Netflix has announced a new scholarship fund aimed at First Nations creatives and voices, worth over $500,000.
The Netflix Indigenous Scholarship Fund, administered by the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS), is worth $515,000 and will be invested over a two-year period.
Per a press release, the fund will aim to “elevate Indigenous creatives and voices in the Australian screen and broadcast industries and support Australia’s First Nations communities and storytellers”.
The fund will be divvied out by a selection panel, chaired by AFTRS council member Tanya Hosch and including Netflix representatives as well as Indigenous leaders from several educational institutions.
Funding distribution will be guided by principles of the AFTRS’ First Nations strategy, which is led by Dr. Romaine Moreton, director of First Nations and outreach.
“Guided by the expertise of AFTRS First Nations leaders, this very generous scholarship fund from Netflix has the potential to transform both individual careers and improve the inclusion and cultural capacity of our industry,” Hosch said of the fund in a press statement.
Dr. Moreton echoed this sentiment, saying the fund “will create pathways into industry, driven by First Nations values that are self-determining, advance Indigenous cultural revitalisation practices and promote storytelling autonomy”.
Earlier this year, Netflix commissioned its first Australian reality show, ‘Byron Baes’. However, the show has drawn mass criticism and protests from Byron Bay locals and politicians, who have called the premise “vapid” and “tacky”.