AIDC and Doc Society announce projects for social impact fellowship

Clockwise from top left are Maya Newell, Genevieve Grieves, Josie Hess, Matthew Bate, Taryne Laffar, and Jaydn Ray Gosselin

Doc Society and the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) have revealed the six projects that will take part in a year-long creative mentorship and impact strategy fellowship starting this month.

The four feature documentaries and two VR concepts selected for the Art & Impact Fellowship consist of Jaydn Ray Gosselin and Elahe Zivardar’s Searching for Aramsayesh Gah; Josie Hess’ Life After Coal; Genevieve Grieves and Ryan Andrew Lee’s Dreaming Country; Taryne Laffar’s Sacred Sites; Maya Newell’s The Quickening; and Matthew Bate’s Untitled Hakeem Project.

The filmmaking teams will benefit from three training labs, attendance at two industry forums – IDFA (the Netherlands) and AIDC – and a day-long pitch summit event.

The fellowship, which is supported through Screen Australia’s Enterprise Funding Program, was announced in August as a way for practitioners to build strategies for using an independent documentary project as a tool for change, focusing on the development of storytelling, impact, distribution, engagement, and financing pathways.

Global director of Good Pitch at Doc Society Malinda Wink and Doc Society director of Australian programs Hollie Fifer will lead the program.

Wink said the teams would be given every opportunity to expand the scope of their projects.

“Over the next 12 months, each team will have access to Doc Society’s global network of mentors and support to elevate and realise their creative ambitions, and build pathways to finance and audience, with high impact, compelling stories that resonate across the world,” she said.

Fifer congratulated the successful participants who were selected by an international panel from a “very competitive” round of Australian documentary talent.

“We look forward to diving into the story and impact of these projects, drawing on the expertise of local and international leaders forging a new pathway for documentary storytelling and distribution,” he said.

The successful project teams are:

Searching for Aramsayesh Gah

Directed by Jaydn Ray Gosselin and co-directed by Elahe Zivardar

Produced by Jaydn Ray Gosselin and Jacob Fertig 

Life After Coal

Directed by Josie Hess

Produced by Stephanie Sabrinskas

Dreaming Country

Directed by Genevieve Grieves and Ryan Andrew Lee

Produced by Kieran Satour and Andrea Distefano

Sacred Sites

Directed by Taryne Laffar

Produced by Taryne Laffar, Poppy Walker and Kylee Ingram

The Quickening 

Directed by Maya Newell

Produced by Alex Kelly, Sophie Hyde and Lisa Sherrard

Untitled Hakeem Project

Directed by Matthew Bate

Produced by Alice Burgin