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Curious Australia, a new strand of seven half-hour documentaries that innovatively explore issues relevant to contemporary Australia, is set to premiere on SBS VICELAND and NITV from 4 August.

Airing every Thursday evening, Curious Australia supports screen practitioners from under-represented backgrounds in the sector to amplify their authentic, enlightening and powerful stories on Australian screens.

From stories exploring what it's like being young, disabled and sexual, to the inspiring story of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander woman who is an aspiring screenwriter working in a coal mine, Curious Australia will reflect and explore the diversity of people and experiences of contemporary Australia, in revealing and entertaining ways.

The seven documentaries selected in the first year of the initiative have been commissioned in partnership with Screen Australia, and state and territory agencies Screen NSW, Screen Queensland, Screen Tasmania, Screen Territory, Screenwest, the South Australian Film Corporation and VicScreen.

SBS has commissioned We Are Sexual Beings (VicScreen), The Alexander Ball (Screen Queensland), Run Girl (Screen NSW), and Whatever Scares You (VicScreen), while Black Empire (South Australian Film Corporation), Sistas in Mining (Screen Queensland) and Un-Locked (Screen NSW) were commissioned by NITV.

Episode 1 - We Are Sexual Beings (VicScreen)

August 4 at 8.30pm on SBS VICELAND and NITV

We Are Sexual Beings explores what being young, disabled and sexual in modern Australia is all about. Over the course of a 24-hour period three adventurous young Australians with disabilities will pull back the covers on their intimate lives; Oli, an aspiring tennis champ and actor full of swagger and bravado; Maya, an earnest sweetheart on a quest for her first taste of true romance; and Christina, a wild-child motorhead from rural South Australia, who, in her own words, is done with her ho phase and is all about self- satisfaction - three remarkably different human beings who all happen to share two things in common: life altering spinal injuries and healthy sexual appetites

Creator/Writer/Director: Isaac Elliott

Creator/Writer/Producer: Lucy Knox

Episode 2 - Black Empire (South Australian Film Corporation)

August 4 at 9pm on SBS VICELAND and NITV

It's easy to feel alone in the Australian music industry, but for First Nations musicians, the isolation can be overwhelming. Rapper and Larrakia man Jimblah knows all too well that despite Black song playing such a transformative role in Australia's history, it's still seen as just another marketable asset. But what if it could be different? What if there was hope for something better? What will it take for Jimblah to create his own Black Empire?

Director: Johanis Lyons-Reid

Writer/Director: Pearl Berry

Writer/Producer: Piri Eddy

Producer: Lilla Berry

Executive Producer: Dean Gibson

Episode 3 - The Alexander Ball (Screen Queensland)

August 11 at 8.30pm on SBS VICELAND and NITV

Ballroom culture originated within 1960's - 1970's New York founded by Black and Latinx trans women after the continuous discrimination from the LGBTQIA+ community. It's a global movement, lifestyle and a cutthroat competition where competitors known as walkers compete in various categories for the grand prize. The Alexander Ball is Australia's first look into the hypnotising world of Ballroom through an observational documentary extravaganza, following the exhilarating journey of Samoan-Australian trans woman of colour, Ella Ganza, as she and her ballroom family prepare for one of the biggest events of the year: The Alexander Ball.

Director/Producer/Writer: Jessica Magro

Episode 4 - Sistas in Mining (Screen Queensland)

August 11 at 9pm on SBS VICELAND and NITV

Sistas in Mining is a documentary that follows the inspiring story of Shontell Leah Ketchell, an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander woman, who is an aspiring screenwriter who works as a production operator on a coal mine in Central Queensland.

Co-Director: Ewan Cutler

Co-Director/Producer: Jill Robinson

Writer/Creator/Co-Producer: Shontell Leah Ketchell

Executive Producer: Dean Gibson

Episode 5 - Run Girl (Screen NSW)

August 18 at 8.30pm on SBS VICELAND and NITV

Australian Olympic athlete and refugee, Bendere Oboya, searches for identity as she switches events from the 400m track to the 800m track in pursuit of becoming the worlds best. After starting athletics as an escape, the Ethiopian-born 21-year-old is determined to show that no matter your beginnings, anything is possible.

Director/Producer: Renny Wijeyamohan

Writer: Zufan Emerson

Executive Producer: Nicholas Searle

Episode 6 - Un-Locked (Screen NSW)

August 18 at 9pm on SBS VICELAND and NITV

Un-Locked follows two young people trying to fit into society. Through various experiences, each character's innocence is quickly dissolved into a tainted and violent city. This is a fully animated documentary, allowing the interviewees to remain anonymous, and deliver raw recollections of their experiences, of being locked up, one in juvenile detention and the other in a mental health facility.

Co-Director/Co-Writer: Jake Duczynski

Co-Director/Co-Writer: Mr James Hackett

Executive Producer: Beck Cole

Producers: Michaela Perske, Margee Brown

Executive Producer: Dean Gibson

Episode 7 - Whatever Scares You (VicScreen)

August 25 at 8.30pm on SBS VICELAND

Whatever Scares You is a rite of passage film that documents Breanna Deleo in her first year of work. Breanna is attempting to work as a professional artist - a challenging profession for anyone. And Breanna has begun to identify as neurodivergent. Her parents are her greatest allies and advocates. They want to protect Breanna but sometimes to find our way in the world, we need to go it alone.

Writer and Director: Tamara Searle
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