Screening from Wednesday, November 16 OPENING SHOT, an ABC and Screen Australia, initiative, is back with a fourth instalment of five half hour documentaries from Australia’s next generation of documentary filmmakers.
Once again putting a range of subjects under the microscope, these films bring a fresh perspective to some of the big issues facing younger Australians. These include: how to spot, and help, a friend suffering domestic abuse; what it takes to enter the political rat race; how a home town is fighting back against the ice epidemic; the unintended consequences and personal cost of digital vigilantism; and the phenomenon that is: psychics.
Through rare access to the Australian psychic medium industry, PSYCHICS IN THE SUBURBS looks at some of life’s big questions; BIG BAD LOVE follows comedian Becky Lucas as she sets out to spot the warning signs of friends who are in an abusive relationship; CANDIDATE GAMES bears witness to two young political idealists as they take on the old guard in the battle to become the Lord Mayor of one of Australia’s capital cities; in END OF THE LINE filmmaker Tom Abood returns to his hometown to find out how they are fighting back against the devastating ice epidemic; and DIGILANTE prompts filmmaker Mike Nayna to confront the real-world impact caused by his own online activism.
This is the fourth season of OPENING SHOT, a vital initiative between ABC and Screen Australia that gives five filmmaking teams, all with a director under 35 years of age, the opportunity to create a prime time documentary film with a younger perspective. These films further develop their filmmaking skills, while also firing an OPENING SHOT into the national conversation.
ABC TV Head of Factual, Steve Bibb, said:
“OPENING SHOT is an initiative designed to develop young documentary filmmakers, and this season brings another diverse range of perspectives to our screens. It’s never been more important to be making local content told from the perspective of young Australians.”
Liz Stevens, Senior Manager Documentary, at Screen Australia said:
“OPENING SHOT is a proven launching pad for emerging documentary filmmakers, which past alumni like Maya Newell (Growing Up Gayby) and Madeleine Parry (Meatwork) have amply demonstrated. We look forward to seeing how these new stories connect with audiences and what comes next for this group of fresh documentary voices”.
It’s time for Australia’s new generation of documentary filmmakers to fire their OPENING SHOT.
PSYCHICS IN THE SUBURBS
Screening Wednesday 16 November, 9.30pm on ABC2 & iview
Australia’s psychic medium business is booming and filmmaker Cassie Charlton wants to find out why. Florence King, recently crowned People’s Choice Australian Psychic of the Year, is in the middle of her biggest year yet, and spending time with Florence, and her clients, gives Cassie front row seats to see how the psychics business really works. Following both public performances and private sessions, we meet a range of Australians anxious to contact their deceased loved ones, trying to come to terms with their grief. PSYCHICS IN THE SUBURBS explores who we turn to when the answers seem bigger than the questions themselves.
Director: Cassie Charlton
Producers: Rebecca Barry & Madeleine Hetherton
PSYCHICS IN THE SUBURBS is a Media Stockade film
BIG BAD LOVE
Screening Wednesday 23 November, 9.30pm on ABC2 & iview
Comedian Becky Lucas recently found out one of her closest childhood friends had suffered years of violence and abuse at the hands of her partner. With young women 18-24 being most at risk of abuse, Becky sets out to understand what an abusive relationship looks like, how it begins and why it’s so hard to intervene. She meets experts and psychologists to figure out how she missed the signs, conducts a social experiment on the street to see how the average bystander reacts to domestic violence, and seeks out the stories of young survivors to discover what anyone can do when confronted with domestic violence.
Director: Briony Benjamin
Producer: Susan MacKinnon
BIG BAD LOVE is a Briony Benjamin Media film
Screening Wednesday 7 December, 9.30pm on ABC2 & iview
Money has been flooding into Perth on the back of a decade long mining boom and with an annual council budget of $200 million dollars, the role of Lord Mayor is a tempting prize. The 2015 election attracted a diverse range of young applicants. Candidate Reece is only 28yrs, one of the youngest ever Lord Mayoral nominees, and has a drive and ambition unusual for someone of his tender age. Candidate Mike, 33yrs, is the chalk to Reece’s cheese: an entrepreneur with some big ideas who wants to add Lord Mayor to his impressive and eclectic resume, and turn Perth into a city full of electric cars. Standing in the way of both Gen Y candidates is a popular 2-term incumbent and baby boomer: Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi. The bookies have Lisa as the runaway favourite, yet Reece and Mike may have timed their ‘David vs. Goliath’ attempts to seize power perfectly, with an investigation from The Corruption and Crime Commission looming over her head. The stage is set for an explosive postal election, where three candidates with very different ideas about how to rule a capital city will clash head to head. The results are one thing, how this battle unfolds is quite another. Let the games begin!
Director: Sam Bodhi Field
Producers: Ella Wright and Alice Ross
Executive Producers: Brian Beaton and Celia Tait
CANDIDATE GAMES is a Periscope Pictures film.
END OF THE LINE
Screening Wednesday 14 December, 9.30pm on ABC2 and iview
Nowra, a beautiful intersection of some of Australia’s most alluring beaches, rain-forests, mountains, and farmland, has fallen hard to the hand of Ice. Tom Abood, a young local that left his hometown to follow his dream of becoming a filmmaker, returns to find out if a handful of locals have what it takes to beat the ever-spreading scourge of Ice. Follow Tom as he meets up with familiar faces of his past to see if Nowra can be more than just the end of the line.
Director: Tom Abood
Producer: Kat Cooke
Executive Producer: Ben Ulm
END OF THE LINE is an Artillery House film
Screening Wednesday 21 December, 9.30pm on ABC2 and iview
Disillusioned by a revival of public shaming via social media, filmmaker Mike Nayna confronts the real-world damage caused by an online furore he created. In 2012, Mike Nayna uploaded a shaming video that sparked international media attention, resulted in two gaol terms and inspired a surprise spate of copycat incidents. But while the narrative of good conquering prejudice played out on computer screens around the world, a far more complex and morally ambiguous story was taking place. Through exploring the untold story behind the high profile public shaming, Mike must face the unintended consequences of his ‘digitlanism’.
Director/Writer: Mike Nayna
Producers: Lauren Elliott and Mark Conway
Executive Producers: Eddie Martin and Susie Jones
DIGILANTE is a Checkpoint Media/Mad Kids Co-productio