or find Podcast versions here 

A Salute to Pat Fiske - November 2019

Honouring the Amazing Life and Times of Pat Fiske – documentary director, producer, mentor and soundie extraordinaire. Featuring excerpts from her work, special guest speakers, insights into our common history, anecdotes you’ll never forget – never a dull moment.

Hosted by Martha Ansara and featuring Dar Gerber, Alison Lyssa, Tom Zubrycki, Stewart Young, Gill Leahy, Erika Addis, Ruth Cullen, Mitzi Goldman, Rebecca Barry, Madeleine Hetherton, Beth Armstrong, Tim Kreibig, Karen Johnson, Catherine Scott, Jane Castle, Sharon Connolly, Kim Beamish, Paige Livingston and Michael Gissing.



It’s been almost a century since John Grierson coined the term “documentary” in a film review and later described documentaries as “the creative treatment of actuality”. Now, in the post-convergence transmedia era, documentarians and factual storytellers are using new media and new technologies to bring rich, immersive true stories to new audiences. Since the game-changing true crime podcast ‘Serial’ (2014), podcast listeners — and subsequently, the opportunities for production — have increased exponentially. How are they made? How are they funded or monetised? How do you find and engage with your audience? Start listening… and join the conversation with our expert panel of Australian documentary & factual podcast creators!

Kate Montague, Director & Founder, Audiocraft
Ruby Jones, Presenter & Producer, ABC: Unravel ‘Barrenjoey Road’
Sabrina Organo, Producer of ‘The Burial Files‘ & Creative Prod of Multimedia at the State Library of NSW
Alexx Stuart, Producer & Presenter, ‘Low Tox Life‘

WITH an exclusive audio update from Hedley Thomas of The Australian’s controversial true crime hit ‘The Teacher’s Pet‘, which has now had over 50 million downloads.

Forum producer and host: Felicity Blake, The Dove Media


Trailers have a powerful impact on the marketability of a film and pitch reels have never been more important, with funding bodies and broadcasters requiring them as proof of concept. What are funding bodies, financiers, commissioners and sales agents looking for? What are the key elements of a good trailer or pitch reel? What are the important structural and technical aspects of editing trailers? How should a pitch reel showcase your project? How are social impact trailers important to documentary?

Watch this OzDox Masterclass by Danny Lachevre (FanForce) and discussion by the expert panel – Bernadine Lim (Screen Australia), Susie Jones (SBS), and Simon de Bruyn (XYZ Films). Chaired by Paige Livingston.

Explore the possibilities of online docs giving filmmakers the power to reach new audiences.

Panel discussion with

Alyssa Orvis – Investment/Development Manager Screen Australia
Kylie Boltin – SBS Commissioning Editor Online Documentaries
Inday Ford – Director of Shooting Cats (VICE)
Dr Megan Hayward – UTS Senior Lecturer, Media Arts & Production Program
Chair: Rich Welch – Head of Documentary AFTRS


Feature Documentary is experiencing a popularity boom, but are funding programs and policy settings keeping pace? What about the new streaming platforms and the current campaign for government regulation? Is cinema-on-demand working? What lessons can we learn? And what about free-to-air?
A frank discussion with leading documentary filmmakers.

Madeleine Hetherton – China Love
Nicholas Wrathful – Undermined
Anna Broinowski – Please Explain
Catherine Scott – Backtrack Boys
Rebecca Barry – China Love
Chaired by Tom Zubrycki

Dangerous documentaries - February 2019

From going deep undercover, experiencing incarceration to keeping it together when a natural disaster occurs. Hear about the challenges filmmakers overcame to tell their stories dangerous documentaries.

Jen Peedom on Sherpa. James Ricketson on Cambodia. Mark Davis on Australian investigative journalism. Olivia Rousset on social justice.

Chaired by Paige Livingstone

A Tribute to Curtis Levy - November 2018

An inspiring Masterclass with veteran filmmaker Curtis Levy.

Hosted by Bob Connolly.

Featuring excerpts from Curtis’ films: Sons of Namatjira, Breakout, Gillies, Riding the Tiger, High Noon in Jakarta, Hephzibah, President vs David Hicks, and The Matilda Candidate.

Past collaborators reflect with Curtis on his extraordinary body of work, including Geoff Burton, Leo Sullivan, Christine Olsen, Bentley Dean, and Jo Smith.

Intro by Rod Freedman

This groundbreaking film captures the untold love-hate story of Australia’s most famous and contentious national icon. Set in distinctive Australian landscapes, KANGAROO explores the complex and conflicting opinions around this unique marsupial that is at the center of the largest mass destruction of wildlife in the world.

A panel discussion and Q&A with:
Directors: Kate McIntyre Clere & Mick McIntyre
Whistle-blowers: Dianne Smith & Greg Keightley
Moderator: Brendan Toole

Film makers, writers and artists join to pay tribute to Australian film maker Michael Edols at AFTRS with Nick Torrens, Pat Fiske, Mark Gould, Les McLaren, Jennifer Isaacs, Max Hensser, Will Davies, John Ogden, Marion van den Dreisschen (Edols) including clips from many of Michael’s films.


This forum focuses on issues surrounding representation, diversity and autobiography in docos. [via Wikipedia] “Nothing About Us Without Us!” is a slogan used to communicate the idea That no policy should be decided by any representative without the full and direct participation of members of the group(s) affected by that policy. This involves national, ethnic, disability-based, or other groups that are often thought to be marginalised from political, social, and economic opportunities. How do documentaries change when they’re stories told about the self? We’ve invited 3 documentary directors to talk about their experiences telling stories about their own lives, or about their own communities – stories that don’t normally get told from the inside.

Moderated by Ana Tiwary of Diversity in Australian Media

alongside panelists:

Su Goldfish (The Last Goldfish)

Amin Palangi (Love Marriage in Kabul)

Adrian Russell Wills (Black Divas)

Lazarus Lordi (Wheel a Mile)

curated by Donna Hogan.

OzDox, The NFSA and AFTRS present Preserving and Restoring our Stories

From a reel of nitrate found in a cake tin, to a new digital life as a 4K DCP, film preservation and restoration is an artform in itself.

Curators and specialists reveal how they rescue and preserve our stories, including a mini-doco from Vandal on the restoration process. Clips include Midnight Oil, Rocking the Foundations, The Cheaters and more…


Gayle Lake – NFSA, Chief Curator
Martin Thorne – Vandal Producer
Tara Marynowsky – NFSA Curator
Ray Argall – Editor and Restorer

Moderated by Rod Freedman

OzDox presents Films That Fight Back – The Activist Documentary

From ocean pollution to the environmental vandalism of mega mining, the selling off of public buildings to mandatory sentencing laws… These are some of the most controversial and challenging fights of our time.

A diverse panel of leading filmmakers discuss their work tackling these issues head-on, and how they are engaging with and rouse audiences into action. Specific activist documentary projects are discussed by each panellist.

Karina Holden (Blue), Nell Schofield (Guarding the Galilee/A Mighty Force), Mark Gould (Save The Bondi Pavilion) & Ivan O’Mahoney (The Queen & Zak Grieve).

Chaired by Ruth Hessey




OzDox, AFTRS and the ADG present

Copyright: Fair Use, Fair Dealing, Piracy

…and everything else you wanted to know as a documentary filmmaker. Chaired by ADG CEO Kingston Anderson who is a member of the Australian Copyright Council.

With Panelists:

Grant McAvaney – CEO, Australian Copyright Council
Lori Flekser – ED, Content Australia
Kate Haddock – Senior Copyright Lawyer/Partner, Banki Haddock Fiora

Doco 180 & Digilante Q&A - December 2017

OzDox presents Doco 180 & Digilante Q&A

Tom Zubrycki presents three short documentaries ‘Black as me’, Mission Impossible’, and ‘My Body Says’ from the special Doco 180 initiative between Screen Australia and Whimm (News Digital Networks Australia’s new female digital platform), with panelists Alyssa Orvis (Documentary Investment/Development Manager, Screen Australia) and Shannon Harvey (Director, Mission Impossible).

‘Digilante’ is a lauded short documentary by Mike Nayna. Mike posted a clip of a bus passenger’s rant on a French tourist, it went viral. Vigilante explores the initial incident, the media explosion and the impact it had on the lives of the people involved. Is public shaming on social media ever justified?

Mike Nayna speaks with Tom and takes part in an audience Q&A via skype from Melbourne.


OzDox and the Australian Cinematographers Society (ACS) present: A Salute to Martha Ansara – filmmaker, cinematographer, feminist, writer, political agitator, mentor and then some.

Join Ozdox, ACS and Martha to celebrate her wide-reaching contribution to Australian film and take a trip through five decades of social and cinematic ferment: a reminder of valuable strategies of resistance and action, collectivity, creativity and fun.

Presented by  Pat Fiske, with veteran filmmakers Alec Morgan, Calvin Gardiner, Jeni Thornley, Kit Guyatt, Stephen Wallace and Storry Walton.

Those were our days of wine and roses … our wins and our setbacks. For those who were there, walk with us down memory lane and reunite with old friends. For those who perhaps weren’t even born, it will be a chance to hear about the thrills, spills and chills of what has come before – the institutional and collective support we lobbied for and developed in order to make creative, inclusive and committed films.

Martha Ansara has led a busy life – she’s worked on many films in various capacities – many of which will be discussed at this Salute. For this session, we asked her to make a list of her significant involvements, influences and associations – we had no idea of the breadth of her engagement …

For full bios goto

Event produced by Pat Fiske, Rod Freedman and Tom Zubrycki. Projectionist: Alan Butterfield. Live stream mix: Peter Butterworth. Live Camera Operation: Brendan Toole & Erika Addis. Additional Editing by Brendan Palmer.

Cameras can now move in ways only dreamed of ten years ago. This event brings you everything you need to know about working with drones, gimbals and the latest cameras. The panel are working cinematographers shooting docos and corporates and camera company reps. Catch up on the latest small form, big sensor cameras designed to fly as well as being used on conventional support systems. Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro, Canon C200, & Sony FS7 Mk2 & FS5 alongside the smaller sensor Panasonic GH5 plus the Panasonic EVA1.

Featuring panelists: Erika Addis, Lizz Vernon & Andrew Forsyth [drones & aerial], Peter Coleman ACS & Yoshuya Shimasaki [gimbal demo], Lara Del Arte [BM URSA user], Tom Truong [Sony/Atomos user]. Chaired by Kim Batterham ACS. Also featuring a tribute to cinematographer Joel Peterson by Tom Zubrycki.

Event produced by Brendan Palmer, Erika Addis & Frank Shields. Projectionist: Alan Butterfield. Live stream mix: Peter Butterworth. Live Camera Operation: Pat Fiske & Gemma Quilty. Cam Tech support: Simeon Bryan. Camera Tests Edit: Jane St Vincent Welch. Camera Tests Grade: Luciano Marigo-Spitaleri. Edited by Brendan Palmer.

BREAKING TABOOS explores innovative styles of documentary making that delve into social topics and stories less spoken. The panel and projects are:

Max Bourke (Director) and Jackie Turnure (Episode Producer) from the ABC television series MAN UP were on a mission to break the silence around male suicide. They divulge their process from conception, getting it up with a broadcaster, and the emotional rollercoaster of making it. Aaron Smith (DP) and Jess Cohen (Producer) from YOU CAN’T ASK THAT, the ABC series that asks groups of misunderstood, judged or marginalised Australians the awkward, inappropriate or uncomfortable questions ‘you’ve always wanted to know the answers to but have always been too afraid to ask’. Sascha Ettinger Epstein (Director)  and Claire Haywood(Producer) discuss their doco, THE PINK HOUSE, the story of Kalgoorlie’s last original gold rush brothel, servicing the miners since 1904, through the eyes of the whimsical Madam Carmel, 70, and its longest-serving lady of the night. Andy Nehl (Producer) was one of the Producers of the Live show for SBS series FILTHY RICH AND HOMELESS. His prolific CV also includes other Taboo challenging projects such as Hack Live, The Chaser’s War On Everything, The Roast and Hungry Beast

Chaired by Paige Livingston, Co-Produced and Edited by Brendan Palmer. Projectionist: Alan Butterfield. Camera Operators: Pat Fiske & Rod Freedman. Thanks to AFTRS and Australian Directors Guild.

What opportunities exist for short documentary story-telling in Australia? Where can you get funding? What are the options for different formats, distribution, festivals and online streaming? Short documentaries exist in a variety of formats, and a variety of platforms – from online to the big screen. They are a discrete form of story-telling, self-contained, have a unique subject and say something about the world. Short documentaries give emerging filmmakers a chance to develop their storytelling skills, and work with strong creative teams. They are often a stepping stone to make longer films –television, feature documentary or drama.

Featuring panelists:
Bronwyn Kidd, director of Flickerfest International Short Film Festival.
David Rokach, director of Antenna Documentary Festival
Jo Chichester, Executive Producer. Executive Producer. ABC TV Arts.
Jessica Douglas-Henry, Series Producer, Compass ABC Arts
Bethany Bruce, story producer & recipient of Screen NSW Emerging Filmmakers Fund.
Also featuring an interview with Charlie Phillips, Head of Documentaries, The Guardian.
Chaired by Tom Zubrycki, an award-winning Documentary Filmmaker.

Presented by OzDox and WIFT (Women in Film and Television) and chaired by Gillian Leahy. Screen NSW led the way with new initiatives to get more women into roles in government supported films, and Grainne Brunsdon was actively involved in that initiative as Head of Strategy and Industry Development. Deb Verhoeven, Professor and Chair of Media and Communication at Deakin University, is outspoken on the topic, backed by fascinating research. Australian Directors Guild President and feature film director Samantha Lang has been involved in pressing for change at Screen Australia, which has recently announced new measures. President of WIFT and writer/director Sophie Mathisen has used direct action, such as the ‘sausage’ protest at the AACTA Awards. What progress has been made? What more can be done?

OzDox in partnership with Sydney Science Festival presents: How to MAKE A QUANTUM COMPUTER… and a GREAT SCIENCE DOCUMENTARY. Moderated by Ruth Hessey, award-winning filmmakers Sonya Pemberton (Jabbed), Isabel Perez (Redesign My Brain) and Peter Rees (Mythbusters) join renowned Australian Scientists Prof Andrea Morello and Prof Darren Curnoe to discuss how to craft entertaining stories out of highly technical, scientific information. Convened by Randall Woods.

A must for practising and aspiring filmmakers, this unique session convened by Rod Freedman and Leo Sullivan, showcases new sound recording technologies and essential practical advice from four award-winning experts.

Oscar winning sound editor and mixer David White (Mad Max Fury Road) reveals the consequences of poor sound for post production and solutions. With clips of challenging situations, sound recordists Leo Sullivan and Philip Myers present practical issues for crews and techniques for capturing good location sound. Lemac’s audio specialist, Ross Boyer demonstrates new generation technologies and equipment from his toyshop.

With thanks to Lemac for providing all the sound equipment.

Chaired by Rowena Potts, media practitioners from documentary, anthropology and the collaborative arts discuss the intricacies of collaborative documentary filmmaking. Featuring Mike Rubbo, (All About Olive, Much Ado About Something), Phillip Crawford (HURT, Knot At Home series, Rites of Passage), Willi Lempert and Liz Thompson (Sharing Our Stories, The Last Magician,Breaking Bows and Arrows, Cave In The Snow).

What is an impact strategy? What is this new buzz about? What is an impact campaign? How is it different for producers? How do you maximise audience reach and inspire people to act? How does it all fit in this new era of social impact documentary? Dr Mitzi Goldman (Documentary Australia Foundation) in conversation with Paul Weigard (Madman Entertainment) and Dr Andrew Pike (Ronin Films). 

Although we couldn’t stream the film, we recorded the post screening conversation and Q&A. The Silences is a personal essay documentary about the tangled bonds, secret histories and unspoken traumas of family life, that stretches from New Zealand to the Australian suburbs. It is an exploration of early childhood and the “silences” of the past that resonate in the present.  It draws upon a wealth of photographs, letters, oral histories, documentary footage and clips from the filmmaker’s previous work. It unfolds a mother’s story of lost opportunities, lost love and grief; a father’s story of work, mental illness and war; and a daughter’s story of trying to piece together a more complex picture of the confusing ties of love, loss and kinship between a mother and daughter.

A Masterclass of documentary cinematography curated by Tony’s longtime collaborator, Leo Sullivan, and chaired by Rod Freedman. With his signature storytelling approach, Tony Wilson ACS has a body of work spanning many Australian and International award-winning documentaries. His feature film work has been shown in Une Certain Regard at Cannes. Tony’s long association with many of Australia’s top documentary directors made extensive use of his legendary observational skills. What made his work so special?

In this OzDox forum, Bob Connolly, Kerry Brewster, Andrew Arestides, Curtis Levy, Tim Clark, Kay Pavlou and Mark Gould dissect their favourite ‘Wilson’ sequences.

As documentary filmmakers, it’s important for us to think about the future of the audiovisual material that we generate, the life span of the existing audiovisual material that we might use in our work, and the complexity of the archival film as a cultural, historical and environmental resource.  Join OzDox for an exciting forum with documentary filmmakers, preservation specialists and experts from Australia’s National Film and Sound Archive, including: Jeni Thornley, Michael Loebenstein, Mark Stewart-Pearson and Sophia Marinos. Chaired by Rowena Potts. Co-produced by Frank Shields.

Ob-docs are becoming a lost art, and the special challenges they present are not fully understood or appreciated. OzDox called out for ob-doc projects in production, and the selected filmmakers had the opportunity to pitch to a panel of experienced practitioners made up of Tom Zubrycki, Bob Connolly and Pat Fiske, who interrogated their ideas and methods, and answered questions.

The panelists started by taking the audience through one each of their well known ob-doc projects: Facing the Music (Connolly), Love and Marriage in Kabul (Fiske) and Molly & Mobarak (Zubrycki).

The film makers chosen to pitch their projects were:
Kim Beamish‘Oyster’
Eleanor Gilbert‘Treaty Time (working title) –’
Claire Evans & Jack Yabsley‘Kings of Baxter’…
Margaret McHugh pitched her film ‘I hate you for other reasons’ but approval to screen the clip on Youtube was not obtained, so she does not feature in this video.

Event produced by Rowena Potts and Tom Zubrycki.

Moderator Georgie McClean explores a wide range of topics with Penny Smallacombe, Head of Indigenous at Screen Australia; Sam Griffin, investment manager in the documentary unit of Screen Australia; producer and director Dena Curtis;  writer, producer and actor Trisha Morton-Thomas; producer Darren Dale, producer and executive producer Rachel Clements and series producer and director Jacob Hickey.

Four filmmakers show clips and reveal the ethical issues raised by their films, exploring the pitfalls and responsibilities. How do you approach the process? Can you predict the effects of a film on the subjects’ lives? What pressures are you under from broadcasters? How do you deal with the unexpected?

Chaired by Rod Freedman, the panel includes Marc Radomsky (Struggle Street and Outback Kids), Jennifer Peedom (Sherpa, Living The End and Solo), Blue Lucine (Forced Out, A Thousand Suns) and Rebecca Barry (I Am A Girl – Aziza’s Story).

Ruth Hessey moderates a crowdfunding Masterclass with:
– New York filmmaker Cheryl Furjanic ( on Back on Board
Dr Phoebe Hart live from Queensland on HANDBAG and more
Anna Cater on Rites of Passage (
Pat Fiske on When The Camera Stopped Rolling (…)
Nicole O’Donohue on The Last Impresario
Sarah Linton and Aaron Petersen on Zach’s Ceremony ( and
– New York filmmakers Carlo Velayo with Jessica Thompson on The Light of the Moon.

 GOOD PITCH² Briefing - February 2015

GOOD PITCH² AUSTRALIA connects the world’s best social impact films with new allies and partners, bringing together documentary filmmakers with foundations, not-for-profits, campaigners, philanthropists, policy-makers, brands, educators, broadcasters and media to forge powerful alliances around ground breaking films that are good for all these partners, good for the films and good for society. Find out more at

Mitzi Goldman (CEO of DAF) and Malinda Wink (Executive Director of Good Pitch2 Australia), present the session, showing clips and answering audience questions. Producer/Director Madeleine Hetherton joins them, with the perspective of a past participant.

Why might you use the Essay or Poetic forms of Documentary? What does this form offer the filmmaker? What do these films offer audiences? How can these films be made? Are there any rules?

Chaired by Associate Professor Gillian Leahy (My Life Without Steve, Baxter and Me), alongside Ben Tyler – film student (Going Home), who shows that you can make a very short evocative essay film; Dr Hart Cohen – Associate Professor, Director Research, School of Humanities and Communication Arts, UWS (Mr Strehlow’s Films) who explains where it all began with Chris Marker and Sans Soleil, and Dr Bettina Frankham – lecturer, UTS (How Many Ways To Say You), who explores the poetic and  how it is now expressing itself in new online forms of documentary.

HOW DO YOU CHOOSE YOUR DREAM CAMERA? How does a given camera stack up once you take it out of the showroom? Well, as always, that depends on you, your preferences and what you set out to do. This session showcases the latest offerings and how filmmakers are using them.

Hosted by Erika Addis, with panellists Michael Latham, Ben Allan ACS and Pieter de Vries ACS. Cameras on displayed on the night include: Arri Amira, Blackmagic URSA, Sony A7s, Canon C500, Sony FS7 & Panasonic GH4. Stefan Sedlmeier from Arri Australia, Paul Stewart from Canon Pro Motion Imaging, and Nick Buchner from Sony also discuss their latest technological offerings.

A session with editors and post production specialists to talk about the good, the bad and the ugly world we find ourselves in, the wonderful opportunities this new technology can offer and the need to reawaken some of the disciplines of the past.

Chaired by Tom Zubrycki, the panel includes post-production tech guru Mark Stewart-Pearson, online editor Roen Davis, and editors Andrea Lang, Andrew Arestides, and Karen Johnson.

Gathering, manipulating and presenting archival material is an art form. Through archival film making, a seasoned story teller can tap into our nostalgic tendencies, our memories and collective subconscious with precision and eloquence. This session showcases leading documentary Directors and Producers who specialise in the creative use of archival material. Their work represents the gamut of archival documentary film making, from entertaining to immersive, historic to academic.

Conceived by Brendan Palmer and moderated by Ruth Hessey, the Maestros are: Paul Clarke (Bombora – The Story Of Australian Surfing, Wide Open Road – The Story Of Cars in Australia,Lillian Roxon – Mother of Rock,Whitlam – The Power & The Passion), Shane McNeil
(Girt By Sea), Jeni Thornley (Maidens, To the Other Shore, For Love or Money), Nicole O’Donohue (Griff The Invisible, The Last Impresario).

Moderated by Pat Fiske and Julia Overton, this informative OzDox session explores the BEST FILM FESTIVAL STRATEGY with Jenny Neighbour (Programs Manager, Documentary Programmer, Sydney Film Festival), Matt Ravier (director, Possible Worlds Festival of American and Canadian Cinema), David Rokach (director of the Antenna Documentary Film Festival) & Dale Fairbairn (Marketing Manager, Industry & Markets, Screen Australia).

This discussion delves into why festivals matter, the multitude of release strategies to consider for your doco, taking into account your goals for festival release, when to submit, which festivals to apply for and in what order, making the most out of festivals (and their markets), attracting distributors and when they should become involved in the film, specialty film festivals, using resources at hand and what not to do.

Featuring adventure documentary pioneer Michael Dillon AM, Jennifer Peedom, Justin Jones from Cas and Jonesy, Storm Surfers 3D Marcus Gillezeau and The Crossing’s Julian Harvey & Clark Carter. Hosted by Frank Shields and produced by Frank Shields, Brendan Toole & Brendan Palmer.

In the spirit of things going wrong, parts of this session’s footage have been lost. These included Frank Shields, Jen Peedom and Michael Dillon’s presentations. However, Michael Dillon spoke the next day to Cinematography students at AFTRS, and this footage has been included. Jennifer Peedom speaks at another OzDox event here:

ACO Virtual is a world first interactive experience that lets the audience take control and play with 13 musicians from the Australian Chamber Orchestra. Michela Ledwidge and Mish Sparks are MOD Productions and take us through the history, production and the pioneering technology used to create the 360° cinema experience that is ACO Virtual. Chaired by Ruth Cullen.

Veteran ethnographic filmmaker David MacDougall in conversation with Rod Freedman, discusses the role of ethnographic films in the broader context of documentary and shows excerpts from some of his latest films.

Chaired by Ruth HesseyAlex Kelly, an Alice Springs filmmaker, activist and producer with Big hART, presents thoughts from her recent Churchill Fellowship study of Social Issue Documentary Outreach and Impact Campaigns in the UK and the US. She shows excerpts of some remarkable films and discusses their success (or failure) in supporting and generating campaigns for social impact. She has gathered evidence from filmmakers, outreach and impact producers, funders, NGOs and social change campaigners.