A few months ago, Frank and I applied for art grants funded by a truly awesome organization, Regional Arts W.A, to help support the development of our upcoming creative projects...
It felt like a long shot but we took a leap and both applied separately, meaning we were in competition with each other. We felt mutually that if either one of us were successful, it would be a win for both, but somehow, of the five Western Australians who were successful, both of our applications got accepted!
So, with high amounts of gratitude, I wanted to share this post today to express how valuable funding bodies like Regional Arts W.A are to creatives. Already, I have felt a great sense of relief, freedom, confidence, and encouragement in knowing that with the support of this grant I can spend a little more time focusing single-pointedly on the development and publication of my second and third novels, along with a short and feature film that I'm co-creating with my brother Frank!
Here are some quotes from the press release and more details about the projects Frank and I will be developing during the 12-month long program.
2. Frank Bennett | Yallingup, W.A
Yallingup filmmaker, musician and writer, Frank Bennett (20) will work on the development of two new collaborative works with South West artists, furthering the development of creative skills through experimentation. Through this project, Frank will produce a short film based in the Southwest and begin the development of a full-length feature film screenplay/treatment with his sister Sita Bennett.
Frank Bennett says:
"The greatest portion of my inspiration is currently being expressed in the form of film and cinema, and hence these projects that I am working on, with assistance from the Next Level Regional Grant, are both the production of a short film and the development of a feature-length film screenplay/treatment. This will only be the second short film I have created, so it will be a process full of experimentation and experience-based learning, which I absolutely love.
" The short film is based around a young woman who is part of a mysterious covert group, or cult, who meet every day to dance together. It is called The Dance Of Samsara. I will be working alongside my sister, Sita Bennett, who is the lead-actress and co-writer. Together our love for the imagined is boundless, and as a team I believe we can accomplish anything we set our intent upon. We are kindred spirits, and relate deeply on many levels, including our creative visions and artistic endeavors. We are so excited to share with you our upcoming works, and are extremely grateful to have the opportunity to do so.”
"The Next Level Regional Grant has expanded our possibilities enormously and blessed us with the confidence and means to carry out our creative endeavours with far more ease and fluidity than previously available.
It has meant that we can focus on the important things, and keep compromises to a minimum, which is absolute gold when it comes to allowing any creative process to flow. We have been able to increase the production quality of the short film, bring the freedom of time to reality, and as a whole improve our capacity to create, grow and experiment as artists which is priceless.”
3. Sita Bennett | Yallingup, W.A
Writer Sita Bennett (24), will work with established editor Ine De Baerdemaker and designer Thea Nicolescu in the development and publishing of her second and third novels, sequels to Maya of the In-between. Sita will be supported by a mentor to refine skills in marketing and distribution as a self-published writer.
She also co-creates films with her brother Frank Bennett, who are currently in production on their second short film, The Dance of Samsara, in which Sita plays the leading actor. They are also developing a screenplay for a feature film.
Sita Bennett says:
“I started writing Maya of the In-between at the age of 19 after growing up on the beach in Margaret River, and moving straight to the heart of Sydney City after high school in the pursuit of an acting career. Being very sensitive and introverted myself, the contrast of two words was confronting and overwhelming, and the story began as both a self-explorative journal-type healing outlet, while contemplating how our environment, and the level of open heartedness we carry in the world effects our wellbeing. Initially, it was my secret passion project, a creative outlet for when auditions were slow, but after re-reading it and sharing it with a few people, I realised I wanted to make it available to the world just in case there are young women out there like me who perceive and contemplate the world in similar ways, who might find comfort in knowing they are not alone.”
“Maya of the In-between, and the Earth’s New Children trilogy is a Dystopian fantasy Adventure series for young adults that explores an extreme version of Earth’s future if we continue to ignore the repercussions of materialism on nature and climate change, and disconnect from one another through over-consumption of technology, while equal parts exploring a Utopian version if a world in which humans live in presence, care and harmony with nature and each other. The main character is a sensitive, introverted and optimistic young women Maya, who discovers she is an interdimensional seer, and has the ability to travel between worlds. It also explores death, grief, true love, freedom and unity consciousness.”
If you are an independent artist,
I'd highly encourage you to do some research into what kind of organizations support artists in your area, especially emerging artists. I think most artists would understand the feeling of being an outsider, or very alone in those first few (in my case more than a few!) years of developing work, refining your craft, and trying to break into the industry, - Imposter syndrome and all that fun stuff that comes with being a little eccentric...
Realizing there are people and organizations around whose sole passion is to support and lift artists exploring and experimenting with their passions, has had such an encouraging and empowering impact on me and my confidence to keep creating and keep pursuing a creative career.
Here's a link to the Regional Arts website if you're interested in learning more about them :) https://regionalartswa.org.au/
And to all who have been reading and following my blog, my work and my journey, thank you. I appreciate your presence and support very much too :)
With Much Love,
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