A bold, ambitious and creative program, Film Lab: New Voices, will foster a new generation of South Australian filmmakers in a new initiative from the South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC) and Adelaide Film Festival in collaboration with Mercury CX.

With a direct focus on feature film, the program will give three South Australian creative teams industry mentoring across a 12-month period to develop a low-budget feature film script. One project will be selected to move into production and the final film will premiere at the Adelaide Film Festival 2022.

Minister for Innovation and Skills David Pisoni made the announcement at the Adelaide Film Festival Made in SA event, a showcase of South Australian short films.

“This wonderful new initiative has great local benefits as the project will be wholly produced and post-produced in South Australia, providing local jobs and upskilling opportunities for crew and emerging talent,” Minister Pisoni said.

“Importantly, this is a skills development program that will accelerate career pathways for outstanding, diverse, emerging talent in South Australia.

“This collaboration between the SAFC, Adelaide Film Festival and Mercury CX demonstrates the kind of streamlined approach that delivers the best outcomes for the entire sector.”

Each writer/director/producer team will be provided with mentoring from internationally regarded low-budget feature filmmakers, many of whom are based in South Australia. The program would draw upon the in-house expertise at SAFC through Production Executive and former feature film producer Julie Ryan (Ten Canoes, Red Dog, H is for Happiness, Hotel Mumbai) and Industry Development Executive Kath McIntyre.

Film Lab: New Voices builds on the success of the SAFC’s Film Lab 2009-2012 which launched the careers of at least 12 South Australian Above-the-Line creatives and resulted in critically acclaimed, break out films Shut Up Little Man52 Tuesdays and The Infinite Man, among others.

CEO of the South Australian Film Corporation Kate Croser said “Film Lab: New Voices is designed to uncover the next wave of visionary South Australian talent.  Feature film credits are highly regarded in the screen marketplace, as is a festival premiere, and are important to securing future funding and career-building opportunities, so this initiative has real value for the selected team’s writer, director and producer. The development of diverse key creatives underpins the growth and sustainability of the South Australian screen sector, and through Film Lab: New Voices we will offer the opportunity for the next generation of South Australian creative talent to demonstrate their potential in the global market.”

CEO and Creative Director of the Adelaide Film Festival Mat Kesting said “The Adelaide Film Festival is proud to partner with the SAFC in this initiative to find new creative talent in our local industry, and we are thrilled to be able to present the finished film to audiences at the 2022 Festival.”

CEO of Mercury CX Karena Slaninka said “As part of our new positioning as a national centre of excellence dedicated to talent and story development, Mercury CX is delighted to be collaborating with the SAFC on Film Lab: New Voices, to support the cultivation of emerging talent and bold, authentic stories”.

Film Lab: New Voices is aimed at South Australian emerging key creatives (writer, director, producer) who have short film, web series and/or narrative documentary credits, applying as a team. At least one member of the team(writer, director or producer) must be from a group under-represented in the South Australian screen industry 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.