SBS commissions Once Upon a Time in Punchbowl and Surgery Ship
Following on from the critical and ratings success of documentary series Once Upon a Time in Cabramatta, which looked at the Vietnamese community's traumatic experience of settling in Australia after the end of the White Australia Policy, SBS has commissioned follow on series Once Upon A Time in Punchbowl, a four-part landmark documentary series about Australia’s Lebanese community.
Starting largely in the ‘70s when a significant proportion of newly arrived migrants were Muslim, it will explore how domestic and global events challenged and divided this community. The Gulf War, September 11, the Bali bombings, and "ethnic" crimes by persons of "Middle Eastern appearance" all led to the stereotyping of primarily Lebanese young men, which when inflamed by the media, culminated in the Cronulla Riots.
Once Upon a Time in Punchbowl is the inside story, told by those on the ground, of the
succession of challenges that beset the Lebanese community. Community leaders, police and most importantly families and individuals all combine to tell a compelling and dramatic story about a community under intense pressure and scrutiny, but ultimately one which is proud and resilient.
Once Upon a Time in Punchbowl is due for transmission in 2013 and is made for SBS by
Executive Producer: Sue Clothier
Series Producer: Tim Toni
SBS has also commissioned a one-off documentary - Surgery Ship – due for transmission in 2013.
In this one-hour documentary, a team of Australian doctors and nurses are on board a unique ship. Crammed with medical supplies and volunteer medics, this floating hospital sails to the poorest nations on earth. This year they sail for Guinea on the West African Coast. On arrival they will face the most severe medical issues, long since eradicated in most parts the world. But the medical challenges are only half of the story. They will confront the most difficult ethical decisions as they decide who will be helped and who will not. This is a searing, complex journey for the volunteer doctors, as they deal with life and death cases - and balance the fates of these patients in their hands.
Surgery Ship is made for SBS by newly formed production company Media Stockade.
Producer/Director: Madeleine Hetherington
Producer: Rebecca Barry
Once Upon a Time in Punchbowl and Surgery Ship are co-financed by SBS and Screen
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