Good Pitch Australia events wind up, but funding continues to support portfolio

07 November, 2016 by Staff Writer

Hollie Fifer's 'The Opposition', a Good Pitch Australia film. 


While this year marks the last Good Pitch Australia event, the Shark Island Institute has stumped up $2 million to fund the organisation’s operations over the next five years.

The funding commitment will enable Good Pitch Australia to provide ongoing management support to the 19 documentaries in its portfolio, including the six new films and their social impact campaigns to be presented at the Sydney Opera House tomorrow.

The money will also support annual “Good Pitch Impact Labs” at the Shark Island Institute for 20 selected filmmakers over the next five years.

Shark Island Institute hosts Good Pitch Australia in partnership with the Documentary Australia Foundation. It is the philanthropic arm of Ian Darling’s Shark Island Productions which, inspired by Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute, aims to support the art of documentary filmmaking and storytelling.

“Whilst this will be the final Good Pitch Australia event, there’s still much work to do with 19 documentary projects in the portfolio,” said Darling.

“We want to ensure Good Pitch can deliver at the highest possible standard and provide an outstanding return on social capital for the philanthropic donors, the not-for-profit partners and the documentary filmmakers.”

The Good Pitch Australia events held in 2014 and 2015 raised over $7.5 million in philanthropic grants for the funding of documentaries and their impact campaigns.

The films to date that have been the beneficiaries of this philanthropic support include: That Sugar Film, Gayby Baby, Call Me Dad, The Opposition, Frackman, Zach’s Ceremony, Constance on the Edge, Blue, The Hunting Ground Australia Project, Happy Sad Man, On Richard’s Side, Prison Songs and Whiteley.

Good Pitch Australia 2016 will be present the following films: 2040, (environment, sustainability and innovation), Ghosthunter (adult survivors of child trauma), Dying To Live (organ and tissue donation), Kids (Indigenous education and culture), Beautiful Minds (women in science and STEM) and Guilty (ending the death penalty).

The org has consistently demonstrated the power of matching documentary story-telling with cross-sector partnerships to create change, Good Pitch Australia executive director Malinda Wink said. 

“The commitment from Shark Island Institute enables our team to continue this important work across our 19 projects and the documentary sector for the next five years  nurturing the partnerships that make our films powerful, and building impact campaigns that are influencing policy, shifting consciousness and changing behaviour,” she said.

Good Pitch, held in various major cities around the world, is an initiative of BRITDOC and the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program, supported by the Ford Foundation.  

Director of the BRITDOC foundation Beadie Finzi said it was deeply impressive to see the impact that Shark Island Institute, Documentary Australia Foundation and the Good Pitch Australia team have had on the independent film scene in Australia, “creating a more sustainable and ambitious future for the nation’s storytellers.”

“We couldn’t be prouder to partner with them and look forward to supporting them and all the Good Pitch film teams as they continue through production and into their impact campaigns. Here’s to the next five years."