Screen Australia announces more than $2.3 million for documentary projects

Screen Australia has unveiled nine distinctive documentaries that will share in $2.3 million in funding from Screen Australia’s Documentary Producer and Documentary Commissioned programs.

Five are feature-length documentaries; two are for the ABC, one is for SBS and one for Foxtel.

“These projects do not shy away from hard-hitting stories that show the realities of living in a complex world. These teams impressed us with their desire to tell compelling personal stories and explore important social issues of today,” said Liz Stevens, Senior Manager of Documentary at Screen Australia.

The successful Documentary Producer projects are:

 An intimate look at the life of iconic INXS singer/songwriter Michael Hutchence in Mystify. INXS music video director Richard Lowenstein will combine never-before-seen archival footage and interviews with those closest to Michael for this documentary from Ghost Pictures which has also received Film Victoria support.

 Social impact feature documentary Dying to Live follows Allan Turner’s campaign to make Australia an ‘opt out’ organ donation country – a journey borne out of the heartbreaking loss of his seven-year-old daughter, who became one of the nation’s youngest ever donors. This was one of the six titles selected to participate at Good Pitch 2016.

 The story of five-time Walkley Award-winning journalist Liz Jackson turning the camera on herself for the most challenging story of her career – about her Parkinson’s diagnosis – in A Sense of Self from Contact Films with Film Victoria support. This documentary will air Monday 21 November at 8.30pm on the ABC.

 Feature documentary Flight of the Rhino from Wildbear Entertainment – a uniquely Australian perspective on the plight of the endangered rhino, a victim of illegal poaching. It follows a team of conservationists who embark on a controversial mission to airlift a herd of breeding rhinos from South Africa to Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo in the hopes of protecting the species for future generations.

 Feature documentary From Under the Rubble, which takes a look at the devastating cost of war on the civilian victims of the Israeli-Palestine conflict.

Survivor Zeinat Samouni recounts the January 2007 attack on her Gaza neighbourhood that killed 48 members of her extended family; from Sensible Films.

 An untitled project from Oscar-winning director Eva Orner (Taxi to the Dark Side) and Hilla Medalia; more details to come.

The successful Documentary Commissioned projects are:

 Observational documentary series The Mosque from Southern Pictures for SBS, which will use unprecedented access to an Australian Mosque and the community it serves to explore firsthand what it means to be a Muslim in Australia today; with funding support from Screen Queensland.

 Foxtel commissioned four-part documentary series The Archibald from Mint Pictures, chronicling a year in the life of eight Australian artists as they choose subjects for a portrait that will ultimately compete in the nation’s most prestigious art prize, culminating in the announcement of the 2017 winner.

 A behind the scenes look at one of Australia’s most influential and successful indie rock bands in Right Here: The Go-Betweens from Essential Media and Entertainment. This documentary is the first recipient of Screen NSW and ABC TV Art’s Documentary Feature Fund, and will premiere at the 2017 Sydney Film Festival.

The Documentary Producer program is designed to give producers the foundational funding required to leverage their projects creatively and commercially, and must have a clear path to audience.

The Documentary Commissioned program is designed to support the production of a diverse range of quality projects for television broadcast that offer a compelling vision with a clear and enduring cultural value.

Go here to see further information about this round of successful projects:

16 11 2016 – Media release

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