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How does it Work?

The SPARK Film Initiative recreates a standard timeline in filmmaking, commencing in March with a Development Phase.  Workshops, professional feedback, tips and other cautionary tales will be disseminated to participants through workshops, meetups and notes (see screenplay mentoring). Participants will start joining projects, and preparing their proposals.

The 5 selected projects will be announced on Friday 1 June, which marks the start of the Production Phase. Each crew will go through the joyful mayhem of pre-production, Principal Photography and Post-Production. They will receive a seed fund of $5,000 per project, as well as a solid list of contacts for Spark-friendly business and services. The Spark staff will stand ready to give a hand or guidance when needed.

All films will be completed by the end of August, which is when the Distribution Phase begins. Think posters, promo trailers and premiere Screening! This is the rewarding part, when the proud crews get to show their work to their friends, families and communities. The Spark Collection will be premiered at Deckchair Cinema during DIFF!

For the list of events and important dates, check the SPARK timeline.

Who is it for?


Everyone is a (screen)writer. If you haven't done it before, simply use this layout to start. This step is open to anyone who's curious about getting some professional insight on their work. You don't even have to enter it in the Spark call for projects. If all you want is private feedback on your screenwriting skills, that's exactly what you'll get!


If you're a busy media professional based in Darwin and would love to add some original IP content to your credits, let us know! Even a couple of hours of lending and training on your equipment or studio could make a huge difference for our participants! Who knows, you might meet your next favourite collaborator, fall in love with a script and have hella fun!

Click here to learn more.


Whether or not you're a writer, if you want to get involved in the DIFF SPARK INITIATIVE as a Producer, Director, Camera or other crew member, please register your interest with examples of your work, CV or showreel to You will be invited to an information session and networking opportunity to meet other filmmakers and form crews in the lead up to production.


While everyone isn't a filmmaker, everyone can be part of making a film! Did you know there is a chance you already possess skills needed in filmmaking? From crafts to trades, hair and make up to accounts, there is something for everyone! Could Spark be your 2018 passion project? Inquire at


Entries must be submitted by people who live in the GREATER DARWIN REGION. For any enquiry, please contact Blandine,

SPARK Development Phase

In order to support projects through development, there will be a number of stages to the application process before the final five projects are chosen. Please note that SPARK is completely free to access.


Send us your complete draft script by 2 April. A couple of weeks later you'll receive a full page of notes from Darwin screenplay legend, award-winning Phil Denson + a follow up phone call!


Through a series of workshops, you will be able to learn the basics of pitching your project and form connections, understanding the chain of titles, work on a set, and think creatively as a team!


You will have until 15 May to submit your project to Spark. Proposals's elements include a script, a director and a line producer, as well as an industry mentor. We'll guide you in this process in the lead up to the deadline.


A panel of local, regional and interstate experts in their field will assess each submission and choose five projects according to specified criteria. Those five projects are to become 2018 SPARK Short Film Collection!