Advancing the career paths of regionally-based screen directors

Director Pathways Program is a professional development program, delivered in partnership with the Australian Directors Guild (ADG), that provides bespoke career development opportunities to four emerging and early-career directors living in Northern NSW.

The program is designed to increase the participating directors’ skills and industry experience by supporting a tailor-made career development plan and providing relevant screen industry introductions, that will ultimately assist the participating directors build viable and successful careers. Screenworks will invest $3,500 toward implementing each of the selected participants’ career plans.

The program is open to directors of all genres, including (but not limited to) TV drama directors, documentary directors and children’s television directors. This program would best suit early-career directors who are genuinely committed to building their skills as a professional director and need the support and opportunities to further their career. Through this program, participants will enhance their directing skills in order to contribute to the growth of the screen industry in Northern NSW.


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Four directors will undertake the following program:


As part of the application process, applicants are required to submit a draft career development plan where proposed activities are to the value of $3,500 (excluding GST). Career development plans may be made up of any combination of the following (or other opportunities):

  • Professional development training, courses or other opportunities
  • Attachment or mentorships with a recognised director
  • Preparation of director’s notes and relevant documents to support funding applications for project

Click here to see an example of a career development plan.


Successful participants will be required to deliver a written report to Screenworks on their involvement in the Director Pathways Program and to present to local Screenworks members about the outcomes from their involvement in the program (at the completion of the program).


Screenworks, the Australian Directors Guild and a panel of professional screen directors will be involved in the assessment process to select the four early-career directors to take part in the project.

Once the four directors have been selected, Screen NSW, Screenworks, the Australian Directors Guild and a professional director will review, refine and approve the selected participants’ career development plan.


To be eligible for Screenworks Director Pathways Program you must meet ALL of the following criteria:

  • A screen industry director that has achieved Initial Success* in the industry. (* refer to definition below)
  • Demonstrate that you have been living in Northern NSW* for a minimum period of 12 months prior to submitting your application. (* refer to definitions below)
  • Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
  • Be a current Screenworks Member.
  • Complete all sections of the application form and submit the application prior to Midday, Tuesday 4 October 2016.

1. A  draft career development plan that includes:

  • a professional development statement that outlines your achievements as a director, as well as your creative and career goals for one year, three years and five years; and
  • an outline of the barriers to achieving your career goals and potential ways of overcoming the barriers for example, you may wish to consider potential mentors or attendance at conferences/markets to help overcome the difficulty of access to highly experienced professionals and making industry connections.
  • The draft career development plan should identify proposed activities up to the value of $3,500 (excluding GST).
  • Click here to look at a sample career development plan.

2. A sample of your work:

  • Please provide a link to an online video of your work

3. Details on your current project (including title, short synopsis, format etc)

4. An up to date resume/CV

5. A letter of support from a screen industry professional who has known you for more than 12 months and/or is familiar with your work.


The following selection criteria will be considered when assessing applicants for participation in Screenworks Director Pathways Program (all criteria areas are equally weighted):

  1. The potential effectiveness of the professional development plan to help the applicant build relevant industry skills, overcome identified career barriers to living and working regionally with defined outcomes that help achieve future creative and career goals.
  2. The skills, achievements, experience and track record of the applicant(s) and the quality of their previous work. Applicants must clearly demonstrate how they meet the “Initial Success” eligibility criteria.
  3. The potential of the applicant to contribute to and enhance the growth of screen production in regional Northern NSW demonstrated by the quality of current projects, previous works and letters of support provided.

Applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people with disability, culturally and linguistically diverse people and people living in remote areas of Australia are strongly encouraged.

Screenworks is strongly committed to ensuring equal access to this project – if you require assistance with your application, please contact Screenworks on:
Telephone: (02) 6687 1599.



All applications will receive an initial eligibility, quality and relevance assessment by Screenworks staff. Shortlisted applications will be sent to ADG and an independent assessment panel comprised of highly qualified and experienced screen directors.

The assessment panel will consider how well the eligible applicants meet the selection criteria (see above).

Applicants will be notified by late November/early December 2016 in writing of the outcome of their application.

Application Deadlines:

Applications to Screenworks Director Pathways Program close Midday Tuesday 4 October 2016 (Australian Eastern Daylight Time).

Applications must be submitted using the online application form available via Screenworks website. No late entries will be accepted, no extensions will be granted. Incomplete applications will be deemed ineligible.

Screenworks will advise all applicants in writing of application success or otherwise. No specific feedback will be given on individual applications.


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Initial Success” – To demonstrate Initial Success, applicants are asked to identify one of the following:

  • a director credit for a dramatic or factual film or screen work that has achieved broadcast, theatrical release or been commissioned or acquired by a major online content provider; or
  • a director credit for a dramatic or factual film or screen work that has been included in a curated festival, with preference given to the festivals profiled on the Screen Australia website ( or on the 88th (2016) Academy Awards Short Films Qualifying Festivals List (
  • a director credit for a dramatic or factual film or screen work that has attracted an online audience of 1 million or more views.

A director may also be considered eligible if they have agent representation and can demonstrate recent success in projects currently in development that may meet one of the above criteria.

Northern NSW” – refers to the following regions that are shown coloured in the below map: Northern Rivers, Mid-North Coast, Northern Inland, Orana and Far West. (click on image below to view larger in new window)


If you have any questions about Screenworks Director Pathways Program or require information about the application process and/or form, please contact:

Ken Crouch (Screenworks General Manager)

Email: [email protected] | Phone: (02) 6687 1599


This program is designed to build the skills and capacity of regional emerging directors. By supporting career professional development, facilitating screen industry connections and providing support, the participating emerging directors will increase their skills and capacity so that they are more competitive when applying for funding, attachments and professional positions on larger productions, all to the benefit of the Screen Industry in regional NSW.

Screenworks’ research has identified a strong demand for these types of professional opportunities in Northern NSW. In particular, we want to help emerging directors that are struggling to meet eligibility criteria of highly competitive funding and professional attachment programs offered by organisations and other industry agencies. To help achieve this, we have secured funding from Screen NSW and the support from the Australian Directors Guild to deliver this annual program especially designed to elevate the careers of talented emerging directors in regional NSW.


Screenworks’ Director Pathways Program is supported by

 Screen NSW and the Australian Directors Guild

Screen NSW Logo          

 Screen NSW

Screen NSW LogoScreen NSW is the statutory authority established to assist, promote and strengthen the screen industry in NSW so as to promote Australia’s cultural identity, encourage employment in all aspects of screen production, encourage investment in the industry, enhance the industry’s export potential, encourage innovation and enhance quality in the industry.

Australian Directors Guild

The Australian Directors Guild (ADG) is a registered industry association representing the interests of film, television and digital media directors, documentary makers and animators throughout Australia.

ADG works to promote excellence in screen direction, to encourage communication and collaboration between directors and others in the industry and to provide professional support for its members.

ADG is proud to represent the key creative elements of the Australian independent production sector, and maintains its high profile in a cultural and policy role by addressing issues affecting the industry from a broad perspective.

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