Screen Australia invests in five documentaries

28 June, 2012 by Staff Reporter

Screen Australia has invested almost $750,000 across five one-off documentary projects.

The projects, which will trigger over $2.1 million in production, include 10 Days That Shocked the Nation, an online SBS documentary which will tells the story of the events that occurred in the lead-up to and consequent Cronulla Riots, and Canberra Confidential, an ABC program which uncovers a century of secrets from inside the nation’s capital.


Screen Australia’s documentary Manager Liz Stevens said: “Both these documentaries will make a significant contribution to the national dialogue. 10 Days That Shocked the Nation joins other recent NDP-funded award-winning online properties Big Stories, Small Towns and Asylum: Exit Australia. Canberra Confidential will be broadcast to coincide with Canberra’s Centenary in early 2013.”

The projects also include biographical film, Peter Sculthorpe, A Journey Through My Life, about one of the world’s greatest living composers. Writer/director Gregor Jordon’s Ian Thorpe: The Swimmer will uncover the inner struggles of Ian Thorpe as he attempts a comeback; while The Sharp End will tell the life story of Martin Sharp, recognised as one of the greatest pop artists of his generation.

“Screen Australia continues to invest in distinctive one-off documentaries. These three biographical documentaries promise to deliver inspiring and insightful accounts of three of Australia’s living legends, as we’ve never seen them before,” Stevens said.


48 mins
Northern Pictures
Producer: Sue Clothier
Broadcaster: SBS Online
Synopsis: 10 Days That Shocked the Nation tells the story of the dramatic events covering the lead-up to and the 10 days between 4th and 13th December 2005 known as the Cronulla Riots.

55 mins
Smith & Nasht
Producers: Anna Cater, Simon Nasht
Writer/Director: Ian Walker
Broadcaster: ABC
Synopsis: A century of secrets from inside the nation’s capital, exploring the passionate interplay of politics and subterfuge that has long been carried out in the shadows of the national stage – this is the unofficial history that Canberra has tried to hide.


57 mins
The Swimmer Film Pty Ltd
Producers: Helen Panckhurst, Michael Hilliard, Simone Kessell, Gregor Jordan
Executive Producer: Rob Galluzzo
Writer/Director: Gregor Jordan
Broadcaster: ABC
Sales: ABC Commercial
Synopsis: The inner struggles of Ian Thorpe as he attempts a comeback and, despite failing to make the Olympic team, discovers a new relationship with swimming and his own legend.

60 mins
Heliograph Pty Ltd
Writer/Director/Producer: John Weiley
Broadcaster: ABC
Synopsis: Peter Sculthorpe is recognised as one of Australia’s – and the world’s –great living composers. As he approached his 83rd birthday he reflected that he had in fact told the story of his life through his 17 string quartets from the innocence of his early childhood in Tasmania to his discovery of Aboriginal Australia and the music of our near north and on to be inspired by even wider, global concerns. The backbone of the film will be the concert staged in the Trackdown Studio where the quartets will be interspersed with Peter explaining what they reflected about his life at the time they were written. Visually we will revisit some of the scenes that inspired the music.

30 mins
Southern Pictures (formerly Australian Documentaries)
Producer: Laurie Critchley
Director: Rebecca Baillie
Broadcaster ABC
Synopsis: In 1963, a handful of idealistic young rebels banded together and launched themselves on the world stage. What they expressed would change Australian culture forever. At their centre was the brilliant young artist, Martin Sharp, who was soon recognised as one of the greatest pop artists of his generation. This is the story of his life, his work, his friendships and magnificent obsessions – and what it all meant.