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31/01/2022

06/02/2022

In partnership with Screen Australia, and state and territory agencies Film Victoria, Screen NSW, Screen Queensland, Screen Tasmania, Screen Territory, Screenwest and the South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC), Curious Australia supports screen practitioners from under-represented backgrounds in the sector to amplify their authentic, enlightening and powerful stories on Australian screens.

SBS has commissioned Run Girl (Screen NSW), The Alexander Ball (Screen Queensland), We Are Sexual Beings (Film Victoria), and Whatever Scares You (Film Victoria), while Black Empire (South Australian Film Corporation), Sistas in Mining (Screen Queensland) and Unlocked (Screen NSW) have been commissioned to premiere on NITV.

Criteria for Curious Australia applications included two key creative roles on a project being held by people from an under-represented background, including those identifying as First Nations Australians; women, those with diverse age backgrounds; people from cultural and linguistically diverse backgrounds; people living with disability; people of diverse sexuality and gender identities including LGBTQIA+; people from under-represented locations (including regional and remote areas); and people from diverse socio-economic backgrounds.

Each documentary was selected for its reflection of SBS's Charter and its innovative exploration of issues relevant to contemporary Australia.

The selected titles commissioned to premiere on SBS and NITV, are:

Run Girl (Screen NSW)

Australian Olympic sprinter, Bendere Oboya, embraces her identity as she switches disciplines from the 400m to 800m in pursuit of becoming the worlds best. She joined her local athletics club to make friends and now is one of Australia's most promising young sprinters. The Ethiopian-born 21 year old is determined to show that no matter your beginnings, anything is possible.

Director/Producer: Renny Wijeyamohan

Writer: Zufi Emerson

The Alexander Ball (Screen Queensland)

The Alexander Ball (working title) is an observational documentary extravaganza celebrating Samoan-Australian trans woman of colour, Ella Ganza, and the Meanjin (Brisbane) ballroom scene, as the community prepares for one of biggest pride events of the year: The Alexander Ball.

Director/Producer/Writer: Jessica Magro

We Are Sexual Beings (Film Victoria)

What does it mean to be young, disabled and sexual in modern Australia? We Are Sexual Beings exposes the fun and sometimes painful details as we follow three remarkably different human beings who all happen to share two things in common: life altering spinal injuries and healthy sexual appetites

Creator/Writer/Producer: Lucy Knox

Creator/Writer/Director: Isaac Elliott

Whatever Scares You (Film Victoria)

Whatever Scares You (working title) 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 identifies as disabled. Breanna's 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

Writer: Breanna Deleo

Producer: Alice Fleming

Black Empire (South Australian Film Corporation)

After a successful but exhausting career fighting prejudice, racism, and exploitation in the Australian Music Industry, rapper Jimblah embarks on his latest project, BLKMPIRE, aiming to reimagine how the music industry can work. But can he transform the country through black song, or will the staid traditions of an exploitative industry rear their heads?

Director: Johanis Lyons-Reid

Writer/Director: Pearl Berry

Writer/Producer: Piri Eddy

Producer: Lilla Berry

Sistas in Mining (Screen Queensland)

Sistas in Mining (working title), is a documentary that will follow 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/Associate Producer: Shontell Leah Ketchell

Unlocked (Screen NSW)

Unlocked explores how a journey of two similar teenagers facing juvenile incarceration can be drastically altered if they identify as being Indigenous Australian. A story about mental illness told through the lens of animation, having animated characters interact with live action worlds is innovative and refreshing.

Co-Director/Co-Writer: Jake Duczynski

Co-Director/Co-Writer: Mr James Hackett

Executive Producer: Beck Cole

Producer: Andrew Arbuthnot

Bernadine Lim, Commissioning Editor of Documentaries at SBS, said: The response to Curious Australia was fantastic, we received a large number of submissions with exciting, untold stories from incredible up-and-coming storytellers.

Curious Australia is an exciting new addition to our factual offering across the SBS network, providing a unique opportunity for mid-level and emerging documentary-makers to tackle contemporary Australian stories and issues, while also supporting the development of diverse creative talent in the sector.

Marissa McDowell, Commissioning Editor at NITV, said: We're really looking forward to seeing these bold and unique stories from First Nations documentary makers across Australia uncovered through this initiative, come to life on our screens. We're pleased to be ensuring that under-represented storytellers have a platform for their perspectives to inspire all Australians.

Screen Australia's Head of Documentary, Alex West, said: These unique stories offer insight into a range of contemporary issues and they showcase the powerful filmmaking talent we have around the country. We are proud to support Curious Australia and I can't wait for these
LINK: https://www.sbs.com.au/aboutus/seven-new-documentaries-commissioned-fo...
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