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25 07 2017 - Media release

Trailblazing female creators selected for ABC ME and Screen Australia Girls film season


Shame – Sharmika, Jaral and Aailyah

Following a nation-wide call out to Australian female content makers in March, the ABC and Screen Australia are pleased to announce the five successful films selected for the Girls season joint funding initiative.

The films, two dramas and three documentaries, are all led by female creatives and will premiere during ABC ME’s Girls season on 11 October, the UN’s International Day of the Girl.

The dramas explore the pivotal and challenging moments in a 12-year-old’s life that will resonate with all young girls. Summer’s Day, produced by Di Robertson, written and directed by Hattie Dalton, is about the transition into womanhood when Summer gets her period for the first time and tries to make sense of her blooming body. First Day, produced by Kirsty Stark, written and directed by Julie Kalceff, tells a story about the fears associated with the transition between primary school and high school – but in Hannah’s case, the stakes are even higher: this year, she will be attending school for the first time as a girl.

The documentaries put 12-year-old girls in the driving seat as they share exactly what it is like to be them, striving to achieve their hopes and dreams. The girls in The Funny Ones, created and produced by Belinda Dean and directed by Genevieve Bailey, dream of a life as comedy performers, and get the chance to learn from some of Australia’s funniest comedians. Jaral in Shame, is struggling with the embarrassment of being a 12-year-old girl while trying to learn Noongar language to honour her family and culture. Shame is created, written and directed by Karla Hart and produced by Paloma Bartsch. A Field Guide to Being a 12-Year-Old Girl, produced by Katrina Lucas and written and directed by Tilda Cobham-Hervey, gives twelve girls the task of investigating their own species in an innovative blend of theatre and documentary.

Production has started on all films and the combined projects have seeded 30 fresh female actors ranging in ages from 9 to14 in performing roles from across Australia including Byron Bay, Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney.

Under the funding program, the teams have $80,000 each to make their film, and are receiving mentoring from experienced industry filmmakers and editorial guidance from Jan Stradling and Libbie Doherty from ABC Children’s TV and Nerida Moore from Screen Australia.

“The ABC would like to congratulate these five creative teams. Their proposed film ideas not only capture the heart of what it’s like being a 12-year-old girl in Australia today but also represent the incredibly wide-ranging spectrum of diversity of Australian children, which was a key part of this proposition. We look forward to sharing their vision with our ABC ME audience later this year,” said Michael Carrington, ABC Head of Children’s Television.

“The calibre of entries received was incredible, proof once again that there are many extremely talented Australian female content makers ready to lead the way with fresh, innovative and compelling stories.”

Sally Caplan, Head of Production at Screen Australia said: “The quality of submissions for the ABC Girls season was extraordinary, and we were bowled over by the diversity, range of perspectives and stories that were presented to us. The five bold, imaginative projects selected are not only from new creative voices, but promise to reveal, dissect and perhaps reconsider the realities of being a young girl in Australia today.”

The Girls season is part of the ABC’s Corporate Plan to contribute to the diversity, quality and innovation of the Australian film and television industry, as well as Screen Australia’s target of achieving gender equity.

As part of the ABC’s International Day of the Girl celebrations, the Girls season will premiere on ABC ME, the ABC ME app and ABC iview on 11 October.

Media enquiries

Amy Reiha | TV Publicist, ABC TV Marketing

+61 2 8333 3852 | +61 404 026 039 | [email protected]

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Media enquiries

Maddie Walsh | Publicist

+ 61 2 8113 5915  | + 61 400 156 625 | [email protected]

Lidia Williams | Senior Publicist

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