Australian-Canadian Funding Goes to Digital Storytelling Projects

Cited for using “new technologies to tell culturally relevant stories,” three digital media co-productions pull in more than half a million dollars in Canadian and Australian funding.

The Australian-Canadian co-production 'Inanimate Alice' is one of three digital storytelling efforts awarded incentive grants.
The Australian-Canadian co-production Inanimate Alice is one of three digital storytelling efforts awarded incentive grants.

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

‘To Push the Geographic and Creative Boundaries’

More than US$537,000 has been granted by the Canada Media Fund and the Australian government through Screen Australia as an incentive for three interactive digital media co-productions.
[pullquote cite=”Graeme Mason, CEO, Screen Australia” type=”right”]”We’re confident these teams will overcome all the hurdles of co-production and provide inspiration for others to do more.”[/pullquote]

A new stage of London-based Canadian author Kate Pullinger’s long-running Inanimate Alice project for young people is one of the three efforts chosen by the cooperative funding plan. In Canada, the Inanimate Alice team is led by Ian James Harper. And in Australia, the co-production team is Mez Breeze Design. The new episode for development is titled “Perpetual Nomads.”

The Inanimate Alice co-production attracted US$203,288 (AUS$270,261, CA$269,754) of the total US$537,255 in (AUS715,576, CA$713,474) Australian-Canadian funding.

Teenage Jesus – Metal Messiah is the second of the three projects funded, a co-production of Australia’s Closer Productions and Canada’s The Goggle Media Group. It captured US$151,115 (AUS$201,272, CA$200,523) of the funding.

And The Westbury Faery, co-produced by Australia’s Plot Media and Canada’s Log Cabin Productions is the third of the three projects funded, drawing US$182,839 (AUS$243,525, CA$242,619).

In the competition for the funding, projects had to be a collaboration of at least one Canadian producer and one Australian producer.

‘A Great Blending of Aussie and Canadian Talent’

The grants reflect both Canberra’s and Ottawa’s “continued support for original storytelling in the digital age,” according to the joint news release issued by the Canada Media Fund and by Screen Australia.

Screen Australia logoIn his prepared statement, Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason said:

“We’re thrilled to be working with the Canada Media Fund to enable new collaborations between our countries. The selected projects look highly innovative in form and content, and are a great blend of Aussie and Canadian talent and ideas that we believe will result in something unique. We’re confident these teams will overcome all the hurdles of co-production and provide inspiration for others to do more.”

CMF logoFor the Canada Media Fund, President and CEO Valerie Creighton said:

“This incentive gives producers in both countries the opportunity to push the geographic and creative boundaries of interactive storytelling. Canada and Australia have a long-standing history of film and television co-production.

“Given the linguistic, historical and cultural ties between our two countries, it was only fitting that we extend our partnership to include an incentive for digital media co-production that supports innovation and creativity in both countries.”

A mockup from the coming "Inanimate Alice: Perpetual Nomads" Web site, provided to Publishing Perspectives by Mez Breeze
A mockup from the coming Inanimate Alice: Perpetual Nomads Web site, provided to Publishing Perspectives by Mez Breeze
‘Marvelous Investment’

We asked principal players in the Inanimate Alice project to give us some input on the newly announced funding, starting with author Kate Pullinger, who is a professor in creative writing and new media at the UK’s Bath Spa University. She works with digital artists Chris Joseph and Andy Campbell to direct the episodes she writes, based on a concept and characters developed by Ian Harper.

Kate Pullinger
Kate Pullinger

Pullinger tells us:

Inanimate Alice is a digital novel told in episodes that use text, music, images, video and games to tell the story of a girl growing up in a near-future setting.

“She wants to be a games designer and by ‘Episode Six: The Last Gas Station’, released earlier this year, she’s at college studying.

“Over the past decade the project has grown to include a larger team and the news of this marvelous investment from Canada Media Fund and Screen Australia will enable that team to continue to experiment and innovate in the ever-growing field of digital storytelling.”

There’s more, including comments to Publishing Perspectives from Mez Breeze and Ian Harper: Read the full story at Publishing Perspectives

By Porter Ander­son

Originally published


Authors: To subscribe to The Hot Sheet—the essential industry newsletter for authors from Jane Friedman and Porter Anderson—click here and enjoy our 30-day free trial.

TheHotSheet 6002015-03-08_18-54-25

600 x 200 TEP this one

IPA banner full

LBF 2016 Quantum Conference 600


Publishers Forum 600 x 120

Main banner 600 x 124

HOW Live 2016 600 x 118

WDC NYC 2016 6OO X 120

Leave a Reply