Step-Up Film Initiative

The generosity of more than a hundred Tasmanians will see two new short films produced in Tasmania that are destined for the international film festival circuit – providing a huge step-up for early career filmmakers in the state.

The Step-Up Film Initiative is the brainchild of Tasmania’s screen development organisation Wide Angle Tasmania.  General Manager Abi Binning says “we have a deep pool of talent in Tasmania but it’s incredibly difficult for early career filmmakers to keep building on their film successes – making high quality films is very difficult without access to equipment, mentors and cash.  The Step-Up Initiative is designed to provide talented filmmakers with the means to make their next defining film.”

Over 100 Tasmanians and major sponsors Crowe Horwath and Blue Rocket Productions contributed $23,000 to the Step-Up Film Initiative.  Through Creative Partnerships, all donations to the fund were matched, providing Wide Angle with much needed funds in 2016 when government funding of the not-for-profit organisation ceases.

The competition for Step-Up was fierce, with 8 very strong teams applying.  The prestigious selection panel included internationally renowned writer director Rolf de Heer, Flickerfest International Film Festival director Bronwyn Kidd and acclaimed documentary producer Julia Overton.  The panel selected:

Letitia Lamb and Vivien Mason will produce a 3 minute animated documentary Bikey Face – the story of Clara who has the unusual job of sharing the gift of independence through teaching girls the joy of riding a bike in rural Ghana.  Vivian Mason knows from experience that while “making independent animation is a challenge in itself, this story is exciting because it's a true. It's about girls traveling the world and sharing ideas and skills that can be really transformative. I hope it inspires the audience to feel like small acts can change other peoples lives, and inspires young women in particular to live their dreams!”

Bloodgurgler is a 10 minute dark comedy/thriller by writer Adam Ransley and directed by Daniel James.  In this short film, a naïve young office worker defeats his opponents in an online role-play game, and must fight for his life as his opponents take revenge in the real world.  Producer Rogan Brown explained, “the Step-Up Initiative gives us a fantastic opportunity to make the film we want to make, without having to scrimp and scrounge! Adam Ransley has written a great story, and the funding and support that we're getting from Wide Angle will allow us to put that story onto the big screens at festivals across the world. It's a great chance to make our mark.”

Each team will receive a package valued at over $30,000 including;

• script editing and attachment of a mentor filmmaker
• $10,000 cash budget
• $5,000 value of production and post-production equipment hire from WAT
• insurances for the film (public liability, workers’ compensation cover and volunteer accident insurance for cast and crew)
• a colour grade and sound mix provided by a post-production studio
• a gala launch of the film
 
The films will be shot over summer and will premiere in Tasmania in June 2016.

Step-Up Film Initiative 2016

A Girl Needs a Bike - Directed and Produced Viven Mason & Letitia Lamb

Bloodgurgler - Written by Adam Ransley, Directed by Daniel James & produced by Rogan Brown