VICE, Screen Australia and AIDC unveil 2020 Pitch Australiana finalists

Wurandon Mariwili.

VICE, Screen Australia, and the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) have selected four finalists for the $50,000 documentary funding initiative, Pitch Australiana.

Pitch Australiana provides early career Australian filmmakers an opportunity to collaborate with VICE in telling a story that speaks to communities, individuals, perspectives and subcultures that are overlooked or ignored in mainstream media.

The winner of this year’s competition will secure $50,000 of funding for a short-form documentary to be released on as part of the digital documentary series Australiana which is seen in 35 countries, as well as airing on SBS VICELAND.

Finalists will compete for the prize in a pitching session in front of a panel that includes representatives from VICE, Screen Australia and the wider documentary community. This live pitch session will take place on March 4 during AIDC 2020 in Melbourne.

The four finalists will also get to develop their pitch in advance of the AIDC competition with writer, director and producer Matt Bate from Closer Productions whose credits include Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure,Guilty and Sam Klemke’s Time Machine.

The finalists are: 

White Fella In A Hole: Having spent the past 20 years in and out of prison, 43-year old Tazz arrives in an underground opal-mining town to fossick his fortune while attempting to piece together the threads of a frayed family.
Director/Producer: Jessica Barclay Lawton

Searching For The Tassie Tiger: New evidence and a growing civilian moment are challenging the long-held belief that Tassie Tigers are extinct. Join Neil Waters, a middle-aged gardener in remote north-east Tasmania, as he quits his day job and commits his life-savings to a search for the ancient beast.
Director: Naomi Ball; Producers: David Elliot-Jones & Louis Dai

Wurrandon Mariwili: Wild, rugged and remote, the top end of Australia is where Wurrandon Mariwili finds himself the newly elected leader of his community. Mariwili, whose bloodline has been in the region for over 60,000 years, knows he needs to adapt to Western expectations while still maintaining his culture- the key to ensuring the survival of his homeland.
Director/Producer: Miles Brotherson; Producer: Marlee Hutton; EP: Jodie Bell

Outback UFO Ranch: One of the world’s leading extra-terrestrial experts and his protégé road trip across rural Australia to find the perfect location for their UFO ranch so they can share their knowledge of aliens, UFOs and otherworldly spiritual awakenings.
Director/Writer: Anthony Frith;  Producer: Rebecca Elliot

Last year’s winner, Burlesque Boys, was directed by Isaac Elliott and produced by Lucy Knox. The observational documentary explores male erotic performers’ gruelling schedules and how they navigate consent with female participants, along with the toll the work has on their relationships, self-image and finances.  Watch the full length documentary here.

AIDC runs March 1 – 4.