Screen Australia announces $2.9 Million in funding for 10 Documentaries

Screen Australia has announced it will be funding a total $2.9 million towards 10 Documentary Producer and Documentary Commissioned Programs. This announcement includes funding for a Black Saturday ABC feature, alongside a feature behind now retired AFL legend Adam Goodes.

Liz Stevens, Senior Manager of Documentary at Screen Australia commented on the news, stating, “Documentary is one of the most powerful, significant and necessary forms of storytelling available to us. Documentaries have the ability to educate, inform, entertain, redress injustice and spark national conversations. I’m reminded of all those qualities when I look at the impressive titles and teams in this round of funding, one of my last whilst leading the documentary unit at Screen Australia.”

Across the total $2.9 million, $1.5 million was allocated through the Producer program, with the remaining $1.4 million for the Commissioned program.

The first of the Documentary Commissioned projects is Aftermath- Beyond the Firestorm, on the ABC. Directed by Tony Jackson, this one-hour documentary delves into the harsh rebirth and resilience of the human spirit following one of Australia’s worst natural disasters.

First Wars for SBS tells the story of Australia’s frontier conflicts, and will be directed by Rachel Perkins (First Australians).

Finally, the SBS series Marry Me, Marry My Family presents itself as a three-part series about love and heartbreak, uncovering a series of amazing cross-cultural weddings in Australia. The series will be produced by Sophie Meyrick (Embedded) and executive produced by Andrew Farrell (Working Class Boy).

The first of the Documentary Producer projects is The Australian Dream, directed by Daniel Gordon (Hillsborough), and centred around the remarkable and inspirational story of retired AFL legend Adam Goodes, touching on issues of race, identity and belonging.

Bright Lights- The Perils of the Pokies is written, directed and produced by Charby Ibrahim and follows the negative impact of gambling through the personal anecdotes of an addict.

Future Dreaming is directed by Sutu (Stuart Campbell), and will bring to life the future dreams of four young Aboriginal Australians by using VR tools to help them prototype their future.

The half-hour virtual reality documentary Rone will be written and directed by Lester Francois and will paint the distinctive portrait of artist Rone, whose amazing large-scale portraits of various women’s faces can be found in the most forgotten of places. You can read our interview with Lester about this project HERE.

Directed by Nia Pericles, Storm in a Teacup tells the story of renowned Australian artist Leon Pericles, as he embarks on his most grand and challenging journey to date, balancing the roles of artist and husband.

Stu Ross (Rostered On) writes, directs and produces The Hunt, a one-hour observational documentary highlighting the controversial sightings of Big Cats in the Australian bush.

Finally, The Victoria Project (current working title) is written and directed by Jennifer Peedom (Mountain), with synopsis details to be released at a later date.

Congratulations to all funded documentaries. For more information on this round of successful projects, you can click here.


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Matthew Arcari

Matthew Arcari is the games and technology editor at The AU Review. You can find him on Twitter at @sirchunkee, or at the Dagobah System, chilling with Luke and Yoda.