Screen Queensland in partnership with Screenworks and the ABC have announced the return of Authentic NQ, an initiative championing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander filmmakers from North and Far North Queensland. 

Authentic NQ will provide $4,000 funding to support three filmmaking teams to tell local stories in the form of original 3–5 minute microfilms. Participants will also receive mentoring from the ABC to refine their shooting scripts, production planning, rough cuts and final edits, with the aim of delivering a high-quality microfilm for streaming on ABC platforms.  

Authentic NQ will support more productions to be made in North and Far North Queensland — a region where there is no shortage of stories and local screen talent. Running for the second time, this initiative is part of Screen Queensland’s commitment to growing a stronger regional screen industry, which is a key focus of the agency’s North Queensland Regional Program. 

Screen Queensland Acting CEO Dr Belinda Burns said Authentic NQ backs First Nations storytellers as they pursue careers in the burgeoning regional screen industry, which is set to expand in 2024 with the opening of the $12.6 million Screen Queensland Studios, Cairns development. 

“North and Far North Queensland has local talent and stories unlike anywhere else in the world. As Queensland moves along its Path to Treaty, it’s never been more important for our First Nations practitioners to have access to the screen industry. 

“This initiative is investing in First Nations filmmakers by increasing their professional capabilities and connecting them with industry experts,” Dr Burns said.

ABC Head of Regional, Rural & Emergency Hugh Martin said Authentic NQ returns to share more fascinating stories from the North Queensland region.

“In 2021 three authentic Queensland stories were captured by local filmmakers – a woman’s rise to national champion, a story of island life and turtle rehab, and a musician’s struggles with abuse and purpose.

“These local stories are what the ABC is about, and this partnership with Screen Queensland and Screenworks connects local content makers and filmmakers to tell authentic stories about northern Australia’s most interesting communities,” Mr Martin said.

Screenworks CEO Lisa O’Meara said it is a pleasure to continue supporting the screen industry in North and Far North Queensland through partnerships with Screen Queensland and the ABC.

“By continuing to provide these opportunities, we are supporting the growth of skills and capabilities of screen practitioners in North and Far North Queensland. Enabling local filmmakers to tell local stories increases the capacity of the region and should lead to more productions being made in the region.

“Screenworks is delighted to partner with Screen Queensland and the ABC to continue offering these invaluable opportunities and ongoing support for the screen industry in North and Far North Queensland.”

Authentic NQ officially opens during NAIDOC Week. In 2021, the First Nations-focused films by inaugural Authentic participants, Janne Rytkönen (The Good Fight), Shontell Leah Ketchell (Naytive) and Robert Crispe (Yunbenun Charm) aired on ABC as part of NAIDOC Week celebrations. They highlighted Cairns boxing champion Leah Reuben, Cairns music artist Naomi ‘Nay’ Wenitong and Yunbenun (Magnetic Island) Traditional Owner Uncle Brian Johnson and tour guide Craig Crichton.

This initiative is part of Screen Queensland’s North Queensland Regional Program delivered by Screenworks in association with the ABC. Opened for the first time in October 2020, Authentic NQ is a fully funded opportunity for filmmaking teams to produce microfilms to stream on ABC platforms. Applications for Authentic NQ close Wednesday 26 July. Visit our for more information and to apply.



Media Contact 
Amanda Lawson
Head of Marketing and Communications
[email protected] | 07 3248 0500


Screen Queensland is the Queensland Government-owned agency dedicated to growing a successful screen industry in the state. The agency supports locally produced films, series and games, and secures international and interstate production and post-production into Queensland. It also runs initiatives to build skills and careers for local screen practitioners, and funds film festivals and industry conferences. Screen Queensland is deeply committed to uplifting the voices of Aboriginal Peoples and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and increasing diversity on and off screen. 

Opened in 2019, Screen Queensland Studios, Brisbane has hosted Fear Below, Joe vs Carole and Young Rock. Screen Queensland Studios, Cairns is set for completion in early 2024. International productions supported by Screen Queensland include Elvis directed by Baz Luhrmann, Thirteen Lives directed by Ron Howard, Ticket to Paradise starring Julia Roberts and George Clooney, Netflix series Irreverent, The Portable Door with Sam Neill and Christoph Waltz, Land of Bad starring Russell Crowe and Liam Hemsworth, Legendary Pictures’ Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, Wizards! starring Pete Davidson and Orlando Bloom, Disney+ series Nautilus and Apples Never Fall starring Annette Benning and Sam Neill, La Brea (Season 3) and Mortal Kombat 2. Supported Australian projects include AudreyBluey, Black Snow, The Bachelors Australia, Boy Swallows Universe, Dawn of the Dolphins, In LimboIn Our Blood, Limbo, Love is in the AirUpright (Season 2), Revealed: Reefshot, Strait to the Plate and True Spirit. Digital games include the BAFTA-winning Unpacking, My Little Pony: Mane Merge and Cities: Skylines – Remastered. Screen Queensland’s Screen Culture fund supports film festivals and major industry events including Screen Forever, Asia Pacific Screen Awards and from 2024, the ACTAA Awards. For more information on funding programs, incentives, locations and facilities, visit


ABOUT SCREENWORKS – Screenworks is a registered charity that provides support, leadership and vision for the regional screen industries in Australia. The principal objective of Screenworks is to promote and advance the screen industry in regional, rural and remote Australia, with a focus on the industry cluster in the Northern Rivers region of NSW. Their principal activities provide screen-related development and networking opportunities, programs and initiatives specifically designed to support people living in regional, rural and remote Australia. Screenworks is a home-grown not-for-profit, membership-based association managed by a board of volunteer directors that provide industry, management and screen industry knowledge and experience.

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