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Social Impact Films Hit the Big Screen

24 February 2015 at 9:22 am
Xavier Smerdon
Two of the social impact films funded under the Good Pitch Australia documentary initiative are about to hit the big screens across the country.

Xavier Smerdon | 24 February 2015 at 9:22 am


Social Impact Films Hit the Big Screen
24 February 2015 at 9:22 am

Two of the social impact films funded under the Good Pitch Australia documentary initiative are about to hit the big screens across the country.

And if the public’s reactions to the trailers to That Sugar Film and Frackman are any indication the films, funded via philanthropic, corporate and Not for Profit donations, are set to be box office hits.

Producers of That Sugar Film say the film’s trailer has has had over three million hits and Frackman has had over 800,000 views since the trailer was released last week.

Frackman tells the story of accidental activist Dayne Pratzky and his struggle against international gas companies. Australia will soon become the world’s biggest gas exporter as more than 30,000 ‘fracked’ wells are sunk in the state of Queensland where Dayne lives.

Dayne embarks on a journey that transforms him from conservative pig-shooter to sophisticated global activist as the Frackman. The World Premiere of Frackman will be at the Byron Bay International Film Festival on March 7.

That Sugar Film also opens nationally on March 1.

That Sugar Film is one man’s journey to discover the bitter truth about sugar. Damon Gameau embarks on a unique experiment to document the effects of a high sugar diet on a healthy body, consuming only foods that are commonly perceived as ‘healthy’.

Damon highlights some of the issues that plague the sugar industry, and where sugar lurks on supermarket shelves. The producers say That Sugar Film will forever change the way you think about ‘healthy’ food.

Screening dates can be found at :



In October 2014, Australian philanthropists, corporate foundations and Not for Profits delivered more than $2 million to help fund seven social impact documentaries at the first Good Pitch Australia event in Sydney.

The emotionally-charged event is said to have changed the way philanthropy and filmmakers drive social change in Australia.

The eight hour inaugural pitching event saw seven filmmaking teams present their documentaries to an audience of three hundred participants including philanthropic foundations, and Not for Profits as well as private philanthropists, corporate foundations, policy makers, and broadcasters.

Good Pitch Australia is an initiative of Shark Island Institute and Documentary Australia Foundation. Pro Bono Australia and Philanthropy Australia, are Community Partners for the initiative.

In the pitching sessions convened by Shark Island Institute Executive Director Ian Darling, the audience heard how the seven very different films were set to change the Australian conversation on controversial topics with the help of philanthropic funds.

The film topics included issues such as the plight of refugees, the environment, the struggles of indigenous youth, obesity and health, domestic violence, gay marriage and international human rights.

A round table of invited experts, philanthropists, policy makers and Not for Profits were asked to offer both financial assistance and in kind support for the production of the films and for the out-reach programs attached to the film.

Organisers said the moderated sessions following each pitch were aimed at creating a lasting and unique coalition around each film to maximise its impact and have an influence in the years to come.

2014 was the first year Good Pitch, the international documentary forum devised by BRITDOC and Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program, had been brought to Australia.

For details on entering films for Good Pitch 2015 click HERE.

Xavier Smerdon  |  Journalist  |  @XavierSmerdon

Xavier Smerdon is a journalist specialising in the Not for Profit sector. He writes breaking and investigative news articles.

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One comment

  • GaryD says:

    Documentaries traditionally focus on facts, and the facts of coal seam gas production in Queensland are that end 2014, there were 6,399 active wells in Queensland, of which 388 (6%) required fracture stimulations. The technique has been used in more than 2 million wells around the world for the past 40 years, which I imagine will also be missing from the 'documentary'.

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