The first round of Screen Australia’s Documentary Producer programme will give eight documentaries $1.8 million in funding support. These projects will generate production expenditure close to $9.3 million and showcase some unique, true Australian stories.

Whiteley, a definitive, landmark documentary, will give audiences a close look into the incredible life and legacy of an iconic Australian artist. Northern Pictures will make the one-off documentary with experienced producer Sue Clothier, writer/director James Bogle and writer Victor Gentile.

Land Artists (working title) follows one of Australia’s most outstanding (and controversial) architecture firms Denton Corker Marshall as they work against the clock and across cultures, to create the Australian Pavilion for the Venice Biennale. Renegade Films will make the documentary with producers Lucy Maclaren, Joe Connor and Ken Connor.

Short documentary web series, Black As follows a group of energetic young Indigenous men through Arnhem Land providing access and insight into Aboriginal culture and community in a remote part of Australia. The life-affirming adventure has created goodwill from both the community and through a successful crowd funding campaign. Rebel Films will make the film with writer/director/producer David Batty.

Emerging filmmakers James Cogswell (producer) and David Mason (director) will deal with a difficult subject matter in a moving and insightful way in Cast from the Storm. The film follows a group of teenage refugees brought together through a theatre programme run by a Sydney high school. Under the guidance of three passionate teachers, they will share their ‘Storm Stories’ – the stories that made them refugees – in front of Australian audiences.

Liz Stevens, Senior Manager, Documentary, said, “It’s been reassuring to see the strength of projects coming through the first round of the Producer programme. The programme has accomplished what it set out to achieve – offering trigger funding across a range of content, styles and platforms to both experienced and emerging filmmakers. We’re incredibly buoyed up by the quality of the content, the enthusiasm of producers to try something different and the ambitions of the projects in general.”

The purpose of the Producer programme is to provide filmmakers with a solid foundation to attract and finalise additional finance for their projects. The new system gives filmmakers up to four months to secure the remaining finance and the stability to progress their projects.

The programme provides filmmakers with creative and commercial flexibility on their projects, as well as the autonomy to broaden the pathways to audience. Projects in this round will reach local and international audiences through theatrical, broadcast, digital and festival release.

Screen Australia is pleased to announce the Documentary Producer programme will accept online applications for the next round through the new Application Portal, with a deadline of 19 June 2015.

Below is a complete list of projects funded through Screen Australia’s Documentary Producer programme.

Documentary Production – Producer Programme

Black As

20 x 4’

Rebel Films Pty Ltd

Writer/Director/Producer: David Batty

Executive Producer: David Noakes

Synopsis: Going bush with the Black As crew, a celebration of bush culture, ingenuity and what it is to be a young fella in the bush today.

Cast From The Storm


Missing Archive Productions

Producer: James Cogswell

Executive Producer: Susan MacKinnon

Director: David Mason

Synopsis: After desperately fleeing war and persecution, an extraordinary bunch of teenagers are brought together through a life-changing theatre programme. At a Sydney high school, under the guidance of three passionate teachers, they share their ‘Storm Stories’ – the stories that made them refugees – in front of Australian audiences.

The Eulogy


iKandy Films

Producer: Katey Grusovin

Director: Janine Hosking

Synopsis: The Eulogy tells the powerful story of little known concert virtuoso, Geoffrey Tozer, and poses the question – did Australia fail its greatest ever pianist?

Land Artists