'Leunig: A Tale in 16 Parts'. 

Screen Australia has stumped up $1 million in production investment for seven new documentaries. 

Among them is a new project from That Sugar Film’s Damon Gameau, 2040. The Madman film will see Gameau read a letter to his hypothetical daughter on her 21st birthday in 2040, exploring the moments since her birth that saw humanity introduce solutions to issues such as climate change, technology, gender equality and social justice.

Gameau will write and direct, while Nick Batzias and Anna Kaplan, who both worked on That Sugar Film, will produce. 2040 has also received Good Pitch and Film Victoria funding. 

Madman are also handling Leunig: A Tale in 16 Parts, which will see writer-director Kasimir Burgess (Fell) look into the life of cartoonist Michael Leunig.

Produced by Philippa Campey, the Film Camp project will see the artist, who is recovering from a near-fatal brain seizure, reflect on the experiences that have informed his work. The project has also received Film Victoria support.

In Displaced, lawyer and advocate Julian Burnside will interview global leaders and interrogate the current state of human rights law. Writer-director Judy Rymer will produce along with Lois Harris. The film has been pre-sold to BBC Scotland.

Also funded under the Documentary Producer program is Brindle Films’ Finke, which goes behind-the-scenes at the Northern Territory’s off-road motorsports comp, the Finke Desert Race. Director Dylan River (Buckskin) and producer Isaac Elliott have both competed in the race multiple times. Rachel Clements, Trisha Morton-Thomas and Meredith Garlick are also producing.

Funded under the Documentary Commissioned program is WildBear Entertainment’s Dino Bird, for National Geographic. It looks into the secret life of ‘Bertha’, a southern cassowary in the Daintree Rainforest. 

Screen Australia has also backed the second season of Mashup Pictures’ Housemates, which will air on ABC2 after the success of the first season on iview.

Also funded is NITV's previously announced one-off Wik vs. Queensland, which will look at the landmark 1996 High Court decision. It’s produced by Bacon Factory Films, Bent 3 Land Productions and Freshwater Productions with support from Screen Queensland. 

Senior manager of documentary Liz Stevens said it was an exciting factual slate that showed “Australian people, places and histories are a perennial source of interest and worthy of investigation.”

More information is here.

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