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Drama Awards 2019

SBS looks for laughs

Australian multicultural broadcaster SBS is sourcing comedy shows, web series and shorts from around the world for a newly-launched portal.

SBS Comedy, which went live on Thursday, is featuring local and international content. Among the first offerings is a batch of sketches from Canadian comedy troupe Uncalled For.

“We’ll be rolling out comedy shows, web series and shorts from countries like New Zealand, Norway and France very soon, with even more videos from even more places later in the year, all exclusive to SBS Comedy,” an SBS spokeswoman told C21.

“We’ve got upcoming content coming from all over the world and we’ve really made an effort to showcase comedy from all the different places on Earth.”

The site will also fund the development of a comedy web pilot each month from emerging local talent in an initiative named Comedy Runway.

Each group selected will receive A$20,000 (US$18,000) to create a five-minute pilot. At least one will be commissioned as a five-episode web series.

Comedy Runway is a national initiative funded with state agencies Screen West, Screen Tasmania, the South Australian Film Corporation, Screen NSW and Film Victoria.

“SBS Comedy is another innovative multi-platform offering from SBS,” said SBS chief digital officer Marshall Heald. “It will promote emerging and mainstream comics and help shape the comedy landscape in Australia. Comedy Runway in particular creates a potential pathway to television for up-and-coming comics, and allows SBS to surface the next generation of Australian comedy.”

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