SAFC launches a new initiative for people with disabilities, partners with SBS for documentary funding

Full Tilt will be informed by internationally renowned leader in disability arts Gaelle Mellis.

South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC) has launched a new initiative that promotes an inclusive approach to skills development for content makers with a disability.

Full Tilt is the first initiative launched under the Delivering Diversity umbrella of programs announced by the SAFC in April. It joins the Gender Agenda and the Aboriginal Screen Strategy, delivering practitioner and content programs for a multiplicity of voices underrepresented in the screen industry.

Courtney Gibson, CEO of the South Australian Film Corporation, said: “Delivering Diversity is all about removing barriers to careers in the screen sector for a wide range of under-represented voices. SAFC is committed to working with industry to deliver positive change and enrich our working environments, to grow the industry and audiences alike.”

Courtney Gibson

Full Tilt will be informed by internationally renowned leader in disability arts, Gaelle Mellis, in the newly created role of SAFC disability strategy executive. Mellis has served as creative director of Access2Arts SA, and as vice chair of Arts Access Australia.

Mellis said “For too long our stories have been told by others and non-disabled actors continue to win awards for ‘cripping up’. This has to stop. We want to tell our own stories and see ourselves represented authentically. Disability is a normal part of life. Disabled people can shed light on different aspects of the lived human experience with our stories adding to the richness and diversity of our cultural landscape.”

The Full Tilt attachment program opens opportunities for filmmakers with disability to undertake paid attachment positions in SAFC-supported productions.

The Seven series Wanted starring Rebecca Gibney, with the current block directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse, is the first production to employ a Full Tilt attachment. South Australian emerging cinematographer Paul Vagnarelli, who is profoundly deaf, is working as a Full Tilt attachment to multi-award winning cinematographer Mark Wareham (Mystery Road, Cleverman, Secret City).

Vagnarelli is a graduate of Adelaide College of the Arts, Adelaide City TAFE, with an Advanced Diploma in Screen and Media and has worked as a gaffer’s assistant (Lighting Department) on a number of local film productions. Wanted is his first experience on set of a major television production.

Wanted producer Tom Hoffie said, “If Paul’s significant contribution to the set of Wanted is any indication, then the Full Tilt initiative is sure to be an important driver to greater inclusion and diversity in our industry. We congratulate the SAFC for the initiative and would encourage upcoming productions to support Full Tilt.”

Along with the Full Tilt initiative, the SAFC has partnered with SBS to launch a short documentary initiative of the same name. It will fund three standalone short screen works created by South Australian filmmakers with disability to premiere on SBS’s streaming platform, SBS On Demand, in 2019.

This initiative will prioritise diverse filmmakers, with two out of the three key creatives in each team (based on a team of writer, director, producer) coming from underrepresented communities and at least one member of the key creative team being a filmmaker who is deaf or with a disability. If there are only two key creatives, one member of the key creative team must be a filmmaker who is deaf or with a disability. Development funding and a development workshop will be provided for up to five shortlisted teams.

The SAFC and SBS will then co-fund three teams to go into production.

Submissions close August 13.

Top photo: Wanted‘s Tom Hoffie, Rebecca Gibney, Paul Vagnarelli and Mark Wareham

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