UK media outlet The Guardian and Screen Australia, the Australian government’s main funding body for screen production, have announced the projects that will receive production funding as part of a joint program between the two companies.
Yannick Jamey’s The Big Wait, Chris Phillips’ Lost Rambos, Gemma Quilty’s and Brodie Poole’s Where the River Runs Red are the four projects chosen as part of The Guardian and Screen Australia’s joint initiative, announced in August 2017.
The docs are led by filmmakers fresh in their career, committed to covering both local and international stories. The films, which are between 15 and 30 minutes in length, will be available to stream for free on The Guardian’s Australian, UK, U.S. and international sites from 2019.
“Working with The Guardian for this initiative is an excellent way to provide Australian documentary filmmakers with a direct pathway to an international audience,” said Liz Stevens, senior manager of documentary at Screen Australia, in a statement.
The joint venture initially set out to fund only three projects, but the quality of the applications prompted the organizations to extend funding to four. The Guardian and Screen Australia are providing a total of US$165,500 in production funding to the four documentary films.
Previous Australian films commissioned by Guardian Documentaries include Violeta Ayala’s The Fight and Gabrielle Brady’s The Island.
“These teams represent the best of up-and-coming Australian documentary-making and we think our global audience will really respond to them,” said Charlie Phillips, head of documentaries at The Guardian, in a statement.
The funded projects are below, with descriptions courtesy of Screen Australia:
The Big Wait
Writer/director: Yannick Jamey
Producers: Yannick Jamey, Melissa Hayward and Pete Gleeson.
The documentary will tell the story of a couple employed to maintain a remote emergency airstrip and a tiny adjoining “township” in the middle of a featureless desert, an infinite space that becomes both their playground and their prison.
Writer/director: Chris Phillips
Producer: Michaela Perske.
The documentary will explore the changing nature of tribal fights in the highlands of Papua New Guinea since the introduction of automatic weapons.
Operations from the Bottom
Writer/director: Gemma Quilty
Producer: Tom Zubrycki.
The production will follow a young African entrepreneur and his group of friends who dream of hosting the biggest dance parties in Western Sydney.
Where The River Runs Red
Writer/director: Brodie Poole
Producer: Nicholas Flynn.
Set in a small mining town in regional Tasmania whose economic centerpiece, the Mt Lyell Mine, has closed down, the documentary will follow the proud locals who attempt to transform their mining town into a town with a mine in it, albeit with conflicting ideas for the future.