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The Cinespace Production-In-Residence (PIR) program offers 3-month residencies to filmmakers and screen creators from Victoria's diverse cultural communities. Residences are by application and limited to one residency each season (3 months).

Please read this page carefully (including FAQs) before applying.

Eligibility Check:

If you meet all the criteria outlined below, you are eligible to apply for the Production-in-Residence program:

  1. Applicant- must be aged 18 or older.

  2. Key Creative Team- must be comprised of a majority (at least 75%) of Victorian residents.

  3. Experience- must be emerging or early-career screen practitioner/team.

  4. DOP- must have experience with higher-end cameras. (If this is not the case and you are successful you will as a condition of your residency contract be required to engage a Cinespace-appointed trainer for one day to train your cinematographer in use of the equipment, at your expense, prior to commencement).

  5. Copyright- Applicant must be the copyright holder, and must possess rights to original work or rights to underlying works. (If successful you must demonstrate clear chain of title (ownership) of the project).

  6. Ready for Production Stage- Your project must be ready for production, and not be reliant on further finance. Read more.

If you are eligible and wish to proceed with an application, follow the steps below

How to apply:

We use the FilmFreeway web site to handle our application process.

  1. Create a FilmFreeway account

  2. In the MyProjects page upload your script (or treatment) for the short project you wish to make within the residency.

  3. Be sure to select the 'Script' option under Project Type while uploading your script/treatment. (Note: This should be no longer than 10 pages, if your project is longer the panel may only read the first 10 pages.)

  4. Submit for consideration by our residency panel on FilmFreeway here, by the indicated deadline date. (You can also use the yellow button at the bottom of this page to apply).

  5. Read and accept Terms and Conditions (detailed below on this page).

Please note that late submissions will not be considered. To ensure fairness, there will be NO extension to this deadline, under any circumstances, however you can apply for the following round if you miss the deadline.

Here is a link to a text version you can use to prepare a draft of responses and your video pitch before you complete the form online.

All submissions will be kept strictly confidential and are for panel assessment purposes only.




Selection Process:

Selection of residency awards includes a three-stages process.


Stage One

This is a compliance check by Cinespace administration.


  1. Check 1- Whether the project and applicant meet the essential eligibility criteria as detailed above under 'Eligibility Check'. There is an option in the application process to submit a rationale if you do not meet one of these criteria, for consideration by the panel.

  2. Check 2- Whether the project accepted the Terms and Conditions have been read and accepted.

If your application is passes the eligibility check, it will be sent to the next stage.

Stage Two

Projects submitted in each residency application round are ranked by a panel, against six criteria. The panel comprises four votes from Cinespace board (1 vote),  industry partner/sponsor and/or external assessors with industry experience (3 votes). Cinespace has cultural-diversity quotas as part of our assessment panel.

The judging criteria are:

  1. Originality: Concept / Voice

  2. Execution: Structure / Plot / Pacing / Characters / Dialogue

  3. Authenticity: Diversity on screen / Authorial representation

  4. Pathway to Audience

  5. Inclusive Methodology

  6. Practical: Ready to Make/ Necessary Funding and Team in Place / Achievable / IP


Here is a link with more detail on how the criteria are assessed.

Stage Three

From here, there will either be a clear winner based on judging scores, or the panel may discuss a final shortlist of top scored projects to ascertain the project that will be awarded the residency.


Finalists may be requested by the selection panel to attend an interview online or in person to assist in making a final determination. Finalists (Applicant / Producer) will be notified by phone, and announced on our social media on commencement.

Only one project will be offered a residency, however if not accepted, runner-up projects may be offered the residency.


As we are a volunteer-run organisation, only the successful applicant will be directly notified. Unsuccessful applicants for a round are advised via FilmFreeway notification of the outcome, and we would encourage you to apply again for future rounds. See also FAQs below.

Contacting Us​

Please note as a volunteer-run organisation, we do not have any staff capacity to reply in person to questions about the residency program or the application process, or to provide any application feedback, and the panel decision in each round is final. You may write to us at only if your question is not answered in the FAQ section below, and we will endeavour to reply as quickly as we can by email and add the response to the FAQ section to support future applicants.


Terms and Conditions


Please take time to carefully read the sample Agreement which the main Producer of successful projects is required to enter into, on behalf of the production-in-residence.

This includes a full summary of terms and conditions of the residency.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How many projects will the residency program be supporting?

We support four residencies per year.  One residency is supported each Season, with Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring Residencies (allowing for a designated changeover period/day in the final or first week of each residency). Cinespace may opt to pause the PIR program at any time, e.g. for an internal production initiative, or to run a targeted residency, but will aim to provide advance notice of three months on our web site if this is to occur.


What projects is Cinespace looking for?

Cinespace is looking for projects, which exhibit a strong authorial vision, a compelling story, and fresh, interesting characters that present a view of and/or are made by Victoria’s culturally-diverse and inter-cultural population, with culturally-appropriate production practices and methodologies. 


Screen projects can be drama, comedy, other genre, documentary, mockumentary, experimental, social video, or any hybrid of these forms you can come up with. Be aware that because we're not offering animation facilities and due to the period of time in which a residency takes place, we are less likely to accept a project application that is strongly animation based. Because the project has such tight production and post-production parameters, we will select projects which we feel confident can be realised within these parameters. This means that the projects must be based on a simple, yet compelling, idea. Any type of narrative screen production (scripted or unscripted) can be supported including:

·       short films

·       documentaries

·       standalone web-series

·       proof of concepts (for series, feature films)


Non narrative projects such as experimental films, digital storytelling projects (e.g., VR), music-based projects may be supported where there is a strong case to be made.

Cinespace is a non-profit enterprise, and while projects may lead to future commercial outcomes for participants, projects-in-residence must not be inherently commercial in nature (e.g., corporate video).


If you have received existing funding for your project, please let us know in your Application.


While it isn’t essential to have other funding, you should have all the funding you need and be ready to commence production if you are successful in being awarded a residency. (If you still need to raise further funding to be able to make your program, you should wait until a future residency round to apply).

If you have substantial funding (e.g. agency full-budget funding at a level at which could reasonably be assumed would normally pay for equipment and post production) you are less likely to be eligible for a residency, as we are aiming to provide an alternate production pathway for independently made projects. Project may however have existing minor funding (e.g., small grants, local grants, CBF funding) that contribute to line items such as crew/cast costs, catering etc.

Student projects can apply.

What teams are we looking for?

This program is for emerging and early-career filmmakers and content creators, with a view to increase cultural diversity on screen and behind-the-scenes. We encourage both projects by culturally-diverse and POC communities, as well as more broadly inclusive productions. Applicants may have previously made student, self-funded or corporate films or you may be an experienced crew member. We are also open to aspiring filmmakers with very little, or no experience so long as there is a strong supporting team that demonstrate the project will be achieved. Writer/Director/Producer teams are strongly encouraged to apply. Applicants should demonstrate willingness to work as a team, talent and enthusiasm.

Do I need experience?

Applicant teams may comprise beginner, emerging, early career or professional practitioners. Prior experience is not essential to apply, however teams with prior credits are more likely to have the script and other skills required to demonstrate ability to deliver on the residency. Beginners with a strong voice/vision may apply with more experienced crew/team members to help demonstrate capacity to deliver the project. Due to the complexity of the professional production equipment and the pressure of the residency timeframe, entirely beginner teams with no track record and no-one with prior experience on board are unlikely to be a stage where they are ready for this program, however we would encourage you to get involved with Cinespace or ask about other opportunities to develop your skills.

Can I apply more than once?

There is no restriction on how many times you can apply for a residency. However to promote equity and opportunity, it is less likely that the same individual or team will be selected more than once.

The panel may encourage re-application from strong projects that were not able to be offered a residency in the current round. If unsuccessful in one round, and you have not been advised to re-apply in a future round with the same project, you should consider applying with different projects, if you apply again in future. 

What if I have a conflict of interest?

Recognising that Cinespace committee, sub-committees, volunteers and staff as well as affiliates may also be part of the communities whom we exist to service, such persons may be part of a team applying for a residency, however must declare a conflict of interest and must abstain from judging process for that round if having any personal involvement in or close relationship to an applicant production or team.

Where can I get funding for the rest of my production costs?

Cinespace cannot provide a letter of guaranteed support to apply for other funding, as we require applicants to be funded and production ready. However, you can apply for other funding and indicate the Cinespace contribution may provide additional support your project if you apply and are successful. If you include a residency as proposed funding to another grant, you should state that funding is ‘unconfirmed’ at the time of applying.  This may mean you need to demonstrate to other funders that your project can still proceed if you do not secure a residency. Ideas for funding your residency costs include grants programs and philanthropy, VicScreen (e.g., VR prototype funding), Community Broadcasting Foundation, Documentary Australia Foundation, crowd funding. If you need auspicing arrangements to apply for funding, please get in touch wih us.


What about other help with resources ?

Visit the Cinespace Links page.

What is included in a residency?

Refer to the detail page.

​What isn’t included in a residency?

All other costs associated with production, or costs not explicitly mentioned above or in the Terms and Conditions (Agreement).


How long does it take to assess my application?

Cinespace will make a determination usually 2-3 weeks out from the start date of the residency. Therefore you should be ‘ready to go’ if you are selected, although you will have three months to produce and complete the Work.

We prefer advance notice and will generally commence assessment of received applications for support in the middle of a season – e.g. mid-January, mid-April, mid-July and mid-October. Successful applicants will generally be notified in the first week of the following month (February for residence commencing in March etc.).

In exceptional circumstances we may assess an application with shorter notice (for example, if we have not received sufficient applications for a particular round).


How will I be notified of the outcome?

Successful applicants for a residency will be notified with a phone call or by email as early as possible prior, typically in the first week of the month prior to a residency commencement. Unsuccessful applicants will receive a 'no selected' advice via FilmFreeway. While we appreciate people taking the time to apply, due to limited resources we do not reply individually and no additional information can be provided on the process to unsuccessful applicants.

What if I am unsuccessful in a round?

While we cannot take enquiries from applicants about an unsuccessful outcome, Cinespace may at its discretion provide some feedback to those projects that scored highly but were not able to be offered a residency this round - if the selection team feels it would be beneficial for you to consider before re-applying again. If you are unsuccessful and receive no feedback, we would recommend you consider a different project for future rounds, rather than re-apply with the same project again for this initiative. If you are unsuccessful but still wish to make your project, you can find a list of other rentals or hire companies on our web site who may be able to assist you.

When will projects go into production?

After a brief induction to the space and equipment at the start of the residency, successful residencies have three months to undertake pre-production, film, and edit the work to a stage where it can be presented. No extensions on this period are available, as a new residency will commence each three months. Projects should aim to be completed in the three month period, however in some circumstance projects may need to take a little longer, or engage other external facilities, to finish off the project. Post Production partner may offer discount rates to residents on additional editing services. It is a condition of the residency that a copy of the completed work and deliverables be given to Cinespace within one month of the residency, irrespective of the stage the work is at (view the Residency T&Cs section above for details on how this may be used).


Successful applicants once accepting a residency must be available during this time to make the work/film, so please ensure this is the case with your key team before applying.​


Who owns copyright to the projects?

The applicant producer is required to hold copyright in the project, however Cinespace and its associates is by agreement given certain licenses to use materials in association with the residency program. Cinespace also is entitled to a repayment of a development line item in the event of future commercialisation of the Work, as a non-profit this money will go to supporting future creative projects and practitioners. Refer to the Residency agreement in the T&Cs section for details.

Can I use the space/equipment for other purposes while undertaking a residency?

The residency/space is for the primary use of the independently made, creative project applied for in the selection process. Residents may use the space/equipment for other community/non-commercial projects during the residency period. As a non profit organisation the space/equipment must not be used for "profit generating purposes", however a community project that generates a small fee, that in turn contributes to your residency project budget, is likely allowable if it doesn't impact too much on you making your main residency project. You may also let another filmmaker access the space if they abide by all the same conditions of use in your residency contract, and you remain responsible for such use. If you are deemed to be "profiting" from the residency space/equipment in making commercial or properly funded work, your residency may be terminated without notice. And while there's round-the-clock access, no, you can't use the space for accommodation!

More questions?

Cinespace is a volunteer-run organisation with limited resources, and unfortunately we are not in a position to take phone enquiries about this program. However, we welcome email enquiries IF they are not answered on this FAQ page (so please check this page carefully first before contacting us). Please email us at, and we will endeavour to reply as soon as possible.

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Applications for the Winter 2023 Residency is closed. Please watch this space for updates on future rounds.

Read this program Guidelines and Terms & Conditions, and Frequently Asked Questions page before applying.

If you have limited English skills or need assistance with completing the application, please contact as we are planning to provide future opportunities for support.

Cinespace's PIR program is made possible with support from the Victorian Government & the Victorian College of the Arts.

Click here to read more about these and other partners.

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