Screen Australia to fund an adaptation of Jimmy Barnes’ memoir Working Class Boy and 11 other Documentary projects

Screen Australia has announced funding for 12 documentary projects through the Documentary Producer and Commissioned programs.

The list of projects includes an adaptation of Jimmy Barnes’ memoir Working Class Boy, The Fight, a feature length version of Violeta Ayala and Daniel Fallshaw’s award-winning short film of the same name, and a second season of Filthy Rich & Homeless, which turned out to be the most watched documentary series on SBS in 2017.

In addition to commissions for ABC, SBS, Network Ten and the BBC, the list also includes two feature documentaries, two online projects and one specifically designed for dome cinemas and planetariums.

A total of $850,000 was granted through the Producer program, in addition to $2.66 million through the Commissioned program.

The six projects supported through Documentary Producer are as follows:

The ABC iview series Gun Ringer follows  Indigenous Ringer Jeff Harrower with one of the most dangerous jobs on earth – feral bull catching in regional Northern Territory. The series is based on an original concept and created by NT producer Tom Lawrence with executive producer Ben Davies.

ABC Arts one-off special Death Art from Ruby Girl Productions, follows the story of one woman’s journey to explore the dead body’s practicality in the art world. The project is produced Julia Peters (Becoming Superhuman), and written and directed by Sasha Ettinger Epstein(The Pink House).

Mission: Whalesong comes from WA-based Prospero Productions, and is produced by Julia Redwood and Ed Punchard (Martin Clunes: Islands of Australia; Outback Truckers). Mission: Whalesong will explore the depths of the Indian Ocean in order to give the audience a closer look at the blue whale. The film will be designed for dome cinemas and planetariums.

The Fight comes as a feature length version of producer/director duo Violeta Ayala and Daniel Fallshaw’s short film of the same name. The Fight delves into the issues of discrimination raised among people with disbabilities in Bolivia.

The Horrors comes from Mashup Pictures, and will centre around common aspects of Australian life by recreating real-life situations where things have gone horribly wrong. The production reunites producer/director Rob Innes and producer/writer Scott Brennan and executive producer Mish Armstrong.

Working Class Boy is based on Cold Chisel front man Jimmy Barnes’ best-selling book of the same name, which focuses on the early years of the star from his childhood in Glasgow, all the way to life in the forlorn immigrant suburbs of Adelaide. The project is produced by Toni Malone (Pauline Hanson: Please Explain!) and executive produced by Andrew Farrell (Marry Me Marry My Family). The film will first be released theatrically by Universal Pictures, followed by a TV broadcast on Channel Seven.

The six projects supported through Documentary Commissioned are:

Australia in Colour is produced in association with Arrow Media for SBS, and will serve as a four-part series, taking a look at important moments in Australian history from 1900 – 1970, while colourising black and white archival footage. The project is produced by Jo-Anne Mcgowan (David Stratton: A Cinematic Life), executive produced by Jennifer Peedom (Sherpa).

Filthy Rich & Homeless comes from Blackfella Films with its highly anticipated second season, produced by Darren Dale and Jacob Hickey. The second season will look to follow the structure of the previous season, in which five high-profileAustralians will trade their lavish lifestyle for an understanding for the nation’s homeless population.

My Family Secret  will also be made for SBS as a three-part series looking to assist everyday Australians by delving deep into the mysterious of their family’s past as well as our country’s dark history. My Family Secret will be produced by Claire Forster (Australian Story) and Robin Eastwood (Miss Lebanon), with Steve Peddie (Secrets of Our Cities) serving as director.

The Magical Land of Oz comes from Northern Pictures and writer/director Tosca Looby (Outback). The wildlife series will look at various exotic creatures in Australia that have evolved according to years of isolation in a harsh climate. The show will also feature executive producers Sue Clothier (Whiteley), Karina Holden (Blue), Caroline Hawkins (Meerkat Manor) and Claire Burks (Animal Mums).

Big Stories Co’s The Cult of the Family is commissioned by the ABC as a three-part series investigating the rise and fall of the cult led by Anne Hamilton-Byrne. The team behind The Family which premiered at MIFF are also back together, pairing producer Anna Grieve (Croker Island Exodus) and writer/director Rosie Jones.

Screentime’s The Secret Life of Four Year Olds, seeks to unveil the secret of four year olds at an integral stage of their development, from the ups and downs, to the tears and joy of a group of young children, made as a series for Network Ten from executive producers Jennifer Collins (Todd Sampson’s Life on the Line), Emily Griggs (The Chef’s Line), and Basia Bonkowski (Married At First Sight).

For more information on the list 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.