Screen Australia today announced over $2.2 million investment in nine documentaries, triggering over $10.6 million in production.
Screen Australia’s Senior Manager Documentary Liz Stevens said, “The slate of documentary projects announced today will examine a diverse range of topics across history, science and contemporary social issues, in a combination of series and one-off programs. This is a great outcome for industry and audiences alike and I’m looking forward to seeing the finished films.”
Three programs have been funded through the National Documentary Program (NDP), including Changed Forever, a three-part documentary mini-series that tells the stories of people who were shaped by World War I, who also shaped Australia. It’s produced by Michael Tear and Harriet Pike, directed by Serge Ou and written by Michael Cove.
Also funded through the NDP is a musical documentary set in Berrimah Prison on the outskirts of Darwin, Songs from the Inside, from writer/director Kelrick Martin. Harry Bardwell and Martin will produce the one-off documentary with Bardwell and Ron Saunders also on board as executive producers.
Writer/director David Bradbury’s one-off NDP documentary Vietnam ANZACs is an account of Australian soldiers’ action in the Vietnam War and the tragedy of the post traumatic stress that followed. It’s produced for the ABC by both Jenny Day and Bradbury.
Media personality Geraldine Doogue will make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem at Easter 2014 to search for what she believes is the essence of her Catholic faith in writer/director Mark Gould’s The Way of the Cross, funded through the General Documentary Program. Trevor Graham and Gould will produce the one-off documentary for ABC TV.
Five documentaries have been funded through the International Documentary Program (IDP), including producer/writer/director Janine Hosking’s 10-part series The Australian War Memorial. Produced for Foxtel's History Channel with executive producer John McAvoy, the series follows renowned historian Neil Oliver behind-the-scenes of one of the world’s most iconic institutions, the Australian War Memorial.
Islands of Oz is an IDP-funded documentary mini-series written by John McCourt and produced by Ed Punchard, Julia Redwood, Bill Jones and Philippa Braithwaite for Seven Network, which follows acclaimed actor and comedian Martin Clunes as he explores remote and spectacular islands that surround Australia.
Filmed over four years, writer/director Marc Eberle’s The Cambodian Space Project: Not Easy Rock N’ Roll is the story of the birth of multicultural rock band The Cambodian Space Project. The one-off IDP documentary is produced for the ABC, BBC, SVT and DR by Richard Kuipers and Eberle, with executive producers Sharyn Prentice and Angus Macqueen.
The one-off blue-chip natural history documentary Big Red tells the remarkable life story of a red kangaroo. Funded through the IDP, it’s directed by Jens Westphalen and Thoralf Grospitz, written by Bettina Dalton and produced for National Geographic Channel International by Dalton and Veronica Fury.
Scientists will work barehanded with deadly sharks to determine the driving forces of shark predatory behaviour in director/writer Matt Tomaszewski’s Great White Matrix. The one-off IDP-funded documentary is produced by Karina Holden for Nine Network Australia and Discovery US.
NATIONAL DOCUMENTARY PROGRAM
3 x 55 mins
For Valour Pty Ltd trading as Bearcage Television
Producers Michael Tear, Harriet Pike
Writer Michael Cove
Director Serge Ou
Broadcaster Foxtel History Channel
Sales Umbrella Entertainment and Flame Distribution
Synopsis Those who shaped our country were themselves shaped by the Great War. This is their story.
SONGS FROM THE INSIDE
Beyond West Pty Ltd
Producers Harry Bardwell, Kelrick Martin
Executive Producers Harry Bardwell, Ron Saunders
Writer/Director Kelrick Martin
Sales Beyond Distribution
Synopsis A documentary musical set in Berrimah Prison on the outskirts of Darwin.
Battle of Balmoral Pty Limited
Producers Jenny Day, David Bradbury
Writer/Director David Bradbury
Synopsis An account of Australian soldiers' action in the Vietnam War and the tragedy of the post-traumatic stress that followed.
GENERAL DOCUMENTARY PROGRAM
THE WAY OF THE CROSS
Mark Gould Productions Pty Ltd
Producers Trevor Graham, Mark Gould
Writer/Director Mark Gould
Broadcaster ABC TV
Sales Ronin Films
Synopsis Media personality Geraldine Doogue makes a pilgrimage to Jerusalem at Easter 2014, searching for what she believes is the essence of her Catholic faith.
INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY PROGRAM
THE AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL
10 x 30 mins
Eyeworks Television Pty Limited
Producer/Writer/Director Janine Hosking
Executive Producer John McAvoy
Broadcaster Foxtel History Channel
Sales Agent Eyeworks Distribution
Synopsis In the lead up to the 100th anniversary of the First World War, international broadcaster and renowned historian Neil Oliver takes us behind-the-scenes of one of the world’s most iconic institutions, the Australian War Memorial. With unprecedented access to the memorial, its staff and its rarely seen precious archives, this landmark documentary series will follow all the action across its busiest and most momentous year to date.
ISLANDS OF OZ
3 x 47 mins
Producers Ed Punchard, Julia Redwood, Bill Jones, Philippa Braithwaite
Broadcaster Seven Network
Synopsis Islands of Oz is a documentary series that follows acclaimed actor and comedian Martin Clunes as he explores the most diverse, intriguing, remote and spectacular islands that surround Australia.
THE CAMBODIAN SPACE PROJECT: NOT EASY ROCK N' ROLL
Flaming Star Films Pty Ltd & Ronachan Films
Producers Richard Kuipers, Marc Eberle
Executive Producers Sharyn Prentice, Angus Macqueen
Writer/Director Marc Eberle
Broadcasters ABC, BBC, SVT, DR
Synopsis When wandering Australian musician Julien Poulson meets Cambodian karaoke singer Srey Thy, the result is a cross-cultural rollercoaster and the birth of multicultural rock band The Cambodian Space Project. Filmed over four years and told from the inside, this is the story of two struggling performers whose rise from obscurity, poverty and trauma to relative fame is a psychedelic journey into rock'n'roll– where nothing is ever easy.
Producers Bettina Dalton, Veronica Fury
Writer Bettina Dalton
Directors Jens Westphalen, Thoralf Grospitz
Broadcaster National Geographic Australia
Sales National Geographic Channel International
Synopsis This blue-chip natural history documentary tells the remarkable life story of a single red kangaroo.
GREAT WHITE MATRIX
Shark 360 Pty Ltd trading as Northern Pictures
Producer Karina Holden
Writer/Director Matt Tomaszewski
Broadcaster Nine Network Australia, Discovery US
Sales ABC Commercial
Synopsis Off the Australian coast, scientists work barehanded with deadly sharks to determine the driving forces of shark predatory behaviour.