AIDC 2021: New funding for Australia Uncovered docos

Patrick Abboud and Marcus Costello

SBS has announced four productions which to receive development funding as part of its Australia Uncovered single documentary strand.

Commissioning of a fifth program is also being explored.

Production teams from 5 projects participated in a live pitching session at the Australian International Documentary Conference yesterday, competing for a chance to share in development funds from SBS.

Joseph Maxwell, Head of Documentaries, SBS, said: “We’re thrilled to be investing in the development of this exciting and compelling mix of documentaries through Australia Uncovered, showcasing diversity and tackling issues in ways that connect so beautifully to our unique purpose at SBS.

“The calibre of the projects shortlisted this year was incredibly impressive, and the projects were brought to life through another successful live pitching session at AIDC 2021. We’d like to thank all of those who made submissions this year, and we look forward to seeing what untold stories we uncover through the Australia Uncovered strand in the future .”

Development funding has been awarded to the following projects,  to be broadcast on SBS in 2022.

The Carnival
You gotta thrill ‘em, not kill ‘em… The Carnival takes us into a curious, parallel world from another time as four generations of Bell’s family carnival take their show on the road.
Production company: Pony Films.
Key creatives: Isabel Darling (Director) and Dylan Blowen (Producer).

Hard-Ons
This is the story of Australian multiculturalism and racism, with Sri Lankan, Korean and Croatian kids from Punchbowl in the 1980s. It’s very much a positive story about the changing face of Australia. In short, the Hard-Ons are not just a band, they are Australian multicultural icons.
Production company: Living Eyes Pty Ltd.
Key creatives: Jonathan Sequeira (Producer/Director) and Wade Jackson (Producer).

Reprotech
Over a casual dinner, investigative journalist Sarah Dingle learns that the much-loved man who raised her, and died when she was just 15, was not her biological father. Not only does she realise she’s a product of donor conception – she finds that the records of her conception have been deliberately destroyed – her biological father’s donor code has literally been cut out of medical paperwork.
Production company: SAM Content Pty Ltd.
Key creatives: Sally Aitken (Director) with Aline Jacques and Marianne Leitch (Producers).

Kids Raising Kids
Exclusive access inside a one-of-a-kind high school for teen parents.
Production company: Only Human.
Key creatives: Patrick Abboud (Director) and Marcus Costello (Associate Producer).

SBS  will also offer a commission to After Trauma, from Walking Fish and Good Thing Productions (with Lachlan Mcleod, Director, and David Elliot-Jones and Charlotte Wheaton, Producers), pending financing and release strategy details.

After Trauma is a fly-on-the-wall insight into the world of trauma cleaning through the journey of charming transgendered business owner, Sandra Pankhurst, and the lives of a motley crew of workers at Frankston’s Specialised Trauma Cleaning Services (STC).

Australia Uncovered documentaries can range from one-hour to feature length, must have something compelling to say about Australia, and align with the SBS Charter. Filmmakers are encouraged to be creative in their approach to style, form and construct. Australia Uncovered launched with an inaugural call out for projects in 2020, and the first season of the strand will broadcast on SBS this year.

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