Screen Australia and Network 10 announces funding for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander documentary filmmakers

Screen Australia

The final documentaries will air on 10 Play and Network 10’s social media channels in early 2025

Screen Australia’s First Nations Department and Network 10 have selected six projects to receive up to $70,000 of production funding through the First Facts: First Nations Factual Showcase for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander documentary filmmakers.

Launched in February, the initiative is aimed at providing emerging and mid-career filmmakers with opportunities to develop 10-minute documentaries for Network 10.

After participating in a workshop in June to develop their projects, six teams have been selected to now move into production. The final documentaries will air on 10 Play and Network 10’s social media channels in early 2025.

Screen Australia’s head of First Nations Angela Bates said, “This exciting collaboration with Network 10 underscores our commitment to the growth of First Nations content and key creatives in this industry. We are proud to support this inspiring mix of projects which will showcase our rich cultural heritage and authentic stories to Network 10’s audiences.”

Daniel Monaghan, senior vice president of content and programming at Paramount Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) said, “We’re thrilled to see these projects move into production that explore contemporary life and traditional cultural practices for First Nations people across Australia. The documentaries highlight universal themes but from the unique perspective of First Nations creatives and we’re delighted to support and amplify these voices and stories for Australian audiences to enjoy.”

The projects funded for production are:

Anangu Way: This documentary follows Keenan and his father Lydon, who, while they are related, live very different lives. Keenan lives in the city, while Lydon lives Anangu way, out bush. Keenan must travel 14 hours from Perth to Tjuntjuntjara, to sit down with his father to make a woomera, a traditional spear thrower. Keenan will be taken through Country he hasn’t walked since he was six years old. Reconnecting with his wider family, he will be fully immersed in his father’s culture, in their combined efforts to create the woomera. Writing/directing Anangu Way is daughter and sister of Lydon and Keenan, Tace Stevens (LimboTo Be Silent), with Brooke Collard (Aboriginal WarriorYokai) attached as producer.

Burabura: A love letter to the Australian bush that captures the essence of its beauty and serenity in every frame. Following an unnamed character on their quest for peace and solitude, Burabura takes audiences on a visual journey through the bustling streets of modern life and into the heart of the Australian bush – reminding us that sometimes, the best way to reconnect with ourselves is by disconnecting from the world around us and the greatest adventures are the ones that take us back to our roots. Burabura is written and directed by Tyson Mowarin and produced by Robyn Marais, whose credits include Connection to Country.

Firekeepers “Flames of Renewal: Fighting for Cultural Survival”: This documentary follows the journey of a Wiradjuri community attempting to reintroduce traditional cultural burning practices to their land as they face numerous challenges and oppositions from landowners, local governments, financial pressures and erratic climate shifts. Firekeepers explores the importance of First Nations land care practices and the struggles of bringing back cultural practices. Writing/directing is Jack Steele (UNHEARD), with Kieran Satour (Through The Fire), Genevieve Grieves (First Australians) and Andrea Distefano (Weather) attached as producers.

Joonba: Over two thousand kilometres away from Western Australia’s Capital City, the Elders of Kupungarri celebrate through Joonba – songs gifted through dreams and maintained over generations. Performed by the children to ensure they are practised throughout and over multiple lifetimes, this documentary follows three of the lead dancers and provides an insight into their connection to the Joonba. Marlikka Perdrisat (Babanil) is attached as writer/director/producer, with Anna Kaplan (2040) and Jayde Harding (Inconceivable) also producing and Damon Gameau (Rachel’s Farm) executive producing.

Life After Footy: From the mountain peak of professional Australian sport to the reality of life after, this documentary follows Indigenous dual premiership AFL player Lewis Jetta on what it’s like to ride the wave of professional sport and continue living life the best way he can. Life After Footy delivers an insight from Jetta’s personal perspective and how he is managing to integrate back into a somewhat normal life. This documentary is from writer/director/producers Daniel and Luke Riches (KGBStruggling SonglinesLost Diamonds) and producer Jodie Bell (The Lost Crystal of Jessica’s Room).

Re-imagining Our Futures: Nyikina and Jabirr Jabirr woman, Kalinda (Gal) Palmer has experienced the ways in which health systems have challenged her through birth and motherhood. Inspired by conversations and learnings from her Elders, Gal dreams of a future where she, her family and community can have sovereignty over birthing, ceremonies and tradition – a future where she can bring new life into the world, on Country, in a way that she has always imagined. Re-imagining Our Futures is from writer/director Kimberley Benjamin (Back to Nature) and producer Shari Hutchison (Tee Ken Ng).

See also: Stan and Screen Australia commission three new drama series to boost investment in Australian Storytelling

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