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Margolyes, Goodes docs win Oz prizes

Miriam Margolyes: Almost Australian 

AIDC NEWS: A docuseries featuring British-Australian actor Miriam Margolyes and a feature doc profiling former Australian Rules footballer Adam Goodes have won prizes at the inaugural Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) awards.

Commissioned by pubcaster the ABC, Southern Pictures’ Miriam Margolyes: Almost Australian was named best documentary/factual series.

The judges hailed the show, which follows the Harry Potter star as she explains what attracted her to Australia as a young immigrant and how she still grapples with being “almost Australian,” as a refreshing modern portrait of the country.

“Miriam was an unexpected and inspired choice who made it fun, honest, charismatic, smart, delightfully self-deprecating and masterful with her interactions,” they said.

Meanwhile, The Australian Dream, which chronicled the racism that forced Goodes to quit football and become a leading advocate for Indigenous causes, won the A$5,000 (US$3,900) prize for best feature doc.

Daniel Gordon directed the film, which was coproduced by John Battsek of the UK’s Passion Pictures and Nick Batzias of Aussie prodco Good Thing Productions. “What Gordon finds in the story of Adam Goodes’ disgraceful public discrimination is potent, eloquent, troubling… and a film that deserves to reach all Australians, and beyond,” said the judges.

Elsewhere, Tamarind Tree Pictures and Roar Film’s Looky Looky Here Comes Cooky was deemed best documentary/factual single, while Mama Bear Productions’ My Body Says received A$5,000 as best shortform documentary.

The A$3,000 interactive/immersive documentary prize went to Emma Morris’ Mt Resilience, an augmented reality experience about climate and disaster resilience in Australian towns.

Pursekey Films’ Michaela Perske (Girls Can’t Surf, Black Divas, After the Apology) collected the A$5,000 Stanley Hawes award, which honours the pioneering documentary producer and director.

The AIDC’s A$25,000 documentary gaming development award went to Love Letters to Our Trees from prodcos Wilding Productions and Two Moos.

Four projects were selected for development funding for pubcaster SBS’s Australia Uncovered strand: Torchlight Media’s The Carnival; Living Eyes’ Hard-Ons; SAM Content’s Reprotech; and Only Human’s Kids Raising Kids.

In addition, SBS will be contacting prodcos Walking Fish and Good Thing Productions about a commission for their project After Trauma as part of series two of SBS Australia Uncovered.

In the AIDC’s international pitching showcase for documentary and factual projects, the Finch prize was presented to Projector Films’ Norita, the saga of a 40-year search by an Argentine woman whose son was kidnapped by the country’s dictatorship.

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