ABC announces 11 short docs selected for Your Planet initiative

Filming of 'Nyarrpararla Malaju? (Where Have All The Mala Gone?)' in the NT.

Some 11 short documentaries about climate and environmental solutions will screen on the ABC next year after being backed via the Your Planet initiative.

The films will sit alongside an ABC slate for 2023 that focuses on similar themes, including War on Waste, Ningaloo NyingguluThe Platypus Guardian and Dolphins: Is Our Love Too Deep.

The Your Planet Short Docs initiative is put on in partnership with Doc Society, Sydney Film Festival and Screenwest, VicScreen, Screen Tasmania, Screen Queensland and Screen Territory.

All projects are from early career filmmakers and 5-10 minutes in length. Teams have been provided with development and production funding (up to $18,000) and are being guided through a mentorship program with the ABC factual and culture team and Doc Society.

The Sydney Film Festival has also agreed to review the 11 projects with the intention of programming them for next year.

Acting ABC head of factual and culture Richard Huddleston said it was an ambitious initiative.

“Helping such a passionate group craft their stories on this important issue is exciting for everyone involved and demonstrates the ABC’s ongoing commitment to supporting Australia’s emerging documentary filmmakers,” he said.

Doc Society director of Australian programs Hollie Fifer added: “We are proud to be a partner for this initiative that is creating a wave of solution driven climate and environmental documentaries from across Australia. Over the course of the program, each film team will have access to ABC’s and Doc Society’s mentors and support to elevate and realise their creative ambitions that will move us all closer to a climate just and biodiverse future.”

Your Planet Short Docs

Road Kill Warriors (TAS)
Producer/Director: Lara van Raay
Executive Producer: Kalita Corrigan (ABC)

Synopsis: 400,000 animals are killed on Tasmanian roads every year. That’s 45 – every hour. Meet the women who have decided that enough is enough and are tackling this issue in unique and sometimes controversial ways. They are the wildlife defenders. Raising the alarm to a massive, deadly problem.

After The Smoke (VIC)
Producer: Stephanie Sabrinskas
Director: Josie Hess
Executive Producer: Teri Calder (ABC)

Synopsis: A collage of artists’ interpretations illustrate the story of Wendy Farmer, housewife turned activist and founder of Voices of the Valley. Wendy recounts how the devastating Hazelwood mine fire led her to find her voice as an activist, fighting for a new identity for The Latrobe Valley as a renewable hub.

Wing Threads (VIC)
Producer/Director: Chris McCormack
Executive Producer: Madeleine Hawcroft (ABC)

Synopsis: A journey around Australia on the smallest of wings. Zoologist turned pilot, Amellia Formby, is on a mission to share her love for migratory shorebirds. In her microlight aircraft she will brave the elements, just like these avian marvels, as she searches for solutions to the many threats they face.

For Frogs Sake (VIC)
Producers: Derek Ho, Kyria Kopoulos, Lynette Plenderleith
Director: Derek Ho
Executive Producer: Julie Hanna (ABC)

Two female conservationists fighting against time to save the endangered and elusive Giant Burrowing Frogs in regional Victoria.

Yurmulun (WA)
Producer/Director/Editor: Marlikka Perdrisat
Executive Producer: Kelrick Martin (ABC), Damon Gameau (Regen Studios), Anna Kaplan (Regen Studios)

Country was getting lonely, and we wanted to walk with it again, and now we want you to walk with us. The Yurmlun Heritage Trek travels from Yurmlun to Balginjirrthrough Nyikina Country, and alongside Martuwarra. Together, we can keep Country company.

Mad about Maggots (WA)
Production Company: Stir Fry Content
Producer: Elsie Shaw
Directors: Toby Bajrovic, Elsie Shaw
Writer: Patrick Hogan
Executive Producer: Leo Faber (ABC)

Synopsis: With one third of the food we produce being thrown away, food waste now contributes to 30 per cent of global emissions. Scientist Luke Wheat has decided to do something about it, and has recruited a few million black soldier flies to help with his cause.

The Number 2 Solution (QLD)
Producer/Director: Morgan Pelt
Executive Producer: Penny Palmer (ABC)

Synopsis: Brisbane based scientists build Australia’s first facility to transform human waste into a renewable energy and a sustainable product called Biochar.

The Oyster Gardener (QLD)
Producer: Julia Lörsch
Director/Writer/Editor: Kim Ingles
Impact Producer: Jayde Harding
Director of Photography: Wes Greene
Executive Producers: Stephen Oliver (ABC), Damon Gameau (Regen Studios), Anna Kaplan (Regen Studios)

Synopsis: Can a functionally extinct reef system be brought back to life? Jolie, a grade -12 student and aspiring marine biologist, joins forces with her community to bring back the lost oyster reefs of the Noosa river.

Power To Country (NT)
Producer/Supervising Director: Genevieve Grieves
Producers: Andrea Distefano, Libby Collins
Director: Josef Jakamarra Egger
Co-Director: Conrad Rory
Executive Producer: Kelrick Martin (ABC)

Synopsis: Shirley was forced from her homelands because of energy insecurity. The place she escaped to is also at risk, and dealing with environmental threats to Country. But her community are fighting back. In this remote part of the NT, an energy revolution is beginning …and Shirley might just get home.

Mamirnikuwi (NT)
Producers: Antonia Burke, Caro Macdonald
Director: Rebecca Parker
Executive Producer: Stephen Oliver (ABC)

Synopsis: After discovering that her home on the Tiwi Islands is at risk from a huge gas project, Antonia Burke mobilises her community and the first ever Tiwi Women’s Ranger group is born.

Nyarrpararla Malaju? (Where Have All The Mala Gone?) (NT)
Producer/Director: Anna-Marie Harding
Executive Producer: Teri Calder (ABC)

Synopsis: Mala (Rufous Hare-Wallaby) are powerful ancestors in Warlpiri people’s Jukurrpa (dreaming), but what happens to the Jukurrpa when there are no more Mala? Through the story of this Warlpiri Jukurrpa, the film looks into the effects of climate change and environmental issues on Indigenous song lines and connected wildlife. Using the knowledge of their ancestors to preserve culture and Country for generations to come, Warlpiri Traditional Owners share their wisdom on how to care for Country.