ABC Arts and Screen Australia have selected four projects helmed by emerging director and producer teams – two from South Australia and one each from Queensland and NSW – to receive Art Bites funding, a joint initiative now in its second year.
“The Art Bites initiative was a great success for the ABC Arts Channel on iview, attracting very positive feedback across the four series,” said Mandy Chang, Head of Arts at ABC TV. “In response to this, we’ll broadcast a compilation of some series on the main channel in July/August.”
“Apart from unearthing talented new directors and producers, the initiative created a unique opportunity to tell stories that resonate with younger audiences on a digital platform. This year we hope to match the success of series one with a new slate of filmmakers with diverse and innovative approaches and subjects.”
Each team will receive direct investment of $60,000 from the ABC and Screen Australia to make a 6 x 5 minute documentary web series to premiere on the ABC Arts channel on iview in 2018. The four projects funded are:
Carla and Lisa’s Countdown of Australian Art (NSW) about Auburn-based twins and visual artists Carla and Lisa – highly knowledgeable fans obsessed with Australian art – who gain unprecedented access to the archives of the Art Gallery of NSW (AGNSW) and share a lifetime of treasured anecdotes. Directed by Ludwig El Haddad who is an art educator at AGNSW, and produced by Barry Gamba.
Lessons from a Middle Class Artist (SA), which will follow struggling musician Anthony Frith as he travels to the US and meets with successful novelty song composer Matt Farley to learn how to make a living from his art. Directed by Frith (The Worst Alien in the World), produced by Rebecca Elliott (Michelle’s Story, The Worst Alien in the World) and executive produced by Rebecca Summerton. The South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC) will provide an additional $30,000 for this project.
Mirror Mirror (QLD) where six prominent Australian artists will be enlisted to create an honest and intimate self-portrait that explores their sense of identity. Directed by Brodie Poole whose short film Flight of the Buffalo was selected for Sydney Film Festival in 2015, and produced by Kate Paul who was recently selected by Screen Producers Australia (SPA) for their 2017 Ones to Watch program. Screen Queensland will provide an additional $30,000 for this project.
Unboxed (SA) which will follow filmmaker and Trans Rights Advocate Sam Matthews as she meets with other trans and gender diverse artists from around the country to explore the prominent role artistic expression has played in their lives. Directed by Matthews, produced by Kirsty Stark (Wastelander Panda) and Rebecca Elliott. SAFC will provide an additional $30,000 for this project.
Each team will be supported by a Screen Australia Investment Manager and an ABC Digital Arts Commissioning Editor. They will also be mentored by Bridget Ikin and John Maynard from Felix Media, as part of their Screen Australia Enterprise Industry mentoring initiative.
“Art Bites is a proven launch pad for emerging filmmakers,” said Liz Stevens, Senior Manager of Documentary at Screen Australia. “Last year’s recipients included Shock Art producer Alice Ross whose new project Mirrabooka has just been commissioned by a broadcaster.”
“The Wanderers’ producer Drew Macdonald who was included in SPA’s 2017 Ones to Watch list. We are particularly pleased about the regional diversity of this year’s teams and welcome our state agency funding partners who have come on board for this initiative for the first time.”
The success of Art Bites has also led to Love Bites – an initiative for LGBTQI filmmakers announced in June. For more information on Art Bites, visit: www.screenaustralia.gov.au for details.
Image: Unboxed will follow Sam Matthews – photo by Stephen De Villiers