ABC TV and Screen Australia will commission 25 projects for Fresh Blood, an initiative to find the next generation of comedy performers and producers.
The successful 25 projects each receive a budget of $10,000 to produce three, 2-5 minute short form comedy sketches to premiere on ABC iview this year.
With a record of 20 million program plays in December, iview is Australia’s most popular catch-up service and an ideal fit for ‘social sharing’ short form sketches.
“Fresh Blood is one of the most exciting projects for us, “says Richard Finlayson, ABC Director of Television. “Not only does it continue ABC TV’s commitment to nurturing and supporting fantastic Australian comedic talent, it gives 25 aspiring comedians and comedy groups the amazing opportunity to see their ideas turned into content that will premiere on iview later this year.
“It’s the kind of leg up any young, up and coming comedy hopeful would kill for, and I can’t wait to see the results.”
“There’s a rich pool of Australian comic talent working outside the system making quality content for digital distribution,” said Graeme Mason, CEO, Screen Australia. “Through the Fresh Blood initiative, we’re thrilled to offer some the opportunity to take their careers to the next level with this injection of funds, and the relationship with a major broadcaster and Federal screen agency. Fresh Blood is a dynamic addition to Screen Australia’s suite of support for practitioners using newer technologies and platforms to reach their audience.”
ABC TV and Screen Australia have received an overwhelming 492 applications, since the call-out for “Fresh Blood” went out last October. Due to the high calibre of creative entries, 25 projects are to be commissioned, one more than the 24 projects originally sought.
“It was a difficult task to select just 24 from an amazingly talented field, so in the end we had to choose 25 because it was just too hard,” says Sophia Zachariou, Acting Head Entertainment, ABC TV.
“The 25 projects range from puppetry and animation to absurdist sketch and I have no doubt that the clever, funny people in and behind these Fresh Blood projects are going to be big names in Australian comedy in the future.”
Fresh Blood will be produced by ABC Entertainment TV and is the first digital commission for iview. It positions the catch up service as a creative platform for innovative content.