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04 07 2017 - Media release

Screen Australia supports four new documentaries for SBS strand Untold Australia


Untold Australia

Screen Australia will provide production funding for the four documentaries commissioned by SBS for season three of Untold Australia. The documentaries are Mirrabooka from Periscope Pictures, Miss Lebanon from IKandy Films, The Cocos Question from Chemical Media and RARA Rabbis from Unicorn Films. 

SBS’s Untold Australia is a 4 x 1 hour observational documentary strand exploring the hidden multicultural communities of Australia. Season one aired on SBS in 2016 and included Indian Wedding Race, Strictly Jewish and A Modern Mutiny, and for season two SBS partnered with Screen Queensland to fund four Virtual Reality projects from Queensland-based filmmakers.

“SBS is thrilled to partner once again with Screen Australia to share these compelling stories, which explore some our country’s unknown subcultures and lesser-known communities that are often overlooked and give Australian audiences an opportunity to gain a greater understanding and insight into their world,” said Marshall Heald, SBS Director of Television and Online Content. "Heart-warming, eye-opening and relatable, Untold Australia invites all Australians to witness the intimate moments and challenges faced by these real-life characters and demonstrates SBS’s commitment to increasing awareness of the contribution a diversity of cultures has to the continuing development of modern Australian society.”

“SBS’s Untold Australia documentary series takes audiences into truly unexpected territory, providing unique snapshots of multicultural communities around Australia that add to a rich and layered understanding of this country,” said Liz Stevens, Senior Manager of Documentary at Screen Australia. “We are proud to partner with SBS in bringing these four distinctive documentaries to the small screen.”  

The four projects are:

  • Mirrabooka from emerging West Australian producer Alice Wolfe (Art Bites series Shock Art, Opening Shot Candidate Games) who has partnered with executive producers from Joined Up Films for a look at policing tactics in one of Australia’s most multicultural suburbs. Set in the Perth suburb of the same name, it will focus on the specialist Mirrabooka Multicultural Unit, tasked with aiding the local police force by facilitating communication with a community that speaks over 100 languages. Stuart O’Rourke (Struggle Street Series 1 & 2) and Sam Field (Shock Art, Candidate Games) will direct.

  • Miss Lebanon from producers Janine Hosking (My Khmer Heart, Ganja Queen, 35 Letters) and Robin Eastwood (Who Do You Think You Are), takes audiences behind the scenes of the 2017 Miss Lebanon Australia beauty pageant in Sydney where the entrants are vying for the top title, while the 2016 winner competes for the international title in Lebanon. Hosking is also directing and executive producing.

  • RARA Rabbis which will document the work of a group of Australian Chassidic Jewish Rabbis who travel through the Australian Outback to find hidden communities of ‘lost Jews’ and offer them an opportunity to reconnect with their heritage. Produced by Lizzette Atkins (Winter At Westbeth) and Rhian Skirving (Matilda and Me), it will be directed by Danny Ben-Moshe (Strictly Jewish, Breaking the Silence) who won the Walkley Documentary Award with Dan Goldberg for Code of Silence in 2014.

  • The Cocos Question, which will shine a light on the remote and little-known Cocos Islands several thousand kilometres off the coast of West Australia, inhabited by two very distinct cultures: a band of voluntary castaways from the Australian mainland, and a tight-knit community of Muslim Coco Malays. Produced by Tony Jackson, written by David Collins and Jackson, and directed by Ben Pederick, it will paint a remarkable portrait of a highly unusual cohabitation arrangement as these two virtually segregated communities confront the shared challenges that face them.

These documentaries have been funded through Screen Australia’s Documentary Commissioned program.

Click here to see more information about this round of successful projects.

Australia Day on The Cocos Islands / Rik Soderlund

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Media enquiries

Maddie Walsh | Publicist

+ 61 2 8113 5915  | [email protected]

Ted Rose | Senior Publicist

+ 61 2 8113 1091  | + 61 456 558 679 | ted.rose@screenaustralia.gov.au

All other general/non-media enquiries

Sydney + 61 2 8113 5800  |  Melbourne + 61 3 8682 1900 | [email protected]