Screen Australia invests $2m in docs

Screen Australia is making a major investment into nine documentary projects, including efforts from 360 Degree Films, Matchbox Pictures and Prospero Productions.
April 12, 2011

Screen Australia is investing AUD$2 million (US$2.1 million) into in nine documentaries, kicking off productions which will have a combined value of more than AUD$12 million.

The domestic documentaries receiving Screen Australia support includes Matchbox Pictures’ Anatomy series three, for Australian broadcaster ABC TV. The series explores art, sex and the body with three films – Hair, Nerve and Tissue.

Also for ABC is Goodoil’s Running to America, an ob-doc following four young Indigenous men from Outback Australia trying to become the first Indigenous Australians to run in the New York Marathon.

International documentaries include Aussiewood (w/t), a Matchbox Pictures production for ABC TV, looking at who will be the next Aussie actor to become a Hollywood star; and Dancing Downunder (ABC 3, TG4) from Wild Fury, a series on the world of Irish dancing in Australia.

360 Degree Films’ Devil Island (ABC TV, ITV UK, France TV) is billed as a real life Madagascar, with 50 Tasmanian Devils being released into the wild; while Mindful Media and Wild Fury’s Koalas: The Secret Society Exposed (ABC TV, Thirteen/WNET) follows a year in the lives of eight koalas.

Prospero Productions’ Jack the Ripper: Prime Suspect (Network Seven, UK TV, Discovery Canada) looks at the case of Jack the Ripper 120 years later, with new science; while Markland Communications’s Shark City (National Geographic Wild Australia, National Geographic Wild International) tells the story of an Australian resort city being plagued by sharks.

Lastly, Wild Fury, Moers Media and NDR Naturfilm have partnered on Wild Australia - a series showcasing the continent’s parks and animals – for National Geographic Australia, ZDF/Arte and German network NDR.

Screen Australia chief executive Ruth Harley said: “Among the domestic projects, the critically acclaimed Anatomy series will continue to deliver visually inventive arts documentaries, while Running to America promises a feel-good story. The seven international projects will further extend our uniquely Australian stories and voices on the world stage.”

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