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in the archive
Documentary production
Approvals 2011-2012

National Documentary Program

10 DAYS THAT SHOCKED THE NATION
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.

CANBERRA CONFIDENTIAL
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.

ONE-HOUR ABC DOCUMENTARY
57 mins
FairTrade Films Pty Ltd
Writer/Director/Producer Luigi Acquisto
Producer Stella Zammataro
Broadcaster ABC

ONCE UPON A TIME IN PUNCHBOWL
4 x 52 mins
Northern Pictures
Executive Producer Sue Clothier
Series Producer Tim Toni
Broadcaster SBS
Synopsis Once Upon a Time in Punchbowl is a landmark television series about Lebanese migrant settlement in Western Sydney.

George Rrurrambu
Night Sky Films Pty Ltd
1 x 57 mins
Producers Rachel Clements, Lisa Watts
Director Steven McGregor
Writer Lisa Watts, Steven McGregor                                                          
Broadcaster ABC TV                                                                                 
Synopsis George Rrurrambu, legendary front man of the Warumpi Band, made an extraordinary contribution to contemporary Indigenous music and awakened the Australian consciousness of a third world in its own back yard.

GALLIPOLI FROM ABOVE
John Moore Productions
55 mins
Producer John Moore
Writer/Director Wain Fimeri
Broadcaster Foxtel
Sales ABC Commercial, Beyond Distribution
Synopsis Gallipoli From Above will reveal a truth about the ANZAC landing far more significant than the myths about poor planning, wrong beaches and British generals sending the ANZACs to certain death.

LIFE AT 7
Heiress Films Pty Ltd
2 x 55 mins
Producer Jennifer Cummins
Executive Producer Daryl Karp
Writer/Director Jen Peedom
Broadcaster ABC TV
Sales ABC Commercial
Synopsis Life at 7 continues the stories of 11 Australian children against the backdrop of the largest-ever longitudinal study on child development in this country, looking this time at peers and temperament.

RAISING THE CURTAIN
Essential Media and Entertainment Pty Ltd

3 x 52 mins
Series Producer Aline Jacques
Executive Producer Julia Peters
Writer Alec Morgan
Broadcaster STVIDO TV
Sales Essential Media
Synopsis Raising the Curtain is a three-part documentary series that celebrates Australia’s vibrant and fascinating theatre history. From the earliest entrepreneurs, writers and performers to today’s theatrical visionaries and luminaries, this series will capture the energy and passion of live theatre that Australia has enjoyed for well over two centuries.

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.

GREAT SOUTHERN LAND
Cordell Jigsaw Productions
Producer Steve Bibb
Executive Producers Nick Murray, Michael Cordell, Steve Bibb
Writer Michael Cordell
Director Ivan O’Mahoney
Sales The Format Vault
Broadcaster ABC
Synopsis For the first time, witness the world’s largest island continent, its people, its workings, its unique wildlife and dramatic landscape from a revealing perspective – from the air.

General Documentary Program


IAN THORPE: THE SWIMMER
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.

PETER SCULTHORPE, A JOURNEY THROUGH MY LIFE
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.

THE SHARP END
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.

LICENCE TO KILL
57 mins
DD & B Productions Pty Ltd
Producer/Director Terry Carlyon
Producer Robyn Miller 
Broadcaster ABC
Synopsis Licence to Kill seeks answers to the tragic chain of events that is set in motion when police use firearms in the course of duty – tragedy for both the shooting victims and the police who pull the trigger.

LOVE AND FURY
27 mins
Early Works
Writer/Director/Producer John Hughes
Producer Philippa Campey
Writer Penelope Chai   
Broadcaster ABC
Synopsis On 1 January 2009, the National Library of Australia lifted an embargo on the private correspondence between Judith Wright and HC ‘Nugget’ Coombs, making public their clandestine relationship of 25 years, one of the best-kept secrets in Australian literary and political public life.

PLUMPTON HIGH BABIES: 10 YEARS ON
57 mins
Australian Documentaries Pty Ltd
Producer Laurie Critchley
Writer/Director Aviva Ziegler    
Broadcaster ABC
Synopsis Four teenage mums revisit the success of a radical experiment to keep them at school.

THE SUNNYBOY
56 mins
Jotz Productions
Producer Tom Zubrycki
Writer/Director Kaye Harrison
Broadcaster ABC
Synopsis The Sunnyboy is an ABC documentary by director/DOP Kaye Harrison and producer Tom Zubrycki about Jeremy Oxley, front man of the 80s band The Sunnyboys, his 30-year battle with schizophrenia, his struggle for recovery and his triumphant return to the stage.

THE SURGERY SHIP
52 mins
Media Stockade
Producer/Director Madeleine Hetherton
Producer Rebecca Barry
Broadcaster SBS
Synopsis A team of Australian doctors and nurses on board a unique ship, crammed with medical supplies, is sailing to one of the poorest nations on earth to provide life-saving medical services – they have just one year.

CREATIVE MINDS
Arts Bio Pty Ltd
6 x 40 mins
Producer Tristram Miall
Writer/Director Robin Hughes
Broadcaster STVDIO TV
Synopsis Creative Minds is a six-part series of documentary interviews designed to bring an audience into intimate contact with the people who create Australian art or who contribute in a significant way to Australian cultural life. Each program will explore in depth, using the artist’s own words, memories, and insights, that person’s life story and the influences that inform his or her work.

GO BACK TO WHERE YOU CAME FROM 2
Cordell Jigsaw Productions
3 x 60 mins
Executive Producers Michael Cordell, Nick Murray
Series Producer Rick McPhee
Broadcaster SBS Sales, SBS Distribution
Synopsis Six Australians agree to challenge their preconceived notions about refugees and asylum seekers by taking a confronting refugee journey themselves for 25 days.

MAKING COUPLES HAPPY
Heiress Films Pty Ltd
4 x 55 mins
Producer Jennifer Cummins
Executive Producer Daryl Karp
Director Kalita Corrigan
Series Producer/Writer Will Parry
Broadcaster ABC TV
Sales All3Media, ABC Commerical
Synopsis Making Australia Happy put the new science of happiness to the test on eight miserable Sydneysiders and proved that by using positive psychology, mindfulness and focusing on their physical well-being, anyone could significantly increase their happiness levels in only eight weeks. Now, we’re upping the stakes. In the four-part Making Couples Happy, the experts will again put themselves on the line to see if science can help couples on the brink save their relationships.

NOTHING ON EARTH
Jerrycan Films Pty Ltd
57 mins
Producers Michael Angus, Roxana McMallan
Directors Michael Angus, Murray Fredericks
Writer Michael Angus
Broadcaster ABC TV
Sales Naked Flame Productions
Synopsis Murray Fredericks is an award-winning artist renowned for his photographs of the vast empty space of Lake Eyre, South Australia. When he relocates his work to the Greenland Icecap – atop a melting glacier and under the solar storms of the Aurora Borealis – he finds himself alone in a landscape he’s never been, in a place he doesn’t understand, hoping this time he hasn’t taken his quest too far. What begins as an artistic odyssey becomes an adventure of extremes in one of the most breathtaking environments on Earth.

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


Kakadu
Eye Spy Productions Pty Ltd trading as Northern Pictures
4 x 57 mins
Producer Sue Clothier
Director/Writer Nick Robinson                                                                   
Broadcaster ABC TV
Sales Cineflix
Synopsis Kakadu, an epic four by one hour documentary series combining human and animal lives to tell the extraordinary story of a year in Kakadu National Park.

Murdoch
Electric Pictures
2 x 52 mins
Producers Andrew Ogilvie, Dinah Lord
Director/Writer Janice Sutherland
Broadcaster SBS, ITV                                                                                
Sales BBC Worldwide, TenAlps                                                                  
Synopsis The definitive account of how one man changed the face of the media and became one of the wealthiest, most powerful and enigmatic figures in the world.

Redesign My Brain
Mindful Media
3 x 55mins
Producers Paul Scott, Isabel Perez
Director/Writer Paul Scott
Broadcaster ABC TV
Sales Cineflix, Universal Pictures International
Synopsis For the first time on TV the new science of brain plasticity is put to the test as a celebrity host experiences a radical brain makeover under the guidance of the world’s top neuroscientists.

Possum Wars
360 Degree Films
1 x 55 mins
Producer Sally Ingleton
Director Bruce Permezel
Broadcaster ABC, SVT
Sales ZED, ABC Commercial
Synopsis When possums and people vie for real estate – it’s war!

Sydney Harbour – Life on the Edge
Prospero Productions
1 x 52 mins
Producers Ed Punchard, Julia Redwood
Director Russell Vines
Broadcaster Nat Geo Aus
Sales Content West
Synopsis A fascinating quest to reveal the true heart of Australia – its life on the coast. The first ever complete 360º view of Australia’s unique Sydney Harbour from the sky, land and beneath the waves.

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.

SIGNATURE DOCUMENTARY PROGRAM


FALLOUT
Rough Trade Pictures Pty Ltd
Producer Peter Kaufmann
Producer/Writer/Director Lawrence Johnston
Synopsis Following the atomic destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, internationally acclaimed novelist Nevil Shute prophetically and emotively predicted the devastating impact of nuclear proliferation in one of the most important anti-nuclear novels of the 20th century, On the Beach. Fallout explores the writing and impulses of Shute’s career and novel, the making of the famous film in Australia by Hollywood director Stanley Kramer resulting in his tenuous relationship with Shute, and the ongoing resonance of On the Beach.

MISS NIKKI AND THE TIGER GIRLS
Iris Pictures Pty Ltd
Producer Jessica Douglas-Henry
Writer/Director Juliet Lamont
Synopsis After 50 years of military dictatorship, Myanmar’s first girl band face a tough reality – when you’re finally allowed to speak, what do you say?

SAM KLEMKE’S TIME MACHINE
Closer Productions
Producer Rebecca Summerton
Writer/Director Matthew Bate
Synopsis Sam Klemke is almost unique in human history. In 1977, aged 17, the obsessive amateur filmmaker set out to record himself every year until he died. Set against the tumultuous last 50 years of world history, we see Sam grow up on film from optimistic brace-toothed teen, to self-important 20 year old, into an obese, self-doubting 30-something and onwards into his philosophical 50s. Pets die, belt sizes fluctuate, love comes and goes and wars begin and end. Now aged 54, and finding himself a little lost, Sam has decided to explore time via his epic home movie project, to see if he can find a deeper meaning to his life. As he questions his own existence what will we learn about our own lives and mortality from this everyman time traveller?

THE UNLIKELY PILGRIMS
Intafusion Films Pty Ltd
Producer/Director John Cherry
Consultant Producer David Jowsey
Writer/Director Kirsten Mallyon
Writer David Tiley
Synopsis Ronan O’Connor works in a rehabilitation centre with people who have drug addiction, who are often very socially disadvantaged and have deep psychological issues. He takes a small group of clients on the Camino de Santiago, to face their demons. In the process his own life falls apart.

Disclaimer:  Screen Australia has undertaken all reasonable measures to ensure the accuracy of this information at time of publication. If you have any updates please contact [email protected]