Screen Aus backs 20 docos

28 July, 2010 by IF

By staff reporters

Screen Australia will invest $4.5 million across 20 documentaries after strong demand by public and subscription-TV broadcasters for its latest round of funding.

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Screen Australia said the investment will trigger production worth over $15 million. It plans to hold two more funding rounds for the 2010-11 financial year with around $1.8 million allocated to each round.

It will now pool its funds across both the domestic and international documentary programs and increase the allocation available to a total of $7.5 million.

The projects funded in the July round are:

Documentary – National Documentary Program (NDP)

WIDE OPEN ROAD
Bombora Films and Music
Producer/Director: Paul Clarke
Broadcaster: ABC TV
Sales & Distribution: ABC Commercial, Roadshow
Synopsis: An Australian social history of the 20th century – viewed through the windscreen of the cars that we so cherished.

Documentary – Domestic

ARTHOUSE
Paalma Pty Ltd
Producer/Writer: Marian Bartsch
Director: Britt Arthur
Broadcaster: ABC
Sales & Distribution: ABC Content Sales
Synopsis: ArtHouse looks at the changing face of architecture, innovation and design in Australia through the eyes of Melbourne-based husband and wife team, architect Robert McBride and interior designer Debbie Ryan. Their outstanding architecture, which is changing the skyline of Melbourne, has achieved the highest accolade winning the recent 2009 World Architecture Festival Awards for best residential house in the world for The Klein Bottle House. A first for any Australian architectural team. This documentary follows a day-in-the-life of this stellar design team over a period of eight months, and the inspiration behind their iconic works. This documentary will also aim to explore the need for innovation in the Australian way of living as Robert and Debbie-Lyn build their own family home for their growing family.

BREAKING: DANGEROUS!
No Roles For Sam Pty Ltd
Producer: Emma Smith
Writers/Directors: Daniel Mansour and Tim Ryan
Broadcaster: MTV
Synopsis: Follows the adventures of a band from Adelaide trying to get their big break. The band’s sights are firmly set on building legions of fans both in Australia and the USA, as well as scoring a record deal in the US: a dream virtually every young Aussie has had.

COOL SCHOOL
Angels Television Pty Ltd
Producers/Writers/Directors: Gregory Miller and Liz Courtney
Broadcaster: Nickelodeon, Australian Television, NHK
Sales & Distribution: Off The Fence
Synopsis: Filmed almost entirely in Antarctica. It is a chance to explore sustainable development and climate change in one of the places being most affected, and it shows the transformative effect on a number of young people as they travel to the world’s largest and most isolated wilderness.

DICK SMITH’S POPULATION PUZZLE
Mitra Films Pty Ltd
Producer: Anna Cater
Producer/Director: Simon Nasht
Broadcaster: ABC
Sales & Distribution: Ovation
Synopsis: The film follows Dick Smith’s public campaign against rapid population growth. The polemical film tests the propositions put forward in favour of a Big Australia. Can this popular entrepreneur persuade the nation to change its mind?

FOOTBALL UNITED
North One TV Australia
Producer: Dan Goldberg
Executive Producer/Director: Adam Kay
Broadcaster: Bio Channel
Sales & Distribution: Fox, North One
Synopsis: Follows the inspirational story of one woman’s dream to use the world game to help refugee children who’ve recently arrived in Australia integrate into their new society.

HARDLINERS
Cordell Jigsaw
Executive Producers: Nick Murray and Michael Cordell
Producer: Steve Bibb
Broadcaster: Fox 8
Sales & Distribution: DCD Rights, Cordell Jigsaw
Synopsis: Larger-than-life Australian long-line tuna fishermen risking it all on a daily basis are at the heart of the new documentary series, Hardliners.

I’M NOT DEAD YET
iKandy Films
Producer/Writer/Director: Janine Hosking
Broadcaster: ABC
Synopsis: The ‘unplugged’ chronicle of 76-year-old country music legend Chad Morgan. “I’ll die on the stage or on the nest,” vows the controversial Chad as he packs his guitar, walking stick and his wife’s Zimmer frame in the back of the car for his latest tour. This observational documentary is an intimate portrait of a ‘one of a kind’ musician, playing out the final phase of his career. At the heart of the narrative is an enduring love story – littered with dirty lyrics!

KULKA
Wonderland Film & Theatre Production Pty Ltd
Producer: Kingston Anderson
Director: Claire Haywood
Broadcaster: NITV
Sales & Distribution: Wonderland Productions
Synopsis: About the life and times of Dr Gordon Briscoe (AO). It is a celebration of his outstanding contribution as a campaigner for basic human rights for Indigenous Australians, an activist, a motivator, a thinker, a researcher, author, teacher and mentor. Narrated by Gordon’s son, Aaron Briscoe, it is the inspirational story of an institutionalised Aborigine, interned in an ‘alien’ camp during World War II with very little education, who struggled against the odds to achieve dignity and respect for himself and his people. The story of his life reflects the struggles still facing many Indigenous communities today.

THE LAST WALTZ
Waterbyrd Filmz
Producer/Co-director: Nickolas Bird
Co-director: Eleanor Sharpe
Broadcaster: ABC
Sales & Distribution: Galloping Films
Synopsis: Anny Salerni, the charismatic owner of Melbourne’s only gay and lesbian ballroom dancing studio, has devoted the last 14 years of her life to creating her own fabulous world of same-sex dancesports. Her students are not the most talented of dancers but they are passionate about their sport and are driven by a dream of competing at the Gay Games in Germany. As they prepare for the biggest event of their lives, Anny and her students must battle injury, personal dramas and entrenched homophobia from the mainstream ballroom dancing community and the world in general.

MISS SOUTH SUDAN AUSTRALIA
Matchbox Pictures Pty Ltd
Executive Producer: Tony Ayres
Producers: Polly Staniford and Michael McMahon
Director: Shannon Owen
Broadcaster: ABC
Synopsis: A joyful and exuberant half-hour documentary following the precarious and erratic journey to pull together the premiere event for Australia’s Sudanese community – the ‘Miss South Sudan Australia’ beauty pageant – and the lives of the organisers and the participants post event.

MT (working title)
Evershine Pty Ltd
Producer: Helen Barrow
Director: Hugh Piper
Broadcaster: ABC
Synopsis: An observational documentary about print journalism, freedom of speech and publishing in South East Asia.

ON A WING AND A PRAYER
Sea Dog TV International Pty Ltd
Executive Producer: Dione Gilmour
Producers: Jodie De Barros and Leighton De Barros
Director: Leighton De Barros
Co-director: Sam Smith
Writers: Leighton De Barros and Sam Smith
Broadcaster: ABC
Sales & Distribution: ABC Commercial
Synopsis: Follows the incredible life cycle of the endangered Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo through an engaging story of one small bird family as they fight for survival and the one man who will do whatever it takes to protect them.

SEX: AN UNNATURAL HISTORY
Matchbox Pictures
Executive Producer: Penny Chapman
Producer: Michaela Perske
Writer: Mark O’Toole
Broadcaster: SBS
Sales & Distribution: SBS Content Sales
Synopsis: A six-part factual series hosted by Julia Zemiro that will explore the last 50 years of Australia’s sexual landscape. A lively series using a blend of experts, philosophers, academics and ordinary people that poses the big questions about sex in the modern day.

TWO IN THE GREAT DIVIDE
Artemis International Pty Ltd
Executive Producers: Nick Murray and Michael Cordell
Producer: Toni Malone
Director: Michael Cordell
Broadcaster: ABC
Sales & Distribution: ABC Commercial
Synopsis: Tim Flannery and John Doyle undertake their third quixotic journey through the Australian landscape, this time exploring The Great Dividing Range. To the east of the Divide are abundant rivers, fertile land and ever-burgeoning population. To the west are uncertainty, drought and vast tracts of ‘emptiness’. As Tim and John follow the range northward they are undertaking more than a geographical journey, they are also exploring the ‘great divides’ in Australian life. Arguments over water, population and nuclear power will all feature, as well as more profound debates – like Holden vs Ford.

WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE 4
Artemis International Pty Ltd & Serendipity Productions Pty Ltd
Executive Producer for Artemis: Brian Beaton
Executive Producer for Serendipity: Margie Bryant
Series Producer: Celia Tait
Broadcaster: SBS
Sales & Distribution: SBS Content Sales
Synopsis: Well-known Australians play detective as they go in search of their family history, revealing secrets and surprises from the past.

Documentary – International

THE GRAMMAR OF HAPPINESS 
Essential Media and Entertainment 
Producer: Chris Hilton
Director: Randall Wood 
Broadcaster: ABC, Arte France, Smithsonian
Sales & Distribution: Essential Media and Entertainment
Synopsis: Amongst perhaps the only truly happy people on earth, maverick linguist Daniel Everett sets out to discover if the language we speak defines the way we think. In fresh studies of the culture and language of the Amazonian Pirahã tribe he seeks evidence for groundbreaking concepts that, if proven, will end the ostracism and insults Everett has endured from his own savage tribe of academics and expand our idea of what it means to be human.

MACQUARIE THE FATHER OF AUSTRALIA
Intomedia Pty Ltd
Producers: Stuart Scowcroft and Seona Robertson
Director: Les Wilson
Broadcaster: Foxtel, BBC Scotland
Synopsis: Lachlan Macquarie took the jail settlement of Sydney Cove from a penal outpost to a British colony in 10 short and tumultuous years. In doing so he paved the way to nationhood. This is his story.

ROCKET COMPULSION
Firelight Productions Pty Ltd and Paper Bark Films Pty Ltd
Producers: Marcus Gillezeau and Ellenor Cox
Director: Gregory Read
Writer: Simon Nasht
Broadcaster: Discovery Networks Asia
Sales & Distribution: Off The Fence, ABC Enterprises, Online Blink Digital
Synopsis: This is the story of a tenacious Australian jet pilot, David Mayman, as he strives to achieve his childhood dream of building and free-flying his very own Rocket Belt, only to discover he faces a nearly impossible task. Collaborating with the world’s leading Rocket Belt engineers David risks life and limb to become the world’s next Rocketman. Rocket Compulsion will take the audience on a ride that shows point blank why less people have flown Rocket Belts than have walked on the Moon.

THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE EUROVISION SONG CONTEST
Electric Pictures Pty Ltd
Producers: Andrew Ogilvie and Andrea Quesnelle
Writer/Director: Stephen Oliver
Broadcaster: SBS, Ch4, DR, NPS/VPRO, NRK, RTE, SVT, VRT, WDR, YLE
Sales & Distribution: BBC Worldwide
Synopsis: Some see it as an outdated, second-rate entertainment show. But as the contest enters its second half century in robust health, this is an opportunity to take it seriously (well, most of the time) in a documentary series that mixes politics and pop music, fun, gossip, and – sometimes – real international intrigue, to tell the behind-the-scenes stories of one of the great institutions of European broadcasting. A winning blend of humour and insight, the program will peer beyond the glitz and sparkle to examine the Eurovision Song Contest and how it has tracked – and at times even influenced – the changing social and political life of Europe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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