Screen Australia’s Indigenous Department has today announced production funding for four documentary projects, with the agency’s contribution to budgets totaling AU$745,000.
Projects include Alick and Albert (pictured), a feature documentary from Freshwater Pictures that explores the “intersection of art, science and nature,” and follows two friends as they raise awareness about the “global tsunami” of plastic and rising sea levels facing the Torres Strait.
The documentary is directed by Douglas Watkin (Ella) and produced by Trish Lake (The Eulogy) and Meredith Garlick (Finke: There & Back).
Kindred, meanwhile, is a film from Kalori Productions and JOTZ for NITV that details the experiences of filmmakers Gillian Moody and Adrian Russell Wills — exploring family, bloodlines, identity, friendship and “what it means to live in two worlds.”
Willis (Black Divaz) is writing and directing, Moody (Family Rules) is producing and directing. Tom Zubrycki (Fair Game) is also on board as producer.
The 60-minute documentary Looky Looky Here Comes Cooky (Tamarind Tree Pictures and Roar Film for NITV) presents a First Nations’ challenge to the “Cook legend.” Working with a group of Indigenous songwriters and performers, the film creates a “new songline for the 21st century that talks of spirituality, connection to country, resistance and survival.”
Steven McGregor (Servant or Slave) will co-write and direct with Danielle MacLean (Carry the Flag) co-writing and producing; Steven Oliver (Black Comedy) is co-writing and presenting. Anna Grieve (The Cult of the Family), Stephen Thomas (Death of Liberty) and Kath Symmons (Death of Liberty) are producing. Craig Dow-Sainter (Death of Liberty) is on board as executive producer.
Finally, Maralinga Tjarutja is an hour-long documentary from Blackfella Films for the ABC that focuses on the Maralinga Tjarutja people who have lived on their lands for more than 60,000 years.
The film will provide complementary programming from an Indigenous perspective to the forthcoming ABC drama series Operation Buffalo.
It is written and directed by Larissa Behrendt (After the Apology).
“Documentary filmmaking presents an opportunity to re-examine the past and consider historical events from our perspectives. We are proud to be supporting four distinctive projects from such a talented group of filmmakers,” Penny Smallacombe, head of Indigenous at Screen Australia, said in a statement.