‘Joy’, ‘Our Country’ crowned joint winners of New Perspectives Pitch Lab

Lisa Albert, Lille Madden, Vincent Lamberti and Yale McGillivray.

Two projects have been announced as joint winners of the New Perspectives Pitch Lab, with the teams from feature documentary Joy and First Nations-led documentary series Our Country to participate in pitching opportunities at the 2022 Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC).

Pitched by the NSW duo of producer Yale MacGillivray and writer/co-director Lille Madden, Our Country explores what Country means and what’s required to protect it by revealing the extraordinary yet endangered wonders of the natural world. Founded on First Nations’ knowledge systems and philosophies, this series celebrates a love for and connection with Country as the way towards a better future.

In Joy, producer Lisa Albert and director/cinematographer Vincent Lamberti tell a story that starts 36 years ago with the unravelling of a middle-class family and ends in a tragic family homicide. It is told from the perspective of the daughter, Kathryn Joy, who grew up in Lismore, NSW with her father, unaware that he killed her mother. It grapples with dilemmas such as Kathryn reconciling the love she has for her only living parent who is capable of both genuine kindness and killing; and a legal system that decided it was in her best interests to be raised by that same person.

The two teams were chosen after a series of pitch coaching training and development sessions for the five participating teams, culminating in a formal pitch to an industry panel. They will now receive one complimentary All-Access pass to attend the 2022 AIDC in order to take part in further pitching opportunities.

Albert said the initiative had allowed her and Lamberti to advance their project with the help of inspiring industry peers.

“We believe now more than ever that Joy is in a position to be made and contribute to positive social change,” she said.

“We are honoured to win the pitch and share this achievement with the Our Country team. We look forward to our ongoing mentorship and bringing Joy to market in 2022.”

Her sentiments were shared by MacGillivray, who said the experience was an “incredible opportunity” to learn from industry leaders, as well as meet a cohort of “inspirational” filmmakers.

“We are excited to take what we learned over the course of the workshop and implement it in the continued development of Our Country,” she said.

The New Perspectives Pitch Lab is an initiative of the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS), Doc Society, and the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC), in partnership with Screen NSW. The lab was led by Malinda Wink and Hollie Fifer from Doc Society, Screen NSW investment manager Andrea Ulbrick, and Richard Welch, head of documentary at AFTRS.

AIDC encourages all participants who have not previously attended AIDC to apply for the Leading Lights recipient fund. For the first time this year, all participating teams will also now be supported for the next 12 months in developing their projects by industry mentors.