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Good Pitch Raises $3.6 Million for Impact Docos

17 September 2015 at 12:48 pm
Ellie Cooper
A leading forum for social impact documentary, Good Pitch, has raised $3.6 million to fund six documentaries, each with an agenda for social impact or change.

Ellie Cooper | 17 September 2015 at 12:48 pm


Good Pitch Raises $3.6 Million for Impact Docos
17 September 2015 at 12:48 pm

A leading forum for social impact documentary, Good Pitch, has raised $3.6 million to fund six documentaries, each with an agenda for social impact or change.

The filmmakers presented their documentaries to an audience of philanthropists, corporates and Not for Profits at the second annual Sydney Opera House screening event on Wednesday.

This year's result far exceeded the 2014 inaugural Good Pitch Australia event, which secured $2 million in philanthropic funding and created 60 new strategic partnerships.  

The six high-impact documentaries chosen, both Australian and international, covered topics including the over-representation of Indigenous people in prison, institutionalised sexual assault on college campuses and concepts of modern masculinity.

Last year featured seven films, including the Australian-made Gayby Baby, documenting the experience of children of same-sex parents, which stirred the gay marriage debate and sparked controversy recently when it was screened in Australian schools. That Sugar Film and Frackman were also part of last year's crop and have since finished production and have had wide-reaching impact. 

The Good Pitch event is is said to change the way philanthropy and filmmakers drive social change in Australia.

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.

The six feature-length documentary projects chosen to present at the Sydney Opera House were:

Blue – Director, Nick Robinson, Producer, Karina Holden

Devastation of the Reef and destruction of marine sanctuaries highlight the need to protect Australia’s precious seas for future generations. Blue takes us on an inter-generational journey to safeguard the waters surrounding our vast continent. Our ocean guardians show us what we have lost, what we have gained and what must be done to conserve our beloved blue ocean.

Happy Sad Man – Director, Genevieve Bailey, Producer, Rebecca Barry

Happy Sad Man explores the complexity of 21st century masculinity. With Australian men 4 times more likely to suicide than women, this is a portrait of mental health which removes the stigma associated with depression and anxiety. Mapping mens’ joy and despair, humour and hopelessness it gives voice to the rich interior lives of a range of unforgettable characters.

The Hunting Ground – Producer Amy Ziering, Director, Kirby Dick

From the team behind the Academy Award nominated The Invisible War, comes a startling exposé of sexual assaults on university campuses, institutional cover-ups and the brutal social toll on victims and their families. Weaving together verité footage and first-person testimonies, the film follows survivors pursuing their education while fighting for justice — despite harsh retaliation, harassment and pushback at every level.

On Richard’s Side – Director, Andrew Wiseman

Filmed over three decades, this documentary charts the life-story of Richard, a young man with severe intellectual disability. Intimate insights into his parents’ quest to establish a quality life for their son and themselves underscore the crisis of overworked and under resourced carers. Richard’s mum is ageing. His father has passed away. Who will care for Richard into manhood?

Prison Songs – Director, Kelrick Martin, Producer, Harry Bardwell

At a time when over-representation of Indigenous Australians in prison is deemed a national crisis, this film shares the experiences, faults and feelings of the men and women incarcerated in a tropical Northern Territory Prison. Over 80% of these inmates are Aboriginal and their personal stories reveal the human face of a justice system in desperate need of reform.

Whiteley – Director, James Bogle, Producer, Sue Clothier

A visual journey into the life and legacy of one of Australia’s most celebrated artists, Brett Whiteley. Through archive, drama and visual effects, this raw and intimate film shows Whiteley’s driving passion to express himself through his art. It underlines the importance of nurturing and supporting all young artists who assume the responsibility of taking Australian art to the world.

Ellie Cooper  |  Journalist  |  @ProBonoNews

Ellie Cooper is a journalist covering the social sector.

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