and online rights for:
    • ABC Online platforms, including 8 standalone 30 day iview runs and streaming for 30 days following each ABC free-to-air television run, as well as series stacking across the HIVE initiative according to the ABC/SPAA terms of trade; and
    • Screen Australia, included within the suite of its promotional rights

Additional rights to be granted to the ABC in consideration of its contribution will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis. It is recommended that applicants prepare proposals and budget for the widest possible clearances throughout the world to allow for maximum financing opportunities. In assessing applications, consideration will be given to the extent to which clearances for television, video and online throughout the world are achievable.