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Screen Australia announces over $2.7 million for 9 documentaries

30/03/2022

30 03 2022 - Media release Screen Australia announces over $2.7 million for 9 documentaries

The Wiggles

Screen Australia has announced more than $2.7 million of documentary funding for five projects though the Documentary Producer Program, two through the Documentary Commissioned Program, one through the First Nations Department and one through the Online Production Fund.

Projects include a feature documentary exploring and celebrating 30 years of iconic Australian band, The Wiggles; gripping true story Fighting for Hakeem, about imprisoned refugee footballer Hakeem al-Araibi and the power of global social media; and online documentary Finding Yeezus which investigates a cult internet religion and will be released on Aunty Donna's secondary YouTube channel Grouse House.

Alex West, Head of Documentary at Screen Australia said, We're proud to announce such a diverse slate of projects that will explore stories of human resilience, challenging prejudice and the lives of some of Australia's biggest music icons. Screen Australia is also very excited to prioritise history projects like Her Name is Nannie Nellie and First Weapons that will focus on Indigenous achievements told by First Nations people.

Angela Bates, Screen Australia's Head of First Nations said, Dena Curtis and Darren Dale have a strong track record in realising documentary series of this scale and we're thrilled to support them in bringing Curtis' original and distinct concept to fruition in First Weapons in what will be an unparalleled examination into a part of First Nations history.

Screen Australia's Head of Online, Lee Naimo said, Comedians Cameron James and Alexei Toliopoulos have already had incredible success with their investigative mystery podcasts Finding Drago and Finding Desperado. Now teaming up with Aunty Donna's Haven't You Done Well Productions, we're delighted to see them bring their expertise and comedy skills to the screen for Finding Yeezus in what promises to be an enticing and entertaining documentary for an online audience.

The documentary funded through the First Nations Department is:

First Weapons: First Nations filmmakers Dena Curtis (Back to Nature) and Blackfella Films' Darren Dale (First Contact) have partnered to bring Curtis' original idea to the screen in this six-part series for the ABC. First Weapons showcases the inherent science and knowledge behind some of the world's oldest, most innovative and deadliest weapons used by First Australians for thousands of years. Presented by Philip Breslin, each episode will examine, recreate and test traditional Indigenous weapons. Complementing the producing team is director Dean Gibson (Incarceration Nation) and Jacob Hickey (Filthy, Rich and Homeless) as executive producer and writer. The project will be distributed through ABC Commercial.

The full list of First Nations production funding blocklines is available here

The Documentary Producer Program projects are:

Fighting for Hakeem (working title): A feature documentary from writer/director Matthew Bate (Sam Klemke's Time Machine) about refugee footballer Hakeem al-Araibi and the global campaign that fought to free him from prison. It tells the gripping true story of how former Australian football captain Craig Foster and a ragtag team of social media warriors challenged two monarchies, a military junta and the world's most powerful sporting body FIFA to rescue Hakeem. Produced by Gal Greenspan (Moja Vesna) and Rebecca Summerton (The Hunting), this project is financed with the support of VicScreen and the South Australian Film Corporation.

The Wolves Always Come At Night: A feature documentary that explores the journey of Mongolian nomadic families who are displaced from their life as herders and forced to migrate. The film depicts a story of urbanisation and climate change. Director Gabrielle Brady of award-winning Island of the Hungry Ghosts is working with creative teams in Germany, Mongolia, and Australia on this hybrid project. Producers are Julia Niethammer (Island of the Hungry Ghosts), Ariunaa Tserenpil (Bedridden) and Rita Walsh (The Assistant).

Gudinski: This feature documentary is the story of music pioneer, the late Michael Gudinski, who transformed the business on the back of his determination to let Australian music find its own voice. This project follows the real life events of Gudinski's life spanning a 50-year period, from starting his own independent record company to becoming a major international player and household name in Australia - a rollercoaster ride of iconic artists, classic albums and mega tours. Helmed by a highly experienced team in director/co-writer Paul Goldman (Such is Life: The Troubled Times of Ben Cousins), co-writer and former editor of Rolling Stone Toby Creswell (All the Way) and producer Bethany Jones (Molly: The Real Thing).

Her Name is Nanny Nellie: In this documentary for NITV, writer-director and Yuin/Awabakal man Daniel King documents his mother's journey to restore and recover a trio of nameless statues buried in the archives of the Australian Museum to honour her ancestors and reclaim their life stories. Alongside award-winning producer Ben Pederick (Westwind: Djalu s Legacy) and executive producer Charlotte Seymour (Elders), King will take a hybrid observational and investigative approach as he retells Indigenous stories through Indigenous eyes, rewriting how Aboriginal people are represented in Australia's public. Her Name is Nanny Nellie has also received production funding from The Post Lounge.

The Untitled Wiggles Project: Four music mates decided to don yellow, red, blue and purple skivvies and make rock n' roll for children. The improbable story of iconic Australian band, The Wiggles, is a global feature film and Australia/New Zealand co-produc
LINK: https://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/sa/media-centre/news/2022/03-30-2-7...
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