ABC and Screen Australia have picked up five films led by female creative as a part of their joint funding initiative to capture what it’s like to be a 12-year-old girl in Australia. The films will premiere on Australian children’s public broadcaster ABC ME’s Girls season on October 11, the UN’s International Day of the Girl.
Available on ABC ME, the ABC ME app and ABC iview, the two dramas and three documentaries were selected following a nation-wide call for Australian female content makers in March.
Drama Summer’s Day is produced by Di Roberston as well as written and directed by Hattie Dalton. It follows Summer as she tries to make sense of her changing body. The other drama, First Day, is written and directed by Julie Kalceff and produced by Kirsty Stark. It follows transgender character Hannah as she starts school while transitioning into becoming a girl.
The documentaries include The Funny Ones, created and produced by Belinda Dean and directed by Genevieve Bailey, following girls dreaming of a life as comedians and learning from some of Australian’s funniest comedians. Shame follows a 12-year-old trying to learn Noongar, an Indigenous Australian language. It is created, written and directed by Karla Hart and produced by Paloma Bartsch. Finally, A Field Guide to Being a 12-Year-Old Girl (pictured) is about twelve girls investigating their own species in a blend of theater and documentary. It is produced by Katrina Luca and written/directed by Tilda Cobham-Hervey.
All of the films have begun production and will star 30 new female actors, all of whom range in age from nine to 14.
Each production team will receive a budget of US$63,000 (AUS$80,000) to make its film, along with mentoring from industry filmmakers. Jan Stradling and Libbie Doherty from ABC Children’s TV, and Nerida Moore from Screen Australia, are also providing editorial guidance.
The Girls season is a part of ABC’s corporate plan to contribute to diversity, quality and innovation in the Australian film and television industry.