Automotive brand Mini has signed an innovative new alliance with Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts, part of a wider cultural partnerships strategy that will make up a "fundamental part" of the brand's 60th anniversary.

Mini will today announce a new partnership with AACTA, supporting three major initiatives designed to nurture and develop emerging creatives and screen professionals in Australia.

The BMW-owned car-maker will become the presenting partner for August's AACTA Shorts Fest, a program of short films and web series held across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.

Mini will also take on presenting rights to two short film competitions, #SocialShorts and the AACTA Pitch. The latter will encourage entries from filmmakers inspired by Mini's 'Forever Unexpected' 60th anniversary theme.

Up to five finalists will be selected to participate in a live pitch event, with a prize pack including $5,000 in cash, $15,000 towards the production of the winning pitch, use of a Mini during the shoot and a mentorship program with film industry veterans on the judging panel.

Aimee Ivanovic, Mini's retail marketing, sponsorship and events manager, said the AACTA partnership was borne out of strong results generated through a partnership last year's Dark Mofo, the annual Tasmanian arts and cultural festival that attracts around 400,000 visitors.

"Partnerships have become a fundamental part of our strategy. We've done some great things with Dark Mofo in the last twelve months and we'll be taking that to another level this year. The key learning out of [Dark Mofo 2018] has been that we can really target and speak to the right audience in the [arts and cultural] space," she told Sponsorship News.

Mini will also return as a major partner of Dark Mofo in this year after last year rolling out 'The Society', an innovative marketing campaign with sponsorship and creative shop Kojo. The promotion saw Mini place ambient media such as stickers and posters in Hobart with a phone number, which more than 3,000 Dark Mofo attendees called, gaining access to exclusive money-can't-buy experiences.

Ivanovic said the results generated by the experiential and creative-led campaign helped Mini speak to its target demographic of the "emerging creative class", which the AACTA partnership would also reach.

"We could invest hundreds of thousands in mass awareness campaigns but that just isn't who we are as a brand – it's all about talking directly to the right audience, and that's why we've placed such a focus on sponsorship in the last twelve months," she said.

Ivanovic said that a key part of the AACTA partnership would be the resultant creative content, which Mini plans to showcase and amplify across its social and digital channels. Mini's dealers will be able to access tickets and other offers, in what Ivanovic said was an "end-to-end" partnership model.

The company will also provide a fleet of vehicles for the 2019 AACTA Awards in December, with celebrities and red carpet guests arriving at Australia's version of the Oscars in Mini cars.

The brand has also sponsored the Melbourne International Film Festival and is set to roll out at least one other major partnership in the arts and cultural space as part of its anniversary.

"What we've been searching for are partnerships that allow us to celebrate 'Forever Unexpected' and tie back in to our milestone celebrations… we've found that the creative space is the best place for that," said Ivanovic.