Big Bad Love host Becky Lucas.

Five documentaries from emerging filmmakers will screen on ABC2 and iview over the next two months as part of the ABC and Screen Australia’s Opening Shot initiative.

This is the fourth season of the initiative, which gives five filmmaking teams  all with a director under 35 years of age  the opportunity to create a prime- time doco with a younger perspective.

ABC TV Head of Factual, Steve Bibb, said this season would bring a diverse range of perspectives to our screens. “It’s never been more important to be making local content told from the perspective of young Australians."

Screen Australia’s senior manager, documentary, Liz Stevens said Opening Shot was a proven launching pad, as demonstrated by the success of past alumni like Maya Newell (Growing Up Gayby) and Madeleine Parry (Meatwork).

“We look forward to seeing how these new stories connect with audiences and what comes next for this group of fresh documentary voices,” she said.

The films are:

Psychics in the Suburbs

Australia’s psychic medium business is booming and filmmaker Cassie Charlton wants to find out why. Florence King, recently crowned People’s Choice Australian Psychic of the Year, is in the middle of her biggest year yet, and spending time with Florence, and her clients, gives Cassie front row seats to see how the psychics business really works. Following both public performances and private sessions, we meet a range of Australians anxious to contact their deceased loved ones, trying to come to terms with their grief. Psychics in the Suburbs explores who we turn to when the answers seem bigger than the questions themselves.

Director: Cassie Charlton

Producers: Rebecca Barry & Madeleine Hetherton

A Media Stockade film.

Screening 16 November, 9.30pm

Big Bad Love

Comedian Becky Lucas recently found out one of her closest childhood friends had suffered years of violence and abuse at the hands of her partner. With young women 18-24 being most at risk of abuse, Becky sets out to understand what an abusive relationship looks like, how it begins and why it’s so hard to intervene. She meets experts and psychologists to figure out how she missed the signs, conducts a social experiment on the street to see how the average bystander reacts to domestic violence, and seeks out the stories of young survivors to discover what anyone can do when confronted with domestic violence.

Director/Writer: Briony Benjamin

Producers: Susan MacKinnon and Daniel Joyce

Executive Producers: Marcus Gillezeau and Josh Pomeranz

A Briony Benjamin Media film.

Screening November 23, 9.30pm

Candidate Games

Money has been flooding into Perth on the back of a decade long mining boom and with an annual council budget of $200 million dollars, the role of Lord Mayor is a tempting prize. The 2015 election attracted a diverse range of young applicants. Candidate Reece is only 28 years old, one of the youngest ever Lord Mayoral nominees, and has a drive and ambition unusual for someone of his tender age. Candidate Mike, 33 years old, is the chalk to Reece’s cheese: an entrepreneur with some big ideas who wants to add Lord Mayor to his impressive and eclectic resume, and turn Perth into a city full of electric cars. Standing in the way of both Gen Y candidates is a popular two-term incumbent and baby boomer: Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi. The bookies have Lisa as the runaway favourite, yet Reece and Mike may have timed their ‘David vs. Goliath’ attempts to seize power perfectly, with an investigation from The Corruption and Crime Commission looming over her head. The stage is set for an explosive postal election, where three candidates with very different ideas about how to rule a capital city will clash head to head. The results are one thing, how this battle unfolds is quite another. Let the games begin!

Director: Sam Bodhi Field

Producers: Ella Wright and Alice Ross

Executive Producers: Brian Beaton and Celia Tait

A Periscope Pictures film.

Screening December 7, 9.30 pm

End of the Line

Nowra, a beautiful intersection of some of Australia’s most alluring beaches, rain-forests, mountains, and farmland, has fallen hard to the hand of Ice. Tom Abood, a young local that left his hometown to follow his dream of becoming a filmmaker, returns to find out if a handful of locals have what it takes to beat the ever-spreading scourge of ice. Follow Tom as he meets up with familiar faces of his past to see if Nowra can be more than just the end of the line.

Director: Tom Abood

Producer: Kat Cooke

Executive Producer: Ben Ulm

An Artillery House film.

Screening 14 December, 9.30pm


Disillusioned by a revival of public shaming via social media, filmmaker Mike Nayna confronts the real-world damage caused by an online furore he created. In 2012, Mike Nayna uploaded a shaming video that sparked international media attention, resulted in two gaol terms and inspired a surprise spate of copycat incidents. But while the narrative of good conquering prejudice played out on computer screens around the world, a far more complex and morally ambiguous story was taking place.  Through exploring the untold story behind the high profile public shaming, Mike must face the unintended consequences of his ‘digitlanism’.

Director/Writer: Mike Nayna

Producers: Lauren Elliott and Mark Conway

Executive Producers: Eddie Martin and Susie Jones

A Checkpoint Media/Mad Kids Co-production

Screening December 21, 9.30 pm

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