Projects by Maya Newell, Damon Gameau selected for Good Pitch2 in November

25 July, 2016 by Staff Writer

Maya Newell's Gayby Baby, a Good Pitch Australia alumnus.


Good Pitch Australia has announced the selection of six new feature documentaries for its next event at the Sydney Opera House in November.

Hosted by Ian Darling’s Shark Island Institute in partnership with Documentary Australia Foundation, Good Pitch brings filmmakers together with NGOs, foundations, philanthropists, social entrepreneurs, potential corporate and brand partners, broadcasters and media to forge alliances around social impact films.

Darling, who is also chair and moderator, said Good Pitch Australia represented high impact philanthropy at its best, "with all of the key elements of collaboration, scale, partnership, and leverage – using the power of documentary to bring a community together for social change.”

Good Pitch was originally devised by BRITDOC in partnership with Ford Foundation and the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program, and is held in various major cities around the world. Philanthropy Australia and Pro Bono Australia are Community Partners of Good Pitch Australia.

Since the inaugural event in 2014, Good Pitch Australia has raised over $7.5 million in philanthropic funding. This has contributed to both production and outreach funding, and has financed the development and implementation of social impact campaigns.

The results have meant contribution to policy, 200+ strategic partnerships and alliances between community groups, the corporate sector, NGOs and policy makers; the creation of tools around issues to raise awareness and give people a way to practically engage.

Executive director of Good Pitch Australia Malinda Wink said that "the impact and success of That Sugar Film, Gayby Baby, Prison Songs, The Hunting Ground and Frackman are testament to how powerful these collaborations can be.”

CEO of Documentary Australia Foundation Mitzi Goldman said filmmakers have been free to independently explore hard-hitting social issues with stories that are critically, commercially and socially embraced.

"It is exciting and deeply rewarding to see so many of the Good Pitch Australia films selected by major international and Australian film festivals, including the recent Sydney Film Festival and Melbourne International Film Festival.”

The 2016 films selected are all at early stages of production and are being made under the following working titles:

Dying to Live (Organ Donation):

Seven-year-old Zaidee Turner died of a brain embolism. The year of her death she was the only child under 16 to donate her organs in the state of Victoria. Not only did her organs save the lives of six children and one adult; it turned her father Allan into a crusader for organ and tissue donation. The film comes at a time when internationally, Australia is a leader in transplant innovation, yet has one of the lowest donor-participation rates in the developed world.

Director/Producer: Richard Todd, Producer: Ben McNeill, Executive Producer: Janine Hosking.

Ghosthunter (Adult Survivors of Child Abuse): 

A survivor of a violent childhood seeks to reconcile his fractured memories and reclaim his past. A western Sydney security guard and part-time Ghosthunter, he has spent two decades searching for his absent father. When his search ignites a police manhunt, a horrific family secret is exposed—forcing him to face a dark legacy and its many victims.

Director: Ben Lawrence, Producer: Rebecca Bennett, Executive Producer: Margie Bryant.

Guilty (Death Penalty / Human Rights / Visual Arts): 

At a time when Australia is campaigning for a seat on the UN Human Rights Council and exploring its own complex relationship with the Asia-Pacific region, this is an intimate portrait of Myuran Sukumaran, one of the “Bali Nine”, who was executed by firing squad alongside fellow Australian Andrew Chan in April 2015. With never-before seen footage the film contributes its voice to their legacy – urging Australia to lend its weight towards the campaign for world-wide abolition of the death penalty, with a focus on our region.

Directors: Matthew Bate and Matthew Sleeth; Producer and Impact Producers: Maggie Miles and Rebecca Summerton. Production Company: Savage Films.

Homeward Bound (Women in Science / STEM Education): 

Globally, women have been excluded from equal participation in science and leadership; at the same time, young women and girls are opting out of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) based subjects and careers. This film charts the lives, achievements and challenges facing six female scientists, incorporating an epic journey to Antarctica with 78 of their peers – a place that sharpens our focus on what is at stake, and a story about why opportunity and equality are so important.

Director: Ili Bare, Producer: Greer Simpkin, Executive Producer: David Jowsey.

Wurdurd/Kids  (Early Intervention & Education / Indigenous Governance): 

Through the eyes of four children who live in Kakadu, WURDURD / KIDS is an observational documentary that explores an innovative education project that is working to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty and inequity in Australia’s most disadvantaged communities. In doing so, the film seeks to understand what happens when First Nations people have the autonomy to control their own futures and questions our assumptions about ‘good’ education.

Director: Maya Newell, Producer: Sophie Hyde.

2040 (Sustainability / Innovation / Environment): 

From the team who brought you That Sugar Film, a science-fiction feature documentary set in 2040, looking back at the year 2016 as the watershed moment when humanity began to put into action all that was available to save planet earth. The film judiciously maps the actions required across economics, climate, politics and design. This film is the ‘visionboard’ we need now to articulate the future we could be working towards.

Writer/Director: Damon Gameau, Producer: Nick Batzias, Impact Producer: Anna Kaplan.