Left to right top row: Sandy Smith, Rob Innes, Danny Braunstein, Sparsh Ahuja. Left to right middle row: Corrine Innes, Chris Kamen, Poppy Stockell, Marta Jelec. Left to right front: Molly O’Connor, David Elliot Jones, Fatima Salaria, Alice Burgin. Photo: Jess Apap
The inaugural Originate Factual has officially kickstarted with twelve Victorian producers, writers and directors selected to be part of the bold new initiative.
The three-month, multi-stage program is designed to support homegrown talent to develop high-end documentary series with global appeal under the guidance of leading industry professionals.
Factual powerhouse Fatima Salaria, the former Managing Director of UK’s Naked Television, known for the UK’s Grand Designs and Planet Sex fronted by Cara Delevingne, has touched down in Melbourne to be the leading international facilitator.
Off the back of his latest documentary The Trouble with Kanye, award-winning filmmaker and journalist Mobeen Azhar will also join Fatima Salaria, alongside, BAFTA-winning director and Executive Producer Sandy Smith, who has previously run the world’s longest running investigative journalism strand, BBC’s Panorama.
With support from Screen Australia, Originate Factual is a nationally unprecedented factual series initiative, unearthing talent who are looking to extend their feature documentary skills to the series format. The successful participants of the inaugural Originate Factual are:
Under Fatima, Mobeen and Sandy’s leadership, participants will be armed with extensive skills in series producing, developing a number of series throughout the program and undertaking a rigorous workshopping process to make them pitch ready.
All participants will be given the opportunity to put their pitch training into action with the initiative wrapping up with an official Pitch Day, attended by Stan, ABC, SBS, Fremantle and a range of potential co-production partners.
Four projects will be given $15,000 each in development funding, to take their pitch to the next level.
As part of the initiative, a number of the factual practitioners will be given the opportunity to develop their skills through paid and hands-on series producer placements at industry leading companies, including, Southern Pictures and WildBear Entertainment.
Additional factual powerhouses will participate in panels and in conversations throughout the program.
CEO of VicScreen, Caroline Pitcher said, “From award winning documentaries such as This is Going to Be Big, Franklin, and box-office hit John Farnham: Finding the Voice – it’s evident that we have incredible homegrown talent in the factual space. Originate Factual will work to cement Victoria as the nation’s leader of high-end documentaries series, that are set to resonate with audiences around the world.”
Originate Factual Facilitator, Fatima Salaria said, “We are in a golden age of Factual TV and the appetite for intelligent, illuminating and entertaining programmes isn't diminishing. It is a privilege for me to spend time with these talented film makers to facilitate and collaborate on ideas that can turn into the next generation of returnable factual box set hits.”
Screen Australia Head of Documentary Alex West said, “When it comes to creating engaging and thought-provoking documentaries, we have been delighted to witness first-hand the breadth of talent coming out of Victoria. I am confident that through Originate Factual, with the support of VicScreen and the expertise that Fatima, Mobeen and Sandy bring to the table, this talented and varied cohort of Victorian producers, writers and directors will have a fantastic opportunity to develop their skills and gain the knowledge to cut through to audiences at home and beyond.”
Originate Factual expands on VicScreen’s existing Originate Features and Originate Games programs—which are amplifying new voices and new ideas from diverse screen talent.