Ian Thorpe doco and SBS Cronulla riots investigation get Screen Australia funding

An ABC documentary about Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe directed by Gregor Jordan is one of the films to receive funding from Screen Australia.

Jordan, who directed Ned Kelly and Two Hands, followed Thorpe as the swimmer made his failed comeback for the 2012 London Olympics.

The project, Ian Thorpe: The Swimmer is produced for the ABC by Jordan Helen Panckhurst, Michael Hilliard, Simone Kessell and executive producer Rob Galluzzo.

Five documentaries have received funding from the national screen agency, two from the National Documentary Program and three from the General Documentary Program.

The $750,000 investment is expected to trigger $2.1m in production.

Also slated for funding is 10 Days That Shocked The Nation, about the 2005 Cronulla riots, to be broadcast on SBS Online; the life story of music composer Peter Sculthorpe for the ABC; 1960s pop artist Martin Sharp called The Sharp End; and Canberra Confidential – a hundred years inside the nation’s capital.

National Documentary Program
48 mins
Northern Pictures
Producer Sue Clothier
Broadcaster SBS Online
Synopsis 10 Days That Shocked the Nation tells the story of the dramatic events covering the lead-up to and the 10 days between 4th and 13th December 2005 known as the Cronulla Riots.

55 mins
Smith & Nasht
Producers Anna Cater, Simon Nasht
Writer/Director Ian Walker
Broadcaster ABC
Synopsis A century of secrets from inside the nation’s capital, exploring the passionate interplay of politics and subterfuge that has long been carried out in the shadows of the national stage – this is the unofficial history that Canberra has tried to hide.

General Documentary Program
57 mins
The Swimmer Film Pty Ltd
Producers Helen Panckhurst, Michael Hilliard, Simone Kessell, Gregor Jordan
Executive Producer Rob Galluzzo
Writer/Director Gregor Jordan
Broadcaster ABC
Sales ABC Commercial
Synopsis The inner struggles of Ian Thorpe as he attempts a comeback and, despite failing to make the Olympic team, discovers a new relationship with swimming and his own legend.

60 mins
Heliograph Pty Ltd
Writer/Director/Producer John Weiley
Broadcaster ABC
Synopsis Peter Sculthorpe is recognised as one of Australia’s – and the world’s –great living composers. As he approached his 83rd birthday he reflected that he had in fact told the story of his life through his 17 string quartets from the innocence of his early childhood in Tasmania to his discovery of Aboriginal Australia and the music of our near north and on to be inspired by even wider, global concerns. The backbone of the film will be the concert staged in the Trackdown Studio where the quartets will be interspersed with Peter explaining what they reflected about his life at the time they were written. Visually we will revisit some of the scenes that inspired the music.

30 mins
Southern Pictures (formerly Australian Documentaries)
Producer Laurie Critchley
Director Rebecca Baillie
Broadcaster ABC
Synopsis In 1963, a handful of idealistic young rebels banded together and launched themselves on the world stage. What they expressed would change Australian culture forever. At their centre was the brilliant young artist, Martin Sharp, who was soon recognised as one of the greatest pop artists of his generation. This is the story of his life, his work, his friendships and magnificent obsessions – and what it all meant.


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