Ian Darling. 

The Shark Island Institute has selected six social impact feature docos to participate in its new development initiative, with each to receive up to $25,000 in development funding in addition to international and local mentorship.

Each project team will participate in two, five-day intensive residential Story Development and Impact Labs in Kangaroo Valley, one-on-one meetings and industry sessions.

The Shark Island Story Development and Impact Lab is institute founder Ian Darling’s most recent documentary initiative following the establishment of the Documentary Australia Foundation in 2008 and Good Pitch Australia in 2014, the latter of which raised more than $15 million in philanthropic grants for social impact docos.

The mentors for the first residential workshop in August will include including Kristin Feeley (Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program), Jenny Raskin (Impact Partners NYC) and Academy Award winning writer Mark Monroe (Diamond Docs), for the first residential workshop in August.

Executive Director of Shark Island Institute, Malinda Wink says: “Following on from our success at Good Pitch Australia, we’re inspired by the combination of story-telling talent and projects selected for our inaugural labs. Each promises to investigate the most pressing issues of our time that inform who we are and the path we have set as a country.”

The first six projects selected in 2018 are:

  • BETWEEN US: As the South Sudanese community in the western suburbs of Melbourne faces a media storm with reports of gang violence, their elders decried as incompetent, young South Sudanese leader and filmmaker Ez Eldin Deng has a plan. Armed with a camera and teamed up with collaborator and documentary filmmaker, Hollie Fifer, this film will challenge the stereotypes and reveal a version of his community not often heard or seen in mainstream media. Co-Directors: Ez Eldin Deng & Hollie Fifer; Producer: Philippa Campey
  • CARBON – THE ESSENTIAL STORY OF US: We embark on the extraordinary life story of Carbon, the most talked about but least understood element on earth. Through an epic sensory cinematic adventure through time and place we reveal that Carbon’s story is not just about a warming climate, devastated oceans and whether or not we should put a tax on it. The story of Carbon is the essential story of us. Director/Writer: Daniella Ortega; Executive Producer: Sonya Pemberton
  • DEMOCRACY FOR SALE: Christiaan Van Vuuren’s apathetic life detours the day he discovers a Government plan to relax Australian gun laws. With two kids (and a reasonable desire they not be shot at school), this becomes an exploration of hyper-capitalism, political donations and lobbying against gun control, by a comedian who’s fed-up with a political system that prioritises corporations over the people it’s supposed to protect. Co-Director/Writer: Christiaan Van Vuuren; Producer: Dave Cain; Executive Producers: Jason Burrows & Jen Peedom
  • LIFE AFTER JUVIE: Thousands of young offenders will walk out of juvenile detention centres across Australia this year. According to the statistics, more than 6 in 10 will return. ‘Life After Juvie’ is an observational documentary that explores the challenges faced by young people after their release, exploring what separates those who are able to break the cycle, from those who remain locked in the criminal justice system. Director/Producer: Charby Ibrahim
  • MONUMENTS – HISTORY DOESN’T STAND STILL: Across Australia, the nation’s colonial founders stand memorialised in stone but the atrocities of colonisation do not. Laura Murphy-Oates confronts the deeply contested stories behind our public monuments and explores how a truthful reckoning with the past can bring the nation together rather than tear it apart. Co-Directors: Laura Murphy-Oates & Rani Chaleyer; Co-Producer: Teri Calder
  • THE INVESTIGATIVE ARTIST Mass surveillance, data collection and artificial intelligence are abstract but all pervasive realities of our lives. But how do you make the unseen accountable? This film is a part human, part artificial intelligence driven journey into the visualisations of one of the world’s leading contemporary artists as he battles to reveal the unseen forces shaping our lives and futures. Director/Producer: Yaara Bou Melhem; Impact Producer: Georgia Quinn


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