Robert Crispe, Shontell Leah Ketchell and Janne Rytkönen.

A trio of filmmaking teams will start production on short documentary projects this month after receiving funding via Screen Queensland’s Authentic program.

Delivered in partnership with Screenworks, the initiative provides $4,000 for three filmmaking teams, based in Far North Queensland and extending to North Queensland, to produce short films about significant personalities in their region.

Janne Rytkönen, Shontell Leah Ketchell, and Robert Crispe will each work closely with a mentoring producer from ABC to refine their shooting scripts, production planning, rough cuts, and final edits, with the completed works to be considered for screening on ABC platforms.

In congratulating the recipients, Screen Queensland chief creative officer Jo Dillon said the program was an example of how the agency aimed to invest in talent across the entire state.

“We are delighted to announce Cairns teams Janne Rytkönen with Samantha Martin, and Shontell Leah Ketchell with Ewan Cutler, alongside Townsville-based creative Robert Crispe, as recipients of the Authentic initiative,” she said.

“By providing access to mentoring from expert decision-makers at ABC, we’re actively growing local screen know-how in northern parts of our state, while opening pathways for emerging practitioners to develop strong concepts with broadcast potential.”

Screenworks CEO Ken Crouch said he was excited about the impact of the projects on the screen industry in the region.

“This program is designed to develop the professional skills and capabilities of regional screen practitioners based in the North and Far North, and should lead to more local stories and productions being made in the region,” he said.

Director of ABC Regional and Local Judith Whelan said ABC content-makers based in Townsville and Cairns were looking forward to working with the region’s emerging filmmakers.

“Local storytelling is at the heart of everything the ABC does in regional Australia and this initiative from Screen Queensland and Screenworks gives us the opportunity to foster and develop the storytellers of tomorrow, ” she said.

Authentic recipients:

Janne (Yahn) Rytkönen (Far North Queensland)
Janne will be teaming up with mentor and indigenous consultant Samantha Martin and will be working with Brendan Mounter, Features Reporter, ABC FNQ. His documentary subject is Leah Reuben. Leah was a walking youth crime statistic before she took up boxing at 15, claimed a national title at age 18, started work as a youth support officer at 19, and began dreaming of a world championship at age 20.

Shontell Leah Ketchell (Cairns)
Shontell has teamed up with fellow Cairns filmmaker, Ewan Cutler and will be working with Brendan Mounter, Features Reporter, ABC FNQ. Her documentary subject is Naomi Wenitong. This story details the journey, the strength and the resilience of the gifted singer, songwriter, and rapper, Naomi ‘Nay’ Wenitong from Cairns.

Robert Crispe (Townsville)
Robert will be working with Dwayne Wyles, Features Reporter, ABC North QLD.His documentary subject is Craig Crichton.  Craig, a resident of Yunbenun (Magnetic Island) takes us on a kayak around the bay introducing us to the unique pull the island has on him while touching on the traditional stories, environmental beauty and local personalities to be found there.

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