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27 07 2016 - Media release

Dirty secrets, Middle Aged Men in Lycra, street art, sacred songs and kidnapping: Screen Australia announces more than $2.54 million for documentary projects


Lister – Adventure Painter / photo by Raglan Rules.

Screen Australia has today announced the ten unique documentaries that will share in more than $2.54 million in funding from Screen Australia’s Documentary Producer Program and the Documentary Broadcast program.

Designed to support producers with the foundation funding they need to drive their projects creatively and commercially, Documentary Producer Program funding is given to innovative documentaries that have a strong creative vision and a highly-developed understanding of how the project will reach audiences.

From the story of 78 female scientists on an epic journey to Antarctica to a priest fighting to save the Klong Toey slum in Bangkok, the nine successful projects span the world and cover topics including the controversial closure of remote Indigenous communities, the paintings of Sydney street artist Lister and the reappearance of kidnapped children after four decades.

“The teams that have come through this round of funding had very clear ideas about the audience for their projects. So many great titles have been supported by Screen Australia through this program and these projects will make that slate even stronger.” said Liz Stevens, Senior Manager, Documentary at Screen Australia.

The Documentary Broadcast Program is designed to support the production of a diverse range of quality projects for television broadcast that offer a compelling vision and have a clear and enduring cultural value. Screen Australia has recently funded a social issue project from Blackfella Films for this program.

Successful projects in this round of funding are:

  • In a bid to lift the lid on one of Australia’s dirtiest secrets, Mint Pictures’ Waste Nation follows social entrepreneur and accidental activist Ronni Kahn as she embarks on a crusade to end the $10 billion of food waste in Australia each year.
  • Sacred Song from Brindle Films follows the four generations of song women who make up the Central Australian Aboriginal Women’s Choir as they make a historic trip to Germany. Together they share their music and stories of cultural survival, identity and cross-cultural collaboration.
  • Bunya Productions’ Homeward Bound charts the story of 78 female scientists as they embark on an epic journey to Antarctica to change the startling gender inequality in science.
  • In Father Joe & the Bangkok Slaughterhouse from Last Chance Hotel Productions, Father Joe is fighting to save his Klong Toey slum in Bangkok from the bulldozers of mass development.
  • The government’s controversial plan to close 150 remote Indigenous communities in Western Australia is at the centre of the Kimberly Project from Amnesia Productions, a look at what the closures mean for the Kimberley people, in terms of the social, political and economic complexities of life on country.
  • Smith and Nasht are working with Real to Reel Productions on The Kingdom of Fungi, a look at how the secret world of fungi is essential to life on earth, and holds the key to our future.
  • Lister – Adventure Painter a candid and personal insight from director Eddie Martin into the rise of world-renowned street artist Anthony Lister as he challenges conservative Australia, whilst battling his own demons.
  • From Unicorn Films, My Mother's Lost Children is an intimate view into the lives of an eccentric Jewish family, as their lives are thrown into turmoil when two stolen children reappear after 40 years.
  • During the week, they’re white-collar professionals with families and mortgages but on the weekend, they become MAMILs (Middle Aged Men in Lycra), transforming into road warriors that competing for dominance in the group. Waterbyrd Filmz’s MAMIL dares to enter this secret world to uncover what compels them to take to the road.

Click here to see further information about this round of funded Documentary Producer Program and Documentary Broadcast Program projects.

Screen Australia also supports documentary makers through Documentary Development funding, the Documentary Broadcast Program and the Producer Equity Program.

Screen Australia supports Indigenous documentary makers through the Indigenous Documentary Production Program as well as the Social Impact Program and Indigenous Songlines on Screen.

Media enquiries

Jessica Parry | Senior Publicist

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Lidia Williams | Publicist and Events Officer​

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