Docs

Screen Australia to back 18 new docs, revisit funding programs

Australian government screen development agency Screen Australia has committed AU$3.6 million (US$2.44 million) to five commissioned and 13 producer documentary projects. The projects represent the final titles receiving funding from the ...
August 2, 2019

Australian government screen development agency Screen Australia has committed AU$3.6 million (US$2.44 million) to five commissioned and 13 producer documentary projects.

The projects represent the final titles receiving funding from the government body for the 2018/2019 financial year.

The films supported through the producer program include Rosemary’s Way (working title; pictured), directed by Ros Horin and produced by Joe Skrzynski AO, about community leader Rosemary Kariuki and her work with migrant women; Slim & I, written and directed by Kriv Stenders and produced by Chris Brown, Aline Jacques and James Arneman, about Australian country music legend Joy McKean; The Kids, written and directed by Eddie Martin and produced by Shannon Swan, which follows the real people who inspired the 1995 cult classic Kids; The Side Show, written and directed by Christopher Nelius and produced Michaela Perske, with EPs Rob Galluzo and Michael Hilliard, about women who fought to turn women’s surfing into a professional sport in the ’80s; and Visible Farmer, written and directed by Gisela Kaufmann and produced by Carsten Orlt, a series that recounts the history of Australia’s female farmers and their often invisible contributions to agriculture.

Meanwhile, the films supported through the commissioned program include Addicted (w/t), a docuseries from Blackfella Films, produced by Darren Dale and series writer Jacob Hickey, which explores addiction in Australia; Killer Snake Island, written and directed by Leighton De Barros and Jonathan Rowdon and produced by De Barros, about the peculiar and unique evolution of a population of tiger snakes on a small island off the coast of Perth; Come Fly With Me (w/t), looking at the history of Australian aviation; and a second season of Australia in Colour, from SBS.

Additionally, Screen Australia will soon seek industry feedback on proposed updates to its documentary funding programs. The feedback period will formally begin with the distribution of an issues paper in late September.

“The last time our documentary programs were revised was in 2014/15, and since that time there has been substantial change in screen business models, content creation and audience viewing habits,” said Screen Australia’s head of documentary Bernadine Lim in a statement. “We will be looking to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the sector, and how Screen Australia can best support quality, culture and innovation in the documentary industry.”

About The Author
Senior staff writer Frederick Blichert comes to realscreen with a background as a journalist and freelance film critic. He has previously written for VICE, Paste Magazine, Senses of Cinema, Xtra, Canadian Cinematographer and elsewhere. He holds a Master of Arts in film studies from Carleton University and a Master of Journalism from the University of British Columbia.

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