Congratulations to the unstoppable Inday Ford – graduand of the Graduate Certificate in Screen: Documentary, 2017 – who’s Shooting Cats documentary has been announced as the winner of the inaugural Pitch Australiana.
The Screen Australia and VICE Australia pitching competition comes with a tidy cash prize of $50,000 in production funding for a short form documentary to be released across VICE’s digital channels and broadcast on SBS VICELAND.
Directed by Inday Ford and produced by Dylan Blowen, Shooting Cats is an observational documentary that explores the catastrophic impact feral cats have on Australian wildlife and the complexities environmentalists face in their attempt to find solutions to this epidemic.
“Documentaries play a pivotal role in starting national conversations about challenging and at times, confronting subject matter and Shooting Cats will be no exception,” said Liz Stevens, Head of Documentary at Screen Australia. “The Australiana initiative encouraged documentary creatives to hone their pitching skills in a public forum at a major documentary conference. All four teams pitched exciting stories that introduced us to little known but distinctly Australian people and places. I congratulate the team behind Shooting Cats, and look forward to seeing their work on VICE and SBS VICELAND.”
“We’re thrilled to expand the Australiana series with its first commission, alongside Screen Australia,” said Katy Roberts, Head of Video at VICE Australia. “Shooting Cats is a great example of the uniquely Australian stories VICE likes to tell, engaging our local audience while bringing global appeal for the wider VICE audience. This topic is divisive and worthy of discussion, supported by strong characters – it’ll be exciting to share the film later in the year.”
Shooting Cats was one of four finalists announced at the Australian International Documentary Conference held in Melbourne on 6 March 2018. The other finalists included Activists, an exploration of activist subculture in Australia directed by Mike Nayna and produced by Mark Conway; The Making of Baker Boy – Fresh Prince of Arnhem about Australia’s first hip hop artist to sing in Indigenous language directed by Tim Hillier and produced by Jess Langley; and In For The Ride about a 100 year old travelling carnival directed by Isabel Darling and produced by Joshua Smith.
“I am very excited to be working with VICE Australia,” said writer and director Inday Ford. “Shooting Cats takes us on an unlikely journey while exploring complexities of a very curly problem. It’s an edgy, shocking and non-traditional approach to documentary with global appeal, making it perfect for VICE Australiana.”
Delving beyond the pillars of our national identity to present a raw and diverse portrait of modern Australia, previous Australiana episodes feature Australia’s black market medicinal marijuana community, teenage burnout stars in regional Victoria, the Indigenous queer experience in the Tiwi Islands, and a search for love in the outback.