By Brendan Swift

Film Victoria has unveiled plans to invest $705,000 across five new documentaries.

Among the slate are Charles Bean’s Great War and Kangaroo Mob (360 Degree Films), Chris Humfrey’s Wild Life (December Films), Second Australians (Renegade Films), and Paul Cox: A Life (Jeni McMahon and David Bradbury).

Victorian Innovation Minister Gavin Jennings said the value of factual television produced in the State had increased by 82 per cent this year compared to 2007-2008.

“In 2009-10 another nine Brumby Labor Government-supported factual television projects will commence, bringing about $4 million to the Victorian economy,” he said.

Nonetheless, the documentary sector remains under pressure as Screen Australia prepares to make further funding cuts across all areas to match its reduced budget.

Screen Australia’s head of production investment Ross Matthews told the Australian International Documentary Conference last week that its current $16.5 million allocation for documentary funding will be reduced next year.

“It is likely to be 4 or 5 per cent and that is something we will have to face,” Matthews said.

Film Victoria has allocated $305,000 to December Films’ 13-part 'docu-soap' about private zookeeper Chris Humphrey, called Chris Humfrey’s Wild Life.

The 16-week shoot is about to begin, with production due to be completed by December, before airing on both ABC1 and ABC3 next year.

360 Degree Films will receive $170,000 from Film Victoria to produce Charles Bean’s Great War and Kangaroo Mob.

Meanwhile, the remainder of the funding will be shared by Second Australians, about the evolution of Australia’s multicultural society, and Jeni McMahon and David Bradbury’s documentary about Dutch-Australian Paul Cox’s fight with advanced liver disease.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *