GOOD PITCH2 AUSTRALIA SELECTS 7 FEATURE DOCUMENTARIES
The world’s leading forum for social impact documentary coming to Australia for the first time at the Sydney Opera House, 8 October 2014
Seven outstanding Australian documentaries – each with a powerful agenda for social impact and change – have been chosen to participate in Good Pitch² Australia.
Good Pitch², the international documentary forum devised by BRITDOC and Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program, has been brought to Australia in 2014 for the first time by Ian Darling’s Shark Island Institute in partnership with Documentary Australia Foundation.
The powerful idea behind Good Pitch² is to connect social impact films with new allies and partners.
"Good Pitch is the most rewarding and high impact philanthropic event I have ever experienced, demonstrating the power of philanthropy when it works collaboratively alongside outstanding story-tellers and change-agents. Having attended Good Pitch events in New York, Chicago and London, I'm excited that we are bringing the event to Australia in October this year. The initiative is a key part of our long term strategic support for documentary in Australia”, said Ian Darling, Executive Director, Shark Island Institute.
On October 8, at the Sydney Opera House, Good Pitch² Australia will bring together the filmmakers from the seven selected documentaries with foundations, not-for-profits, campaigners, philanthropists, policy-makers, brands, educators, broadcasters and media to forge powerful alliances around ground breaking films that are good for all these partners, good for the films and good for society.
"Among the 200+ active applications, we received 123 completed submissions for the inaugural Good Pitch² Australia in 2014. Within them were stirring portraits of changemakers, stories that expressed the Australian experience at home and abroad, quiet and beautifully composed projects along with arresting and challenging material. The diversity and quality of the submissions was really impressive,” said Malinda Wink, Executive Director of Good Pitch² Australia.
“It is fantastic to see so many passionate filmmakers embrace this initiative with dramatic and powerful stories, unique access to great characters and profound commitment. We are all so excited to take these films to a national stage” said Mitzi Goldman, CEO of Documentary Australia Foundation.
Beadie Finzi, Director of Good Pitch programme, BRITDOC Foundation, said: "Australia has got all the ingredients for a great Good Pitch. A tremendous hub of creative documentary filmmakers and a community bristling with independence and determination to get films made and seen nationally and internationally. The strong submissions illustrate open minds to explore, to poke at the new opportunities created by the disruption in production and distribution and to welcome new kinds of partners into our community, from NGO’s and Foundations to activists and philanthropists. We know we can work together to make sure good films go further and have greater impact in society.”
Malinda Wink added: "The selection process required much debate and careful consideration from our local and international selectors. In the process of due diligence, we consulted with film industry, philanthropy and not-for-profit sectors both locally and abroad. Our goal was not only to find and support outstanding films, but to select a diversity of subject matter with a view to craft a 'national conversation' within the inaugural Good Pitch² Australia event.
Reflecting on the seven films to be presented at Good Pitch2 Australia this year, Ian Darling added: “This year's selected films represent a truly national conversation, dealing with themes including indigenous Australia, refugees, domestic violence, health and nutrition, gay rights, international corruption and aid. Now more than ever, we need these stories to give voice to the spectrum of the Australian experience.”
The seven high impact, feature-length documentary projects chosen to present at the Sydney Opera House on October 8, 2014 are:
Call Me Dad / Director: Sophie Wiesner, Producer: Madeleine Hetherton
A story about men who have perpetrated or are at risk of perpetrating family violence. At stake is the safety of children and partners, the stability of families, and the power we as a society have to intervene. These men have problems expressing anger, and other strong emotions, without resorting to abuse, verbal or physical. We follow these men as they attempt to change and heal their most precious relationships.
Constance on The Edge / Director: Belinda Mason, Producer: Marguerite Grey
Walk in the shoes of a Sudanese refugee as she attempts to transform her rural town of Wagga Wagga into a friendlier place. Constance on the Edge tells the story of brave, feisty, charismatic Constance Okot, and her family, who face an uncertain future. Along the way it reveals some of the darker secrets about the community they live in.
Frackman / Director: Richard Todd, Producers: Simon Nasht and Trish Lake
Reluctant activist Dayne ‘The Frackman’ Pratzky, takes us on a journey through the bush as we meet a bunch of ordinary people caught up in a modern day multinational gold rush – the race to secure and exploit coal seam gas. From conservative landowners, to radical activists and town-dwelling families, this unlikely coalition of Australians has come together to protect the health of their communities, land and future.
Gayby Baby / Director: Charlotte Mars, Producer: Maya Newell
At a time when Australia is divided on the issue of same-sex marriage, four children with gay and lesbian parents share their stories. While they each have a unique issue, the kids nonetheless all face the dramas of oncoming puberty and stepping out for the first time into a world that places intense scrutiny on families like theirs.
The Opposition / Director: Hollie Fifer, Producer: Rebecca Barry
In a David-and-Goliath battle over land in Papua New Guinea, Joe Moses, leader of the Paga Hill Settlement, must save his 3,000 people before they are evicted to an industrial waste site. Battling it out in the courts – Joe may find his community replaced with an international five star hotel and marina developed by an Australian run company.
That Sugar Film / Director: Damon Gameau, Producer Nick Batzias
It's the most dominant food in the world but how has sugar infiltrated our diet and culture and what is it doing to us? One man's journey through academia, irreverence, experiment, celebrity, science and vibrant entertainment, That Sugar Film is a saccharine ride exploring the true nature of sugar…and how to start a new life without it.
Zach's Ceremony / Director: Aaron Petersen, Producer Sarah Linton
Zach’s Ceremony follows a city-raised boy and his quest to reconnect with his Indigenous roots as he goes through the ancient rite of initiation. Fuelled by passion, a father and son’s tense and often combative relationship brings into sharp relief the clash of two worlds and the struggle modern-day Australians face connecting with the oldest living culture in the world.
For more information about Good Pitch² Australia, go to: www.goodpitch2australia.com.au
To view a short presentation on Good Pitch² Australia, go to: http://goodpitch2australia.com.au/about/