Screen Australia invests $2.7m in eight documentaries

08 August, 2011 by Sam Dallas

Screen Australia has announced a $2.7 million injection into eight documentaries, which is expected to trigger production worth almost $10 million.

Popular SBS doco series Who Do You Think You Are? will return for a fifth series, after receiving funding from the national agency.

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ABC documentaries First Footprints – a three-part series about the "peopling" of the Australian continent – and Family Confidential – which delves into the lives and homes of some of the country’s most significant and influential families – have also received a financial boost.

These join five international documentaries that will receive funding, which include SBS documentary The Network – written, produced and directed by Oscar winner Eva Orner (Taxi To The Darkside), ABC doco The Australian Wine Revolution – about the recent history of the local wine industry, and Network Seven’s Mutha Truckers, which follows long-haul road train drivers across the nation.

“The latest funding round will produce a substantial slate of culturally significant and original documentaries for Australian and international audiences,” Screen Australia’s chief executive Ruth Harley said in a statement.

Projects receiving funding are:

NATIONAL DOCUMENTARY PROGRAM

FIRST FOOTPRINTS
First Footprints Pty Ltd
Directors/Producers Martin Butler, Bentley Dean
Writers Martin Butler, Bentley Dean, Steve Kinnane
Broadcaster ABCTV, Arte France
Sales Naked Flame
Synopsis First Footprints is a landmark three-part documentary series about the peopling of the Australian continent.

GENERAL DOCUMENTARY PROGRAM

FAMILY CONFIDENTIAL
Australian Documentaries
Executive Producer Laurie Critchley
Writers/Directors Aviva Ziegler, Ili Baré, Sally Aitken
Broadcaster ABC TV
Synopsis Family Confidential takes us inside the homes and lives of some of Australia’s most significant and influential families, revealing the true story behind their famous public facades.

WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?® 5
Artemis and Serendipity Productions
Producers/Executive Producers Brian Beaton, Celia Tait, Margie Bryant
Writers/Directors TBC
Broadcaster SBS
Sales SBS Sales
Synopsis Who Do You Think You Are?® returns for a fifth series as six more Australian celebrities trace their family tree, uncovering secrets and stories from the past. Combining emotional and personal journeys with big-picture history, these inspiring and occasionally challenging stories remind us how Australians have come to be the diverse people that we are today. The first series of Who Do You Think You Are? was broadcast in January 2008 and became a smash hit with the Australian audience achieving record-breaking ratings on SBS and critical acclaim. The subsequent series, broadcast in 2009 and 2010, have had similar success.

INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY PROGRAM

THE AUSTRALIAN WINE REVOLUTION
Electric Pictures
Producer Andrew Ogilvie
Executive Producers Andrew Ogilvie, Phil Craig
Writer/Director Stephen Oliver
Broadcasters ABCTV, BBC
Sales Parthenon Entertainment
Synopsis The Australian Wine Revolution tells the recent history of the Australian wine industry and reveals how a small group of enterprising Australian wine makers took on the world… and won – changing the way that wine is made and marketed. Full of amusing anecdotes, the documentary features winemakers, marketers, buyers, critics and drinkers to discover how Aussie wine was transformed from ridicule into an international success story.

DINGO – WILD DOGS AT WAR
Essential Media & Entertainment
Producer Michael O’Neill
Executive Producer Chris Hilton
Associate Producer Jay Court
Director/Camera Adam Geiger
Broadcasters ABCTV, UKTV
Sales ABC Commercial, ZDF
Synopsis Dingo follows charismatic farmer and canine advocate David Graham as he hunts for solutions to the dilemma surrounding Australia’s native dog, the dingo. The Australian bush is at war… Can one man find the way to peace?

MUTHA TRUCKERS
Prospero Productions
Executive Producers Ed Punchard, Julia Redwood
Writer/Director Russell Vines
Broadcasters Channel Seven, UKTV
Sales Oberon, NGTI
Synopsis Mutha Truckers is a one-hour documentary that follows road train trucks and their drivers on their long, demanding and often incredibly dangerous journeys across the toughest terrain of Australia.

THE NETWORK
Nerdy Girl
Writer/Director/Producer Eva Orner
Executive Producer Hani Farsi
Broadcaster SBS
Sales Corniche/Le Pacte
Synopsis The Network is a documentary set behind the scenes at a fledgling television network in one of the most unstable and dangerous places on earth.

REPTILIAN BATTLEGROUND
BK Films
Writer/Director/Producer Bianca Keeley
Broadcasters ABCTV, Nat Geo Wild
Sales ABC DVD, NGTI
Synopsis A reptilian battle of titanic proportions is underway in Australia’s north.

What are your thoughts on the new documentaries? Let us know, below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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