New docos for Untold Australia

SBS docos to profile outback rabbis, the Cocos Islands & a Miss Lebanon Australia beauty pageant.

4 new documentaries have been funded through Screen Australia’s Documentary Commissioned program for SBS’s Untold Australia showcase.

Season one in 2016 explored the hidden multicultural communities of Australia featured Indian Wedding Race, Strictly Jewish and A Modern Mutiny. Season two saw SBS partner 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.”

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 off the coast of West Australia, inhabited by two very distinct cultures: descendants of Christian British colonialists, and the Sunni 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 that is both peaceful and entirely segregated.

“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.”

One Response

  1. I’m so happy that SBS is around to produce this sort of high quality content. I have to be honest, I really think they’ve taken the gauntlet from the ABC when it comes to producing high quality content.

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