Screen Aus invests $1m across four documentaries

03 October, 2012 by Staff Reporter

Screen Australia will invest more than $1 million across three one-off documentaries and a series.

The Vasectomist follows a urologist from Florida who attempts to save the planet from overpopulation by spreading the "gospel of vasectomy". The documentary is directed by Jonathan Stack and produced by Simon Nasht and Ruth Cross for SBS Television.


Kids on Speed is a three-part ABC series which will examine the current medical treatments for children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Ten Bucks a Litre, which follows well-known Australian Dick Smith as he explores Australia’s energy options given the radical changes coming down the pipeline, will also screen on the ABC.

The final documentary, Gisela Kaufmann's Shark Girl, will tell the story of a young Australian conservationist who has changed her life to protect sharks in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Park.

The $1 million in total investment will trigger more than $2.8 million in production, according to Screen Australia.


3 x 57 mins
Synopsis: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children is one of the most hotly disputed and commonly diagnosed mental disorders of our time. Kids on Speed is a 3 x 1-hour documentary series that confronts and illuminates the question of whether or not to treat ADHD and related conditions with stimulants like Ritalin (a drug with similar effects to the amphetamine known as speed). A team of leading clinicians and educators will attempt, without prescribing drugs, to improve the lives of six challenging kids showing symptoms of ADHD and related conditions. Can rethinking our classrooms, our communities and the way we run our families prevent at least some of the current widespread medication of our kids?
Essential Media and Entertainment
Producers: Alan Erson, Sonja Armstrong
Director: Max Bourke
Broadcaster: ABC TV
Sales: ABC Commercial

52 mins
Synopsis: The Vasectomist follows Dr Doug Stein, a urologist from small-town Florida, on a mission to save the planet by ‘spreading the gospel of vasectomy’. He’s performed more vasectomies than anyone – 27,000 – throughout the US, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. A modern day Don Quixote; part dreamer, madman and visionary committed to the impossible quest of lowering population on the planet, one vasectomy at a time. As he travels the world, Doug confronts the difficult ethical questions surrounding birth control and the reluctance of men to be involved in family planning. While the mathematical absurdity of his vasectomy mission haunts his every procedure, the questions Doug raises about the future of humankind are critical to our collective wellbeing.
Smith & Nasht
Producers: Simon Nasht, Ruth Cross
Director: Jonathan Stack
Broadcasters: SBS TV, CBC (Canada), DR (Denmark), VPRO (Netherlands)
Sales: SBS International


55 mins
Synopsis: Some of our most serious global challenges revolve around energy – controlling it, paying for it and the consequences of burning it. As both one of the world’s biggest per capita users and exporters of fossil fuels, Australia is sure to be deeply affected by the radical changes coming down the energy pipeline. Yet there is a lot of confusion around the subject. Self-confessed fossil fuel junkie Dick Smith will try to separate the facts from the hot air. What are Australia’s options as we enter the age of energy disruption?
Smith & Nasht
Producers: Simon Nasht, Kate Hodges
Director: Max Bourke
Broadcaster: ABC TV


57 mins
Synopsis: Shark Girl is the story of a young Australian conservationist who has changed her life to protect sharks in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Park.
Kaufmann Productions Pty Ltd
Producers: Gisela Kaufmann, Carsten Orlt
Writer/Director: Gisela Kaufmann
Broadcaster: ABC TV
Sales: ABC Commercial, Smithsonian (US), Terra Mater (Austria)