Daniel King.

Documentary filmmaker, editor, and cinematographer Daniel King will start an eight-month placement with the ABC and Northern Pictures this month after being announced as the inaugural recipient of the Indigenous Documentary Placement.

Co-presented by the ABC, Northern Pictures, and the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC), the initiative is designed to fast-track the careers of Indigenous non-fiction screen practitioners.

King will work with Northern Pictures’ factual team from May to September on the development of their slate, provide production support for current and upcoming projects and assist the team in identifying and developing diverse on and off screen talent.

From September through to next January, he will work with the ABC Factual and Culture team on their upcoming slate for 2022, with a focus on learning the development, commissioning and editorial production process.

King said he was excited to develop his skills.

“I’m honoured and grateful to be given this opportunity to further develop my craft as a documentary filmmaker, which will enable me to tell stories that will enrich the cultural fabric of our society but more importantly better the lives of my people,” he said.

King’s previous work includes the 2020 feature-length documentary Trading Cultures, screened on NITV/SBS, which traced the collaboration between three Indigenous Australian artists and three artists from Makassar in South Sulawesi.

Prior to that, he was awarded the 2018 National Indigenous Music Award for Best Music Video and directed the documentary The Fitzroy Stars for ABC TV’s Message Stick. His 2001 short film Mirror Images, starring Aaron Pedersen, screened internationally at leading events including the Rotterdam Film Festival.

ABC director entertainment and specialist Michael Carrington said King’s work in documenting the experiences of Indigenous Australians would be a welcome addition to ABC Factual and Culture.

“The ABC has a long history of supporting Indigenous creatives and content and we are proud to partner with Northern Pictures and the AIDC to help build the careers of homegrown creatives through the Indigenous Documentary Placement initiative,” he said.

Northern Pictures managing director Peter Anderson was also looking forward to working with King.

“At Northern Pictures, we pride ourselves on collaborating with talented filmmakers, who produce original factual content which is both relevant and impactful for Australian and international audiences,” he said.

“Together with the ABC and AIDC, it’s with pleasure that we have the opportunity to work alongside Daniel in not only supporting our project slate but also providing him the opportunity to identify new stories to tell in unique and engaging ways.”

The initiative was announced as part of an emphasis on Indigenous stories within this year’s AIDC, which ran from February 28 – March 3 as an online event

CEO/creative director Natasha Gadd said the AIDC was firmly committed to supporting opportunities for new voices and stories in our screen sector.

“We’re thrilled to co-present the Indigenous Documentary Placement with ABC and Northern Pictures, and are looking forward to tracking what Daniel will bring to the placement, as well as the new skills he will take away from the experience.”

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