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Screen Australia announces $2.5 million of documentary production funding

09/12/2020

09 12 2020 - Media release Screen Australia announces $2.5 million of documentary production funding

Black Summer (Photo credit: Matthew Abbott)

Screen Australia has announced over $2.5 million of funding for five documentaries through the Commissioned program and six through the Producer program. One documentary, Incarceration Nation, has received funding through the Indigenous Department.

The projects also include Tim Winton exploring the brilliant Western Australian reef in television series Ningaloo; a feature documentary about award-winning musician Courtney Barnett called Anonymous Club; and Rebuilding Mallacoota, a series delving into the bushfire recovery in coastal Victoria.

Screen Australia's Head of Documentary, Bernadine Lim said, Documentaries offer a unique opportunity to hold a mirror up to ourselves and reflect, understand and question. As we come to the end of 2020, a challenging year for so many, it's clear that these compelling documentaries will shine a light on the important issues facing Australians including mental health, the impact of the devastating bushfires and the environment more broadly.

Screen Australia's Head of Indigenous, Penny Smallacombe said, 2020 saw the Black Lives Matter global movement unfold, and here at home the widespread support for Indigenous Lives Matter illustrated the ongoing injustices faced by Indigenous people with regards to the exceptionally high rates of incarceration in Australia, and the devastating Black Deaths in custody that have continued long after the Royal Commission in the 1980s. Incarceration Nation will be vital viewing for all Australian audiences.

Screen Australia consulted widely and recently created new documentary guidelines, but due to COVID-19's disruption it was decided it would be unhelpful to add any further change to the sector and introduce these at this time. Whilst the industry continues to adapt to COVID-19, the existing programs will remain for the rest of the 2020/21 financial year including PEP.

Project funded through the Indigenous Department:

Incarceration Nation: A feature-length documentary for NITV which will tell the tragic story of the systemic injustice and oppression of Aboriginal people in their own lands at the hands of the Australian justice system. It will show the first-hand devastation, introduce the people trying to make a difference, and feature perspectives from academics, lawyers and people working to get this issue to the top of the national agenda. Writer/director Dean Gibson is joined by producer Helen Morrison, who previously collaborated on Wik vs Queensland. This project is financed with support from NITV, Screen Queensland, The Post Lounge and Documentary Australia Foundation.

The Indigenous Department production funding blocklines are available here

Projects funded through the Documentary Commissioned program:

Australia vs Anxiety: A one-hour documentary for SBS' Australia Uncovered strand presented by comedian Celia Pacquola who, having experienced anxiety herself, will go on a mission to find out how anxiety is affecting Australians. Pacquola will meet those suffering from the condition, those on the road to recovery and those who are helping with the journey. This project is directed by Sally Aitken (The Pool) and executive produced by Dan Brown and Jacqueline Willinge, whose credits include Is Australia Sexist?. Australia vs Anxiety is supported by Screenwest and Lotterywest.

Can Science Prevent Suicide?: A one-hour documentary for SBS' Australia Uncovered strand which will examine how new science, innovative thinking and technology is helping prevent suicide. The program will investigate why suicide is happening and reveal what is being done across the country to try and solve the problem. The documentary was developed by executive producer/writer Paul Scott, and sees writer/director/executive producer Jodi Boylan working alongside Lune Media co-executive producers David Galloway and Leonie Lowe, who together collaborated on War on Waste and Fight for Planet A. The project is financed with support from Screen NSW.

Ningaloo: A three-part series for the ABC about the incredible Ningaloo Reef, Cape Range and Exmouth Gulf in Western Australia, written and presented by award-winning Australian author Tim Winton. The documentary will reveal how this pristine natural environment - a haven for unique and endangered species - can enrich all of humanity. Winton is joined by director/co-writer Peter Rees (Mythbusters) and executive producer Celia Tait (Storm in a Teacup). This project has received major production investment from the Western Australian Screen Fund through the State Government of Western Australia's Royalties for Regions Program and is financed with support from Screenwest and Lotterywest and the ABC.

Our African Roots: A one-hour documentary for SBS' Australia Uncovered strand shining a light on Australia's forgotten African history. Presented by writer and filmmaker Santilla Chingaipe (Third Culture Kids), this project will reveal the central role that people of African ancestry played in events that shaped modern Australia - from the First Fleet to the Eureka Rebellion and beyond. The creative team features writer/producer Chingaipe, director/producer Tony Jackson (Aftermath: Beyond Black Saturday) and writer/executive producer David Collins (You See Monsters). A Chemical Media Production, Our African Roots is developed and produced with support from Film Victoria and with philanthropy via Documentary Australia Foundation.

Rebuilding Mallacoota: A three-part series for the ABC about the recovery effort in the bushfire-ravaged Victorian coastal community of Mallacoota, from the team behind Aftermath: Beyond Black Saturday. The documentary will shine a light on the determined band of citizens who are strivi
LINK: https://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/sa/media-centre/news/2020/12-09-2-5...
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