AIDC Shark Island Foundation development funding

Six doco projects will share in $150,000 development funding from philanthropic organisation.

Private philanthropic organisation Shark Island Foundation recently announced funding for
the second Shark Island Foundation Feature Docs Pitch as part of AIDC’s Cut to the Chase marketplace.

Development grants totalling $150,000 were awarded to six projects, including to producer Karina Holden and Director/Producer Simon Nasht, producer Samuel Nuggin-Paynter and more.

Foundation Chair Ian Darling said, “We were extremely impressed with the quality of the film projects this year, and could especially see the impact that immediate development funding would have.

“We felt the need to act quickly so these important stories could be told. Sometimes you just need to go 50% over budget for a great cause! Partnering with AIDC was a great way for us to meet filmmakers from across the country – Cut to the Chase is always an exciting pitching forum.”

It’s Not About the Food
Grant $15,000
25 years ago filmmaker Jason Christou lost himself to an eating disorder. But when seeing his son’s first breaths teaches him the most valuable lesson about his own body image, he claws back through the fog of his lived experience to unpick its root causes – resolving to reckon with his past to ensure his son doesn’t inherit the shame that silently plagued and nearly took his Dad’s life when he was 14.
Director Jason Christou
Producers David Elliot-Jones & Naomi Ball

“Jason’s pitch was honest and brave, sharing a very personal story about an issue we feel needs to be better understood. We know Jason will courageously and beautifully explore this silent eating disorder crisis. Partnering with impact specialist Naomi Ball, the potential for a strong impact campaign is already evident.”

Body Heat
Grant $20,000
Body Heat is a First Nations electronic music documentary that explores the connection between the oldest living culture in the world and dance music. From the rhythms of ceremony to the beating heart of the dance floor – it’s all connected.
Producer / Director Talia Liddle
Executive Producer Samuel Nuggin-Paynter

“It was impossible not to be swept up by Talia’s passion and electrifying artistic vision for this story. We are delighted to be supporting an emerging, First Nations filmmaker with a film we know will resonate with a young audience and one that will bring together an exciting First Nations creative team.”

The C Word
Grant $50,000
How climate lies spread, who they mislead and how to stop them.
Director Tosca Looby
Producer Karina Holden

“With a track record for making films that shift thinking and create real change, Tosca and Karina combining to tackle one of the most urgent global issues was a compelling proposition. We know the power of archive to reveal the truth and love the potential of this approach and ambition of this project to unpick the disinformation and lies that have led us to the precipice of climate disaster.”

Grant $20,000
Beneath the glittering Sydney skyline, young doctor Daniel Nour and his team of volunteers work from converted vans, striving to deliver healthcare to an increasing number of people who are falling through the cracks.
Directors John-Paul McElwee & Pete Ward
Producer Rebecca Bennett

“Shark Island Foundation supported Streetside with a development grant at AIDC in 2023 and are pleased to see how this engrossing, observational film has evolved over the year. The care and commitment demonstrated to the film’s participants, willingness to take the time needed to develop this story, and the craftmanship JP and Pete bring to the subject, make it easy to continue to support this team.”

In Focus
Grant $15,000
An intimate and epic journey into the reality of a courageous reporter who is haunted by his past.
Director Barat Batoor
Producer Leeanne Torpey

“Barat shared some of his extraordinary photos with us and it was immediately obvious that this body of work and the rare footage he captured as he fled Afghanistan would make a timely and compelling film. Leeanne brings impact expertise, refugee advocacy experience and networks, along with heart and dedication and we’re pleased to support her as a first-time producer.”

War Criminals
Grant $30,000
An incendiary, character-driven exploration of suspected allied war crimes in Afghanistan, delving into the moral ambiguities, human tragedies, and systemic failures in warfare through the eyes of five key insiders.
Producer/Director Dan Jackson
Executive Producer Simon Nasht

“A strong team and a powerful pitch. This is a story that has seen plenty of headlines and news reports over the years but one that lends itself to an in-depth, character driven, gritty examination by a filmmaker of Dan’s skill and talent.”

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