The four documentaries included in SBS's next season of Untold Australia will be Mirrabooka, Miss Lebanon, The Cocos Question, and RARA RABBIS.
Screen Australia will provide funding to each of the documentaries involved in the third season, via its Documentary Commissioned program.
“We are proud to partner with SBS in bringing these four distinctive documentaries to the small screen," said Liz Stevens, Senior Manager of Documentary at Screen Australia.
"SBS’s Untold Australia documentary series takes audiences into truly unexpected territory, providing unique snapshots of multicultural communities around Australia that add to a rich and layered understanding of this country."
The four documentaries were chosen via a public callout for pitches and submissions for hour-long documentaries. Entries were to be 'contemporary, untold stories that will surprise and occasionally shock', and were asked to focus on hidden subcultures, unexplored areas of multicultural Australia, or an unexpected way of tackling issues.
SBS was inundated with entries, but managed to narrow their choices down to the four winning films, outlined below:
Emerging West Australian producer Alice Wolfe presents a documentary looking at the policing tactics in one of the country's most multicultural suburbs. Set in the Perth suburb of the same name, it will focus on the specialist Mirrabooka Multicultural Unit, tasked with aiding the local police force by facilitating communication with a community that speaks over 100 languages.
Mirrabooka is produced by Alice Wolfe and Joined Up Films, and directed by Stuart O’Rourke (Struggle Street Series 1 & 2) and Sam Field (Shock Art, Candidate Games).
Miss Lebanon takes audiences behind the scenes of the 2017 Miss Lebanon Australia beauty pageant in Sydney where the entrants are vying for the top title, while the 2016 winner competes for the international title in Lebanon.
Produced by Janine Hosking (My Khmer Heart, Ganja Queen, 35 Letters) and Robin Eastwood (Who Do You Think You Are), and is also directed by Hosking.
RARA RABBIS will document the work of a group of Australian Chassidic Jewish Rabbis who travel through the Australian Outback to find hidden communities of ‘lost Jews’ and offer them an opportunity to reconnect with their heritage.
Produced by Lizzette Atkins (Winter At Westbeth) and Rhian Skirving (Matilda and Me), and directed by Danny Ben-Moshe (Strictly Jewish, Breaking the Silence) who won the Walkley Documentary Award in 2014 (Code of Silence).
The Cocos Question
The Cocos Question will shine a light on the remote and little-known Cocos Islands off the coast of West Australia, inhabited by two very distinct cultures: descendants of Christian British colonialists, and the Sunni Muslim Coco Malays. The doco will paint a remarkable portrait of a highly unusual cohabitation arrangement that is both peaceful and entirely segregated.
Produced by Tony Jackson, written by David Collins and Jackson, and directed by Ben Pederick.
Untold Australia is SBS's dedicated multicultural strand that highlights documentaries which explore stories from hidden cultures within Australia.
Beginning in 2016, the first season included Indian Wedding Race, Strictly Jewish and A Modern Mutiny, and the second season saw a collaboration with Screen Queensland to fund four Virtual Reality projects.
The third season of Untold Australia will air in 2018. See more information about Untold Australia on SBS here.