Whitlam two-part doco among Screen Australia’s $2m funding round

Gough Whitlam

The story of former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam’s time in power and the changes of the era is among five documentary projects to receive $2m of investment from Screen Australia

Whitlam, produced by Beyond Screen Productions and Bombora Film and Music Co, will be a 2×55-minute documentary written and directed by Paul Clarke with Penny Robins producing, and Robins and Mark Hamlyn executive producing.

To air on the ABC, the documentary’s synopsis reads: “Whitlam examines an era and the man when as a country we were at our most confident and flamboyant, when we took risks and went to the margins. It was a time of power, of passion… and which divided us as a nation in a way that hadn’t happened before – nor since.”

The funding is part of Screen Australia’s National Documentary Program.

The funding round also included two films in the International Documentary Program; Breaker Morant The Retrail for History Channel; The Search For The Ocean’s Super Predator for the ABC and two films in the General Documentary Program; Outback Coroner for Foxtel and the sixth series of Who Do You Think You Are for SBS.

Liz Stevens Screen Australia’s documentary manager, said, “Backed by high-calibre and experienced filmmaking, these documentaries will shine a light on a broad slice of Australian life. The result will be compelling and entertaining stories.”

The five projects is expected to trigger $8.5m in production.

National Documentary Program (NDP)

Beyond Screen Production Pty Ltd & Bombora Film and Music Co.
2 x 55 minutes
Executive Producer Mark Hamlyn, Beyond Screen Production Pty Ltd
Executive Producer, Producer Penny Robins, Bombora Film and Music Co.
Writer, Director  Paul Clarke, Bombora Film and Music Co.
Broadcaster ABC
Sales ABC Commercial
Synopsis Whitlam examines an era and the man when as a country we were at our most confident and flamboyant, when we took risks and went to the margins. It was a time of power, of passion… and which divided us as a nation in a way that hadn’t happened before – nor since.

International Documentary Program
Film Projects Pty Ltd
2 x 60 mins
Producers Georgia Wallace-Crabbe, Gregory Miller
Directors Gregory Miller, Nick Bleszynski
Broadcaster History Channel
Sales Sabido
Synopsis Harry ‘The Breaker’ Morant is about to be re-tried – 110 years after he was executed by the British during the Boer War. Breaker Morant the Retrial will capture a rare moment of living history through the cross examination of historians and legal experts, and the presentation of new evidence that reveals the betrayal and subterfuge at the centre of the trial.

Ocean’s Super Predator Films Pty Ltd
1 x 60 mins
Executive Producers Leighton De Barros, David Riggs, Michael Lynch
Writer, Director Michael Lynch
Broadcaster ABC
Sales ABC Commercial / Al Rayyan Media & Marketing
Synopsis In the hidden depths of Australia’s wild Southern Ocean a great white shark is savagely attacked by a far larger and faster mystery predator. An electronic tracking device attached to the great white records a high-speed underwater chase six hundred meters deep before the shark and its tag are savagely devoured. Two weeks later, after being carried in the belly of the unknown killer, the still functioning tag is excreted and washed ashore, withholding clues that could reveal the identity of the shark’s super predator. This is the story of a super predator’s epic underwater attack that leads investigators to a mysterious and powerful natural phenomenon that, for a few short weeks each year, attracts the oceans most fearsome predators.

General Documentary Program
Screentime Pty Ltd
4 x 60 minutes (series 1)
Producer Helen Barrow
Executive Producers for Screentime Bob Campbell, Simon Steel
Director, Writer Hugh Piper
Broadcaster FOXTEL
Sales Cineflix UK
Synopsis Outback Coroner is an observational documentary series that explores accidental and mysterious deaths in the most remote regions of Australia. When the circumstances of a death are unknown the Coroner is called. The mix of cultures, social history and remote geography present unique challenges to these dedicated people and their teams, who seek answers essential for all of us. While Coroner’s outback inquests ultimately conclude in a court this series is not a courtroom drama. We will take the viewers inside the mind set and the challenges confronting the Coroner and his team who investigate the forensic evidence, conduct autopsies and counsel the bereaved, while seeking answers to the unexplained death.

Artemis International Pty Ltd & Serendipity Productions Pty Ltd
6 x 52 mins [Screen Australia funding 2 of the 6 episodes]
Producers Brian Beaton, Margie Bryant, Celia Tait
Broadcaster SBS
Sales SBS Sales
Synopsis Well known Australians play detective as they go in search of their family history, revealing secrets and surprises from the past.



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