'The Carnival'

The shortlisted teams for the Australian International Documentary Conference’s (AIDC) three key pitching programs have been revealed ahead of the online event later this month.

State of Play, Australia Uncovered, and Reel Smart Academic Roundtables will give participants the opportunity to pitch their projects to decision-makers at the four-day conference, with a view to securing funding or production partnerships.

Alice Burgin, AIDC CEO and conference director, said the annual event’s many pitching opportunities are part of what makes the annual event so important.

“We are so grateful for the continued support of Film Victoria, and our partnerships with SBS and La Trobe University, as they help us realise these important opportunities,” she said.

“We’re extremely grateful that these organisations share our vision for an Australian nonfiction sector that is relevant, curiously imaginative and perpetually excited by what the future has to offer.”


Developed in partnership with Film Victoria, State of Play consists of four teams pitching publicly to a panel of experts as part of Innovation Day.

The winning team will be awarded $25,000 of project funding to turn their proof-of-concept into a playable reality.

The shortlisted teams are:

●      BeeScapes: The Game, by Alan Nguyen and Mighty Games, positions the player as a honeybee tasked with the important mission of finding the best flowers that contain nutritious pollen in Boomers Reserve in Victoria, Australia.

●      Love Letters to Our Trees, by Wilding Productions and Two Moos, is an AR documentary that entices us into an enchanted urban forest, and invites us to rediscover our trees and experience the city from their perspective.

●      Slipshape, by Jari Productions and Things For Humans, is a first person exploration game where, as a journalist still recovering from an assassination attempt, you uncover intruders and inhabitants of the riverine Himalayas, evoking fears and dreams of water in India.

●      Strong Start, by Strong Women Documentary and Geodesic Crimes, presents off-beat, feisty and charismatic characters, and an immersive experience where the player intimately discovers the empowering stories of some of Australia’s strongest women.

‘Beescapes: The Game’.


Australia Uncovered is SBS’s strand of prime-time single documentaries exploring diversity and equality in contemporary Australia.

SBS has shortlisted five single documentaries ranging from one hour to feature-length. The shortlisted proposals seeking development funding will participate in a live pitching session, with successful teams receiving a share of development funding from SBS.

SBS head of documentaries Joseph Maxwell said there had been a “fantastic” response to the initiative.

“The shortlist reflects the depth and diversity of the submissions received, and the kind of unique Australian stories and voices that are at the heart of this strand,” he said.

The shortlisted projects are:

●      The Carnival

Synopsis: The Bell family battles to keep Australia’s oldest show on the road.

Isabel Darling, director and Dylan Blowen, producer

Production Company: Pony Films

●      Hard-Ons

Synopsis: Three kids from the 1980s suburbs become multicultural punk rock icons!

Jonathan Sequeira, producer/director and Wade Jackson, producer

Production Company: Living Eyes.

●      After Trauma

Synopsis: Following the journey of larger-than-life trauma cleaning business owner Sandra Pankhurst, as she begins a search for her birth mother and reinvents herself as an icon for resilience.

Lachlan Mcleod, director, David Elliot-Jones, producer and Charlotte Wheaton, producer

Production Company: Walking Fish Productions, Good Thing Productions

●      Kids Raising Kids

Synopsis: Follows the complex lives of teen parents at a one-of-a-kind high school.

Patrick Abboud, director and Marcus Costello, associate producer

Production Company: Only Human

●      Reprotech

Synopsis: aSrah Dingle discovers her true paternity, & she takes on the baby-makers.

Sally Aitken, director, with Aline Jacques, producer and Marianne Leitch, producer

Production Company:  Sam Content.


Now in its second year, the initiative will see five academics from La Trobe University pitch up-to-the-minute original research to producers at AIDC with the aim of triggering the development of new factual series or one-off documentary projects.

‘The Coaches’ Eye’

The shortlisted projects are:

●      Widgies, Sharpies & Punk(ettes): The story of the rebellious girls who sought freedom and identity in subcultures in Australia in the second half of the twentieth century. Academic: Simmone Howell.

●      The Underdog Ancestor; Three Human Dynasties Fight For Survival: Two-million-years ago, three types of humans fought for survival. Come on a journey to see what humanity’s earliest ancestors looked like and how they evolved different ways to survive. Academics: Angeline Leece and Andy Herries.

●      The Pioneer’s Wife: Mary Minogue sailed to the goldfields pregnant with an illegitimate child. Months after arrival Mary, now married, was before a magistrate accused of murdering her baby in the goldfields sludge. Academic: Katrina Dernelley.

●      The Coaches’ Eye: An exploration of how coaches use their ‘eye for talent’ to identify tomorrow’s Olympic combat sport champions today, particularly in open skill sports. Academic: Alexandra Roberts.

●      Black, White and Exempt: Aboriginal exemption is the untold story of cruel choices, assimilation and resistance that Australia is now ready to hear. Academics: Lucinda Aberdeen, Jennifer Jones and Katherine Ellinghaus.

AIDC runs February 28 – March 3 as an online event. Click here for more information about the program.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.