Screen Australia to spend $1.9 million to fund 11 docs

Australian federal screen production funding body Screen Australia has committed AU$1.9 million (US$1.3 million) in funding to 11 documentary film projects. Ten of the projects will receive funding through the Documentary Producer ...
December 11, 2019

Australian federal screen production funding body Screen Australia has committed AU$1.9 million (US$1.3 million) in funding to 11 documentary film projects.

Ten of the projects will receive funding through the Documentary Producer program, which gives producers the foundational funding required to leverage their projects creatively and commercially, and the last receives funding from the Documentary Commissioned program, which supports the production of a diverse range of quality projects for TV broadcast, SVOD or similar.

“We are thrilled to support these documentaries from around the country, with stories that celebrate iconic Australians including retailer Franco Cozzo, designers Jenny Kee and Linda Jackson, and tennis champion Jelena Dokic,” said Bernadine Lim, Screen Australia’s head of documentary, in a statement.

“This slate is set to shine a light on crucial and timely issues of family violence and the environment, and explore art and science through innovative storytelling technology.”

The full list of funded projects appears below, with credits and synopses provided by Screen Australia:



Art of Australia and the Pacific (working title)
3 x 57 mins
Wildbear Entertainment Pty Ltd & Frame Up Films
Director: Larissa Behrendt
Writers: Larissa Behrendt, Dena Curtis, Owen Hughes
Producers: Alan Erson, Owen Hughes, Dena Curtis
Executive Producer: Michael Tear
Synopsis: From its deep origins and tumultuous histories to its extraordinary rise to global prominence today, this is the story of the Indigenous Art of Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific – with Aaron Pedersen and Ngahuia Te Awekotuku.

Audrey & Me
1 x 85 mins
Chili Films
Director: Penelope McDonald
Writer: Penelope McDonald
Producers: Trisha Morton-Thomas, Rachel Clements, Penelope McDonald
Synopsis: Colliding worlds – a Warlpiri woman in a remote Australian town, juggles the expectations of her adoptive mother Audrey, an Aboriginal matriarch, renowned artist and movie star, her Sicilian stepdad, and her teenage daughter, as she navigates a new beginning, back in the fray, beyond the prison gates.

Dark Water: Battle on the Franklin
1 x 90 mins
Rock Island Bend Productions Pty Ltd
Director: Kasimir Burgess
Writers: Kasimir Burgess, Claire Smith
Producers: Chris Kamen, Oliver Cassidy, Annie Venables
Synopsis: Dark Water: Battle on the Franklin is a feature-length documentary that tells the definitive story of the Franklin campaign through the lens of a modern-day solo rafting adventure.

Jenny & Linda (working title; pictured)
1 x 75 mins
Blackfella Films Pty Ltd
Director: Amanda Blue
Writer: Jacob Hickey
Producers: Darren Dale, Fran Moore
Synopsis: The extraordinary story of two women who sparked a revolution in Australian fashion.

Palazzo di Cozzo
1 x 90 mins & 1 x 57 mins
Film Camp Pty Ltd
Writer/Director: Madeleine Martiniello
Producers: Philippa Campey, Samantha Dinning
Synopsis: A charming portrait of Sicilian furniture merchant and cult icon, Franco Cozzo, struggling to maintain his iconic style as Australia – and his migrant clientele – change around him.

Star Dreaming
No credits or synopsis provided.

The Fun of Fear VR
1 x 60 mins
Writer/Director: Lester Francois
Producers: Erinn Stevenson, Anna Brady
Synopsis: The Fun of Fear is an interactive VR documentary that explores the history and science of fear as entertainment. We ask, why do sane people spend money to be scared witless?

1 x 15 mins
No Thing Productions
Producer: Brooke Silcox
Director: Olivia Martin-McGuire
Synopsis: A hybrid short documentary using dramatic realisation of recorded interviews to explore displacement and the story of migration.

Unbreakable: The Jelena Dokic Story
1 x 90 mins
In Films Pty Ltd
Director: Wayne Blair
Writers: Wayne Blair, Jessica Halloran, Ivan O’Mahoney
Producer: Ivan O’Mahoney
Synopsis: The incredible true story of how Jelena Dokic became a tennis star while surviving war, bullying and extreme domestic violence at the hands of Damir Dokic, the tennis father from hell. It’s the story of falling down from a great height, as the world looked away, and finally finding your feet again.
Note: A different documentary based on Jelena Dokic’s memoir Unbreakable received production funding in November 2018 and its funding was revoked in April 2019.

8 x 5 mins
Mashup Pictures Pty Ltd
Writer/Director: Josef Gatti
Producers: Rob Innes, Joseph Nizeti
Executive Producers: Michael Lynch, Rob Innes
Synopsis: A journey from chaos to geometry – where art and science collide to explore the patterns and evolution of nature and our relationship to it.


See What You Made Me Do
3 x 52 mins
Northern Pictures Pty Ltd
Broadcaster: SBS
Series Director: Tosca Looby
Consulting Producer: Jessica Hill
Executive: Producer Karina Holden
Synopsis: In this three-part series we go under the cloak of domestic abuse to better understand the men who choose to be violent and the women who have stayed with them, too often until death. We meet the families who are fighting to protect themselves and the people at the coal face determined to rewrite this story.

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