SBS announces first winners of the Australia Uncovered single strand documentary initiative

Source: SBS: The Bowraville Murders is an Australia Uncovered documentary selected in 2020, and to broadcast in 2021

SBS has selected to fund three productions as part of its Australia Uncovered partnership with the Documentary Australia Foundation, awarding a full commissioning budget to Mint Pictures and Jumping Dog Productions’ The Bowraville Murders and development funding for Northern Pictures’ A Strong Female Lead and Princess Pictures’ Why Do People Hate Jews?

Six shortlisted teams participated in a competitive live pitching session at the Australian International Documentary Festival (AIDC) on Wednesday 4 March, with projects focused on uncovering unique stories of contemporary Australia for a prime time single documentary strand for broadcast in 2021.

Joseph Maxwell, Head of Documentaries at SBS, said: “Single documentaries are an effective way of exploring the reality of Australia today, through often untold stories from a diversity of voices. They remain an important part of SBS’s documentary offering and we’d like to thank all of the teams for their submissions and participation.

“We were thrilled with the calibre of the shortlisted pitches presented at AIDC. The three selected projects all promise to tackle big issues in Australia with innovation, showcasing the ambition and quality of this new strand.”

The Bowraville Murders (working title)

The Bowraville Murders investigates one of Australia’s most prominent unsolved serial murder cases – the murder of three Aboriginal children and a thirty-year battle for justice.

Production Company: Mint Pictures & Jumping Dog Productions

Key Creatives: Allan Clarke (Director), Dan Goldberg & Stefan Moore (Producers and Co-writers), Susan Lambert & Adam Kay (Executive Producers), Mark Middis (Editor)

A Strong Female Lead

Using archival footage, A Strong Female Lead explores the gender politics during the term of Australia’s first and still only female prime minister, examining the response and tone of media commentators, the Australian public and within parliament itself.

Production Company: Northern Pictures

Key Creatives: Tosca Looby (Director), Karina Holden (Producer)

Why Do People Hate Jews?

John Safran learns what drives racism, through true crime stories.

Production Company: Princess Pictures

Key Creatives: John Safran (Creator/writer/presenter), Laura Waters & Mike Cowap (Executive Producers)

SBS has a long history of supporting the broadcast of single documentaries including through the Untold Australia strand.

In addition to the selected projects, Documentary Australia Foundation will separately provide development funding for Marhaba Films’ Life After Juvie. In the ongoing commentary surrounding youth offending, where seven out of 10 young people return to prison after release, this documentary hears directly from the offenders to present a fresh perspective on the issue.


To download a PDF of the media release click here.