Film Australia commissions six new documentaries

Harold Holt’s disappearance, Somalian refugees and East Timor’s newly found independence are just some of the themes in the six new documentaries announced today by Film Australia.

The documentaries are commissioned under the National Interest and Making History strands, with a strong focus on political history, biography and art.

From Peter Butt, the director of the acclaimed Who Killed Dr Bogle & Mrs Chandler? comes a new investigation into one of the nations most mysterious unsolved cases – the disappearance of former Prime Minister Harold Holt, which will air on ABC TV.

Also part of the History Initiative is a documentary on another Australian Prime Minister, Sir Robert Menzies.

Premiering on ABC TV this month The Prime Ministers’ National Treasures featuring political cartoonist Warren Brown, who takes audiences into the hearts and minds of Australia’s Prime Ministers through their most loved possessions.

In association with Old Parliament House, the second series of the micro-docs looks at objects the leaders used in everyday life including Stanley Melbourne Bruce’s gold cigarette case and Robert Menzies’ wind-up camera.

Another series of micro-docs will return to ABC TV as the second series of Hidden Treasures with Betty Churcher, taking viewers inside the National Library of Australia to unearth some amazing, rarely seen works including maps, lithographs and paintings. Hidden Treasures is produced in association with Early Works.

Rosa’s Journey, a portrait of daily life in East Timor post independence, profiles two remarkable women travelling the rocky road to democracy will be screened on SBS TV and will be produced in association with Abracadabra Films.

I’ll Call Australia Home focuses on the journey of two Somali families travelling from the refugee camp in Dadaab, Africa to highlight the experiences of some 6,000 refugees who resettle in Australia each year. It will air on SBS TV and is produced in association with Beckers Entertainment.

‘These programs reflect the broad scope of the National Interest Program, providing insight into events that shaped us, as well as gathering a contemporary record for future generations,’ said CEO of Film Australia, Daryl Karp.

An Australian Government-owned company, Film Australia supports the production and distribution of documentaries in the national interest. The new projects contribute to key focus areas of the National Interest Program, covering science, history, contemporary issues and stories about our region.

[release from Avviso PR for Film Australia]

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