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Screen Australia announces $2.1 million of production funding for 14 documentaries

03/06/2020

03 06 2020 - Media release Screen Australia announces $2.1 million of production funding for 14 documentaries

Shane Warne

Screen Australia has announced $2.1 million of production funding for 12 projects funded through the Producer Program and two through the Commissioned Program.

Projects include SHANE, a feature documentary about cricketer Shane Warne, and Woven Threads Stories from Within, a series about mental health for Pedestrian TV.

Also receiving funding are online documentaries Strange Beasts uncovering a tiger and lion park in 1970s Melbourne, and A Big Life about Australia's femme and butch scene in the 1950s.

Screen Australia's Head of Documentary Bernadine Lim said, This is an exciting lineup of projects telling uniquely Australian stories across science, social issues, modern legends and even big cats, through different formats and media. It's fantastic to support three co-productions which open up the teams to international opportunities in financing as well as audience reach.

The past few months have presented several challenges for the sector but it's been great to see that many documentary projects have been able to continue production in some form, and we're impressed with the adaptability and resilience teams have shown.

Last month the agency changed the Documentary Development Program to be open year-round to increase flexibility for creatives. In the final round of development before the program was re-opened on 25 May, 12 projects received funding.

The Commissioned documentaries are:

The Science of Success: A one-hour science documentary for CuriosityStream, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the Sveriges Television that reveals a series of new discoveries about how success emerges. This project is written and directed by internationally acclaimed filmmaker Annamaria Talas and produced by Simon Nasht of Smith&Nasht, the creators of The Kingdom: How Fungi Made Our World. The Science of Success is an Australia-Canada Official Co-Production with Intuitive Pictures, led by producer Ina Fichman. This project has also received principal production investment from the Canadian Media Fund and is financed with the assistance of Screen NSW.

What Does Australia Really Think?: A three-part series for SBS from the makers of Is Australia Racist? and Is Australia Sexist?. This project will examine key social issues in Australia and the stigma that surrounds them. Producer Darren Hutchison teams up with executive producers Jacqueline Willinge and Dan Brown of Joined Up Films. This project is supported by Screenwest and Lotterywest and is financed with support from SBS.

The Producer Program documentaries are:

A Big Life: A 15-minute online documentary from writer, director and producer Anna Brownfield (Wicked Women) and Poison Apple Productions. Exploring the life of Bobbie Nugent, a well-known part of the Australian femme and butch scene in the 1950s and 60s, this project tells a story of gangsters, sex workers, travelling side shows and Australian transgender history. A Big Life is financed with support from the Melbourne Queer Film Festival.

A Plague on our Houses: A two-part documentary from Emerald Films and Possum Creek Films examining the factors that led to COVID-19 impacting the globe, which looks at the link between animal habitat destruction and environmental damage, and spillover' events that cause viruses. The series highlights a multi-disciplinary team in Australia and the US developing data linking human and animal health. The team is working to predict future events while encouraging change to bring about positive outcomes for global societies, and stop these spillover events at the root cause. The creative team features writer/director/producer Sally Browning (Project Planet), writer/producer Rachel Sullivan and executive producer Colette Beaudry (Attenborough's Life in Colour).

Bob s Manual for Living and Dying: A feature documentary from writer/director Amiel Courtin-Wilson (Bastardy) which follows the final week of Bob, a 65-year-old Jewish American man with Parkinson's disease, as he prepares to die with dignity by choosing voluntary euthanasia. As Bob farewells friends and family, his life is transformed in this impressionistic, unflinching meditation on time and mortality. This documentary is produced by Courtin-Wilson and Alice Jamieson-Dowd, co-produced by Chris Luscri and executive produced by Michael McMahon (The Coming Back Out Ball Movie) and Sophie Hyde (In My Blood It Runs).

Carbon An Unauthorised Biography: A feature documentary from Genepool Productions for the ABC, CBC and ARTE which presents the untold story of carbon, the least understood element on earth. The film will take viewers on a journey from the death of a star to the birth of the modern world, and towards an understanding of today's vital issues of energy, climate and survival. This project is proposed as a co-production with Canada, and is written and co-directed by Daniella Ortega (Enigma Man: A Stone Age Mystery) and co-directed and produced by Niobe Thompson (Equus: Story of the Horse). It is also produced by Sonya Pemberton (Vitamania) and Lucy Maclaren (Aftermath: Beyond Black Saturday). Carbon An Unauthorised Biography is financed with support from the ABC and developed with the assistance of Film Victoria and Shark Island Institute.

Facing Monsters: A feature documentary from Beyond West and Veerhuis Pictures. While pursuing his passion for an extreme adventure, a man wrestles with the dilemma that what defines him could also kill him. The creative team features director Geoffrey Smith (The English Surgeon), producer Chris Veerhuis (Breath) and executive producer Frank Chidiac (Nippers). This project is supported by Screenwest and Lotterywest.

General Hercules: A feature documentary from Toy Shop Entertai
LINK: https://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/sa/media-centre/news/2020/06-03-2-1...
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