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NATSIMO Screen Composer Intensive applications open for 2024

Media Published Monday 16 October 2023
Apply now to the 2024 NATSIMO Screen Composer Intensive


Applications now close 21 January 2024

Call for Expressions of Interest from Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander music creators

The successful applicant will undertake a three-month, Sydney-based program to score music for a short film

Mentorship from screen composer Ken Francis

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Music Office (NATSIMO) is pleased to announce that Expressions of Interest are now open for the NATSIMO Screen Composer Intensive, a one-of-a-kind professional opportunity in screen composing for an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander music creator.

Expressions of interest open today Monday 16 October 2023 and will close on Sunday 21 January 2024 at 11:59PM AEDT.

The intensive is funded by APRA AMCOS with support from the Australian Guild of Screen Composers (AGSC), Ken Francis, Jigsaw Music, Church Street Studios and Trackdown Studios.

“The Screen Composer Intensive gives a novice composer a chance to experience life as a working screen composer with all the insider benefits most new entrants lack; a budget for performers and equipment, the best professional studio to record & mix to picture at, a place to compose among a network of supportive professionals & studios, along with a mentor to help build skills & give pro perspective. This is a special opportunity," said Ken Francis.

The program was developed in consultation with screen industry professionals with the goal to create, forge and develop self-determined pathways to employment opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Screen Composers through the development of a three-month creative immersive experience.

“Working with industry professionals is how screen composers build their skill sets, and the participants of this Intensive get access to the “inside knowledge” they need to develop their craft. Working to picture, understanding the story, working in a DAW, orchestration and scoring with live musicians in a recording studio and music mixing are all covered in this incredible opportunity.” said composer, orchestrator and arranger Jessica Wells of Jigsaw Music.

Composer Rhyan Clapham (DOBBY) was the 2022 recipient and was mentored by Amanda Brown. The creative outcome of the intensive resulted in Rhyan’s wonderful composition, 'SPRING'. Composer Amanda Davis (Dyagula) was the 2023 recipient and was mentored by Ken Francis.

"The NATSIMO Screen Composer Intensive is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to experience an immersion into the screen music industry with some of the best facilities and professionals in the business. It also provides networking opportunities with other screen composers, which can ultimately lead to further work”, said Dale Cornelius, President, AGSC.

As part of the opportunity, the successful recipient will be provided with a studio workspace at the home of an autonomous collective of independent music, sound and screen professionals – Church Street Studios.

“Church Street Studios is proud to be part of the National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Music Office's wonderful Screen Composer Intensive for another year. There’s simply no substitute for face-to-face mentoring of emerging screen composers within a professional, supportive and empowering environment”, said Guy Gross, founder of Church Street Studios.


Participants will be exposed to and learn about the screen music business and key practices of screen composing and orchestration resulting in completion of a screen music project recording. They will be immersed in actual screen music production settings to observe and engage in the day-to-day practices of the screen music sector.

The program consists of five key components.

  • MENTORSHIP: The participant will be paired with screen composer mentor Ken Francis who will assist in the creation of a soundtrack for a short film through a series of one-on-one sessions over the duration of the three-month program. This component is autonomous, and sessions are to be set by the participant and mentor at times best suited to their schedules.
  • RESIDENCY: The participant will have a studio workspace allocated to them from 1st April – 30th June 2024 at Church St Studios in Sydney to develop their final assessment composition and to work on their creative practice throughout the immersion period.
  • ORCHESTRATION LESSONS: The participant will engage in foundations of scoring and orchestration with Jessica Wells of Jigsaw Music across the program period. Sessions will be set at the beginning of the program and once the scoring component of the project begins, Jessica will work with the participant in the final recording stages of the project.
  • ASSESSMENT/ACTIVITY: At the beginning of the program the participant will be provided with a short film in which they are required to create a musical score. At the end of the three-month immersion, the created music will be arranged, recorded and set to the short film to be used in their own personal portfolio.
  • NETWORKING: Supported by the Australian Guild of Screen Composers, the participant will receive an annual membership to the Guild and will engage in a series of networking opportunities facilitated by representatives of the Guild.


  • Applicants should be Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander and be recognised by their community.
  • Applicants must be 18 years of age before 1 April 2024.
  • Only one EOI per person will be accepted.
  • EOI’s must be completed in full to be considered eligible.
  • The successful applicant must have an ABN.
  • Applications may be in writing or in audio or audio-visual format.
    All completed EOIs must be submitted by 11:59pm (AEDT) 21 January 2024.

Applicants must:

  • submit 3 examples of their compositional work.
  • list the software and technology they use to record their work.
  • provide a response to all questions outlined in the EOI.
  • provide contact details for two referees who can comment on their music capability, experience, and commitment to building a music career.

Applicants from all over Australia are eligible to apply. If successful, the recipient must attend the program for 3 months on a full-time basis in Sydney, NSW. The participant will need arrange their own travel to the various Partner sites for sessions as scheduled. All applicants will be notified of outcomes by early 2024.

Applications are open to composers from all across Australia, but the program requires the participant to be based in Sydney for the duration of the residency.