Screen Australia puts $2.2 million towards five documentaries

'Mozart's Sister'

Everything from classical music to the conversation around climate change will be explored in the five new documentaries to share $2.2 million of funding from Screen Australia.

Of the three documentaries funded through the Commissioned Program and two projects through the Producer Program, there is The Idea of Australia, a deep dive into the nation’s past and raises provocative questions about the future; The C Word, which tackles how the discourse around climate change has shifted over the years; and Mozart’s Sister, an examination of the theory that Maria-Anna Mozart – Mozart’s sister, music partner and creative collaborator – was behind some of the classical works we know and love.

Screen Australia documentary head Alex West paid tribute to the talented teams behind the titles for delivering projects that would “engage audiences and provoke dialogue”.

“I’m thrilled that Screen Australia has supported another strong mix of documentaries covering a variety of contemporary conversations steeped in history from Australia and across the globe,” he said.

The projects funded through the Commissioned Program are:

The Idea of Australia: A four-part series for SBS about how modern Australia has changed in the last 25 years and how it has produced a social and cultural revolution that is still a work in progress. By exploring our past and inspiring questions about the future, The Idea of Australia asks Australians to understand where the nation has come from and challenges what we might become. The series is from writer/executive producer Julianne Schultz, producer Darren Dale, series producer Jacob Hickey and director Benjamin Jones. The Idea of Australia is financed by SBS.

The Last Goodbye (working title): This three-part series for SBS explores Australia’s changing attitudes and approaches to death and the various ways in which our nation chooses to farewell and remember our dead. The Last Goodbye (working title) is from executive producers Sky Kinninmont and Deborah Spinocchia and writer Allan Clarke, whose credits include The Bowraville Murders and The Dark Emu Story. It is financed in association with SBS, with support from Screen NSW.

Tony Armstrong’s Extra-Ordinary Things: A five-part series for the ABC, Tony Armstrong’s Extra-Ordinary Things follows Armstrong as he goes on the road to learn about the untold history of Australia through everyday Aussies and their not-so-ordinary objects. The host is on a mission to build his very own exhibition for the National Museum of Australia that tells the untold history of our country, through ordinary objects that reveal extraordinary stories. The series will see sentimental possessions placed front and centre as we unravel some of Australia’s most defining moments, one object at a time. From Fremantle Media Australia, Tony Armstrong’s Extra-Ordinary Things is directed and produced by Hayden Guppy, produced by Ash Gibb, and executive produced by Josie Mason Campbell and Sophie Meyrick. It is financed by the ABC.

The projects funded through the producer program are:

The C Word: With Australia poised to act on Climate Change thirty years ago, this feature-length documentary for SBS is an archive powered exposé of the key moments in recent human history when science was trumped by misinformation, political will was checked and climate change shifted from fact to fable. From Northern Pictures, The C Word is directed by Tosca Looby and produced by Karina Holden. Rachel Grierson Johns is also attached as editor.

Mozart’s Sister: This 90-minute documentary tells the story of Mozart’s sister who, as a child, shared equal billing with her brother as music partners and creative collaborators. This new investigation in explores the theory that Maria-Anna Mozart played a larger role than previously known – and turns our gaze to the unrecognised female creators of our time. Madeleine Hetherton-Miau is attached as director/producer and Rebecca Barry as producer.