GoodThing chosen to develop West Gate for SBS’ pitch to pilot program.

GoodThing are excited to be teaming up with Paula Salini, Nicky Arnall and Beck Cole to develop Enza Gandolfo’s gripping novel ‘The Bridge’ for SBS’ pitch to pilot initiative.

The Bridge | Book | Scribe Publications

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New Year, New Project!

New Year, New Project!

Nude Tuesday, an absurd dramedy about couple Laura and Bruno who are on the brink of breaking up, and spend a week at a new-age retreat in a bid to save their marriage. What results is one of the most outrageous, emotionally confronting weeks of their lives. Written by Jackie van Beek (The Breaker Upperers), the film will be performed in a fictional language, and will be subtitled by comedic writers after filming to create a number of completely different versions of the same story. This is the second film directed by Armagan Ballantyne (after The Strength of Water in 2009) and will be produced by Virginia Whitwell and Nick Batzias whose credits include The Australian Dream, and New Zealand producer Emma Slade (Come To Daddy). The project has also received conditional production investment from the New Zealand Film Commission and is financed with support from Film Victoria.

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GoodThing Productions, Passion Pictures and Very Much So are thrilled to be awarded the 2019 AACTA award for Feature Documentary.

Congratulations Anna!

Anna Kaplan awarded Natalie Miller Fellowship

Producer Anna Kaplan, known for her work leading social impact campaigns on documentaries such as 2040, The Hunting Ground and That Sugar Film, has been awarded this year’s Natalie Miller Fellowship.

Kaplan, whose career is spanned development, production, distribution and outreach, is a two-time AACTA nominee and has previously been awarded Film Victoria’s Women in Leadership Development Fellowship.

President of the Natalie Miller Fellowship Sue Maslin AO said: “Anna Kaplan has an extensive background in using film and storytelling to ignite change. She is a respected leader in the field of impact producing and has an ambitious vision to mobilise the Australian screen industry to embrace more sustainable environmental practices. We are delighted to award the 2020 Natalie Miller Fellowship to Anna. ”

The Natalie Miller Fellowship is open to all women working in the Australian screen industry, and offers up to $20,000 for a professional development program that will deliver significant benefits to the applicant and the wider Australian screen community.

Kaplan was presented the award this evening at the Australian International Movie Convention (AIMC).

Upon receiving the grant Kaplan said: “I am so honoured to be the recipient of this year’s Natalie Miller Fellowship. Natalie Miller is a trailblazing, inspirational female leader who has made an indelible mark on the Australian screen industry landscape, so it’s incredibly humbling to be associated with her legacy in this way. It’s also a huge privilege to be joining such an impressive cohort of previous recipients. The Fellowship will provide me with a game-changing platform to deepen my specialist knowledge, hone my leadership skills and activate my agency to catalyse positive outcomes for the local screen industry.”

Previous recipients of the fellowship include Rachel Okine (vice president of acquisitions STX international), Harriet Pike (head of production & development, WildBear Entertainment), Rebecca Hammond (post production manager, Beyond Productions), Courtney Botfield (film distribution and marketing consultant/producer), Sasha Close (film programming manager, Wallis Cinemas); Kristy Matheson (director, film programs ACMI) and Miriam Katsambis (legal counsel, Entertainment One).

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It was announced today that footage from 2040 will be shown to world leaders at the official opening of the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York on September 23, 2019 and the film will also be screened in full to UN Climate Summit Youth delegates.

2040 & The UN Climate Action Summit

We're thrilled to announce that footage from 2040 will be shown to world leaders at the opening of next week’s UN Climate Action Summit. The whole film will also be shown to youth delegates from around the world. #WhatsYour2040

Posted by 2040 on Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Award-winning filmmaker Damon Gameau, who wrote and directed 2040, said of the announcement, “The intention of 2040 was to plant a seed of what a cleaner, more sustainable future could look like. To have aspects of that vision now shown to world leaders at the United Nations is obviously the best possible outcome. I am thrilled for everyone who put so much care and effort into making the film.”

Convened by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, the UN Climate Action Summit runs from Saturday, 21st to Monday, 23rd of September in New York City and aims to boost ambition and accelerate actions to implement the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. With its empowering, relatable and hopeful messages about the possibilities for the future of our environment, 2040 was selected by the UN and clips from the film will feature in a video to be projected 360 onto the walls of the hallowed UN General Assembly Hall. The video, like the film, aims to highlight what our world could look like if leaders mobilise in a global and unprecedented effort from all sectors of society to act on the issue of climate change.

Gameau will travel to New York to attend the summit and attend other Climate Week NYC events, including a screening of 2040 to Youth delegates. The screening will be introduced by Christiana Figueres (Lead Negotiator of the Paris Agreement) who has described 2040 as “A most compelling blend of futuristic vision and current reality.”

A panel discussion with Gameau and prominent youth activists will follow the screening.

After sixteen weeks in cinemas and its recent release across physical and digital home entertainment channels, 2040 continues to perform at the box office  ith sessions at key cinema locations continuing to sell well. The film is now the fourth highest-grossing Australian feature documentary of all time at the domestic box office, with a cumulative box office total of $1,434,183.

2040 also continues to deliver against its ambitious impact goals with an initiative to bring the seaweed climate solution featured in the film to Australian waters. An initial fundraising target of $350,000 was met with the help of The Intrepid Foundation who contributed $175,000 in matched funding and recently committed a further $125,000 to the next phase of the project. The money raised will allow the Climate Foundation and the University of Tasmania to deploy Australia’s first regenerative marine permaculture test platform with the goal of restoring degraded giant kelp forests in Storm Bay, Tasmania. More information about the project can be found via The Intrepid Foundation website.

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Telluride Review                 ‘The Australian Dream’ Is A Stirring Profile Of Athlete & Activist Adam Goodes

Telluride Review ‘The Australian Dream’ Is A Stirring Profile Of Athlete & Activist Adam Goodes

Today’s sports superstars must shoulder a number of responsibilities: role models for youth, ambassadors for their sport, and beacons of leadership for their team. Fans demand loyalty, and owners expect not only an inhuman level of dedication, but a return on their investment. Being a star athlete means knowing how to navigate the treacherous waters of press relations and public attention, all while balancing the demands put on you as an icon and maintaining your high-level, athletic skillset to deliver on the confidence being placed in you. Fans and owners can be critical, yet forgiving, however, one thing they cannot abide is a star daring to find fault with the system or sport that they love. This is a lesson Australian footballer Adam Goodes learned the hard way when he began to speak out about the racism that runs rampant in Australian rules football. The prickly story is captured with clarity in the documentary “The Australian Dream,” which gets right to the heart of the issue in the first few minutes, as one of the film’s many interview subjects notes that Goodes, “in the minds of some, committed the greatest sin — the black man who complains.”

Unfussily directed by Daniel Gordon (“Crossing the Line,” “The Game of Their Lives“), the documentary delivers a mostly chronological journey through Goodes’ life and career. Born to a white father and Indigenous mother, his parents split when he was four. His mother raised Goodes and his siblings as a single parent, where the children found sports as an easy outlet to make friends, particularly given their frequent moves. Though he first took a shine to soccer, when there wasn’t a program at Merbein, he pivoted to Australian rules football, and the rest is history. Goodes was drafted into the Australian Football League, where he quickly became a rising star, and dominant player, winning multiple awards and titles. Along the way, Goodes decided to educate himself about his family and cultural history, and became deeply moved by the plight of the Indigenous people of Australia. The star player decided to use his stature in the league to highlight its problems with race, but it wasn’t a conversation anybody was ready to have.

The issue exploded on May 24, 2013, when Goodes ordered security to kick out a fan who called him an “ape” during a game. What Goodes didn’t know at the time was that the fan in question was a thirteen-year-old girl. Initially, Goodes earned sympathy — crucially noting at the time that it had been eight years since he had been the target of a racially motivated slur — and called for the public to support the young girl, pointing out that the culture her around likely normalized that behavior. However, opinion soon shifted, with some accusing Goodes of making a teenager the “face of racism,” and that as a professional athlete, he should be able to let these attacks slide off him. The incident never really went away, and things only got worse when during the 2015 season, Goodes was roundly booed at games as a response to the increasingly public stand he was taking against racism. Goodes, who found the booing to be racially motivated, responded by invoking Indigenous war cry dances during matches after scoring, which spurred further controversy. Eventually, the intensity of the booing forced Goodes into self-imposed exile, before returning for a few matches, and retiring from the game forever.

While “The Australian Dream” doesn’t make the connections, it doesn’t take much to draw a line from what Goodes experienced to what Colin Kaepernick has gone through in the NFL. While Goodes was fortunate enough to leave the game on his own terms, Kaepernick’s Black Lives Matter activism saw him unofficially blacklisted by NFL team owners as punishment for threatening their industry worth billions of dollars. Meanwhile, Andrew Luck felt firsthand how fickle fans can be when he was booed, as he walked off the field, after announcing his retirement from football. These stories echo in Goodes’, and it’s not hard to understand why, in a career where he easily had at least a few years left, he decided to walk away early.

Gordon’s cleverest touch in a documentary that otherwise stays to the tried-and-true format of talking heads and archival footage, is to include interviews by Australian conservative commentator Andrew Bolt. His outrageously glib and contrarian views only underscore the kind of cumulative microaggressions that people of color generally have to tolerate in their day to day lives. Bolt also maintains the tired view that its marginalized people who are causing division by pointing out instances of racism. The inclusion of Bolt allows Gordon to avoid criticism that he isn’t listening to the “other side,” and by engaging with the uninteresting personality, it highlights how empty that kind of rhetoric truly is.

“The Australian Dream” is an ambitious and at times moving overview of a sport and country that has yet to properly reckon with the horrors of its colonial past. Goodes proves to be a perceptive narrator of his own story, with Gordon covering all the angles of the tale which resonates with far too much familiarity literally halfway around the globe. Just last month in Canada, a baseball team endured racially charged taunts during a championship game, while earlier this year a semi-pro hockey player left during the middle the game, after the racist insults from the crowd made him fear for his family’s safety, who were in the stands. Meanwhile, soccer star Romelu Lukaku has called for the sport’s governing bodies to do more about racism about being subjected to horrible abuse from fans at a recent game. All of this is rooted in decades and centuries of history that clearly remain unresolved. There are very few athletes who have been allowed to be both activists and players — often they are forced to choose one or the other. However, Goodes managed to be both. Leaving the game when he did was not only his most courageous move as a player, but his boldest decision as an activist. [B]

The Australian Dream will receive it’s international premiere in Toronto

Just announced! The Australian Dream will have its International debut at the Toronto International Film Festival next month.
“We’ll be talking about these films for a long time to come.” —Thom Powers, TIFF Docs programmer.

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The Australian Dream is shattering. And now, the illusion of our country can’t be unshattered.

In what is easily 2019’s most essential movie, AFL great and former Australian of the Year Adam Goodes agrees to re-examine the racial vilification he faced from jeering footy fans.

This is no reflection on a bygone, less-enlightened era. The period under the microscope? 2015.

Directed by Daniel Gordon, The Australian Dream at first seems like it will just follow in the footsteps of ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentaries (Gordon has directed a few). It contains cracking sports footage, beginning with Goodes as a pre-draft VFL champion, and culminating when he’s a two-time Brownlow medallist fighting through a PCL injury to win the Grand Final for his Sydney Swans. Then, like many 30 for 30 docs, it eventually homes in on a bizarre, sports-adjacent event: the persistent booing Goodes faced in his final years of the game, inciting his retirement.

What separates the film from the pack is the overarching narrative provided by screenwriter, journalist and sorta-narrator Stan Grant. As he outlines, this story isn’t just a slice of meaningless sporting ephemera. The doco places Goodes’ experience in the context of English occupation of Aboriginal land; it articulates the hurt and confusion of Aboriginal Australians felt by their daily encounters with racism, now given a platform in the AFL; and it explores the trauma of genocide, and of the Stolen Generations, and how these unhealed wounds are prodded by modern incidents. As we see, the collective roar that emanates from booing attendees takes on an increasingly ominous tone in The Australian Dream. The horde speaks as one, echoing Australia’s dark history.

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