Category: Documentary


On Friday, September 25, Disney+ will debut its next original series from National Geographic, “Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom,” giving viewers an all-access pass to explore the magic of nature within Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and The Seas with Nemo & Friends at EPCOT.

Narrated by the award-winning fan-favourite Josh Gad (“Frozen,” “Frozen II”), the eight-episode docu-series is the ultimate tribute to the parks’ magnificent array of more than 300 species and 5,000-plus animals and the herculean tasks their animal care experts undertake to keep things running day and night.

Since Walt Disney first introduced the world to Mickey Mouse in 1928, animals have been at the heart of Disney storytelling. We’ve ventured deep into the forests with Bambi; swung through the jungles of Africa with Terk and Tantour; stood atop Pride Rock with Simba; and swam under the sea with Sebastian. Now, through “Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom,” Disney+ viewers peek behind the curtain of the most-visited theme parks in the world to explore Earth’s iconic animal kingdoms with Disney’s dedicated and highly-skilled animal care experts and veterinary teams as guides.

The docu-series introduces viewers to enchanting animals that have their own unique personalities and family dynamics, inviting fans of Disney, nature and animals to spend time with all the parks’ residents in brand-new ways, including the following:

Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail
Hang out with the newest member of the gorilla troop, baby Grace, named after the GRACE (Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education Center) gorilla sanctuary in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and help her dad and troop leader, Gino, celebrate his 39th birthday.

Harambe Wildlife Reserve
Meet animal keeper Rory and come face to knee with his best friend, supermom Masai giraffe Kenya; play fetch with black rhino Badru and his keeper, Katie.

Kilimanjaro Safaris
Swing past a day spa as keeper Nicole gives two hyenas a bath in the hopes that they’ll be as endearing to guests as they are to her; watch Dakari, the alpha male African lion, reign over his land; and meet Kinsey, the alpha lioness, who’s the real ruler of the pride.

Discovery Island
Stop by the love nest of Carri and Bones, an endangered vulture couple, as animal keeper Tricia sets the mood for mating and steps up as eggsitter.

Tiger Temple
Witness animal care experts employing extra creativity to keep critically endangered Sumatran tigers Anala and Sohni entertained.

The Seas with Nemo & Friends at EPCOT
Plunge in with some of the 3,000 ocean animals that call it home, including an injured wild sea turtle, Harry; rescued manatees Lil’ Joe and Lou; Darby, a pregnant spotted eagle ray; and aquarist Amanda, who is also expecting.



‘Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom’ captures the spirit of these two world-famous parks and its animals and ushers that feeling directly into viewers’ living rooms,” says narrator Josh Gad. “Each episode, we get to know these animals intimately and are immersed in the magic of Disney, and it’s been a joy giving voice to this ultimate adventure.”

“Whether you have visited our parks hundreds of times, or you are being introduced for the first time through “Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom,” viewers will get an unparalleled, all-new experience as they meet some of the most intriguing animals in our care,” says Dr. Mark Penning, Vice President, Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment, Disney Parks. “I’m extremely proud of the work our team does to accomplish and deliver on Disney’s commitment to best-in-class animal care and conservation as we aim to live in harmony with nature and protect the wondrous wildlife on our planet.”

Filmed across five months, the series incorporates cutting-edge technology, including custom-built GoPro enclosures, 18-foot cranes and underwater camera systems, to highlight the magic found in every crevice of the kingdom. “Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom” dives into the details of each park, unveiling the multifaceted aspects of animal care, operations and Imagineering. Viewers get up close to veterinarians working in one of the world’s most advanced animal health facilities as they solve a menagerie of medical mysteries and revolutionise the care they give to their animals.
Groundbreaking conservation remains a critical component of The Walt Disney Company’s mission, and “Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom” also highlights the parks’ commitment to protecting the magic of nature. Since 1995, the Disney Conservation Fund has directed $100 million to support nonprofit organisations working with communities to save wildlife, inspire action and protect the planet. In addition, Disney Conservation Team Wildlife works hand-in-hand with the animal care teams to deliver best-in-class scientific programs to conserve wildlife in Disney’s backyard and beyond and inspire people from around the world to care for the planet through everyday actions. 


 Good news for Aussie motor sport fans: Stan has announced that the new documentary feature film Brabham will be available exclusively on Stan from Friday 7 August. A brilliant new account of a racing dynasty and the price of immortality, Brabham reveals both the making of an icon and a son’s quest to overcome conflict and fulfil a legacy.

Exposing the media’s role in creating sporting myths, Brabham tells a David and Goliath tale of a homegrown hero pitted against the giants of Ferrari, Lotus and Maserati. Jack Brabham remains the only person to have won the F1 Driver’s and Constructor’s Championships in his own car. Greatness, however, comes at a cost – the strain between Jack and his youngest son David portrays two generations of men determined to define themselves on their own terms. The challenges of family legacy and the determination to see the Brabham name reborn are key drivers to this dynastic drama, as the Brabham marque stands poised to challenge international motor sport once more.

“The story of Jack Brabham is not simply a tale about what it takes to get to the top of the game, in this case motor racing, it is an unflinching personal account of the tenacity and engineering prowess it took to turn, what was considered a fanciful dream, into reality,” says director and co-writer, Ákos Armont.

“Our aim has been to deliver an insightful examination, warts and all, of how Sir Jack managed to defy the odds and emerge as one of the great innovators of his generation and one of the most celebrated Formula One drivers in history.”

Featured in the documentary are never-before seen interviews with some of the world’s greatest motor sport legends and heritage racing personalities including; Sir Jackie StewartSir Stirling MossJohn SurteesBernie EcclestoneRon DennisMark WebberDavid Brabham and the surviving members of Sir Jack’ s 1966 Championship winning team. The frank insights and revelations of these participants offers a fresh look at the Brabham legacy and the birth of modern Formula One.

Taking the audience on a rollicking adventure of brazen youth, ingenuity and daring through depression era Australia, into London’s swinging 60s and on to the aftermath of the excesses of speed in the ‘deadly 70s’; the film follows one of the greatest stories of sporting success the world has ever known while ultimately asking the audience to consider the often fraught relationships between fathers and sons, the cost of fame and how the media creates sporting mythologies.

Brabham is directed by Ákos Armont (Aurora Films) who also co-wrote both the film and Harpers Collins companion book Brabham: The Untold story of Formula One along with renowned motoring author, Tony Davis. Armont and Antony Waddington (The Eye of the Storm) also co-produced, with Jonathan Shteinman acting as Executive Producer. Brabham was produced in association with Heckler and with the support of foundation partners the Australian Grand Prix and the Australian Racing Drivers Club.

Watch and share the trailer here:

Brabham will premiere 7 August exclusively on Stan


Summary: A look at the rise and fall of alternative rock in the 1990s.

Year: 2019

Australian Cinema Release Date: TBA

Thailand Cinema Release Date: TBA

Australian VOD Release Date: TBA

Country: Australia

Director: Shaun Katz

Screenwriter: Shaun Katz, JB Sapienza

Cast: Steve Albini (self – Big Black), Martin Atkins (self – Public Image LTD), Aaron Beam (self – Red Fang), Josh Blum (self – Sugartooth), Jon Bunch (self – Sense Field), Joey Castillo (self – Queens Of The Stone Age), Jeremy Chatelain (self – Jets To Brazil), Jim Coleman (self – Cop Shoot Cop), Chris Connelly (self – Ministry), Tim Cronic (self), John D. Cronise (self – The Sword), Marston Daley (self – My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult), Dave Dicenso (self – Cro-Mags), Aimee Echo (self – Human Waste Project), Neil Fallon (self – Clutch), Ted Gardner (self), Bryan Giles (self – Red Fang), Mike Gitter (self), Mike Graff ((self – Course Of Empire), Billy Graziadei (self – Biohazard), Derrick Green (self – Sepultura), Adam Grosman (self – Skrew), Ron Holzner (self – Trouble), Todd Huth (self – Primus), Marc Hunter (self – Sugartooth), Pepper Keenan (self – C.O.C.), Walter A. Kibby II (self – Fishbone), Garrett Klahn (self – Texas Is The Reason), John Leamy (self – Surgery), Mike Lewis (self – For Love Not Lisa), Brian Liesegang (self – Filter), Chad Lovell (self – Course Of Empire), Roy Mayorga (self – Stone Sour), Clint McBay (self – For Love Not Lisa), Peter Mengede (self – Helmet), Jamie Miller (self – Bad Religion), Michael Jerome Moore (self – Course Of Empire), James Moore (self – Downset), Jack Natz (self – Cop Shoot Cop), Alex Newport (self – Fudgetunnel), Phil Owen (self – Skatenigs), Zeke Piestrup (self), Petey Reichert (self – Rocket From The Crypt), Jesse Rhodes (self – Stegosaurus), Bryan Riche ((self – The Sword), James Robbins (self – Jawbox), Greg Saenz (self – My Head), Walter Schreifels (self – Quicksand), Brian Ares Schwager (self – Downset), Kelllii Scott (self – Failure), Craig Silverman (self – Only Living Witness), Shawn Smith (self – Brad), Laurel Sterns (self), Louis Svitek (self – Ministry), Matt Tecu (self – Dig), Texas Is Te Reason (themselves), Matt Wallace (self), David Wyndorf (self – Monster Magnet), Sean Yesult (self – White Zombie)

Running Time: 96 mins

Classification: TBC





Dave Griffiths’ Underground Inc: The Rise & Fall Of Alternative Rock Review:

Watching a music documentary is normally a very black or white experience. I normally find that either the documentary has been designed to do nothing else but promote or praise an artist or it is there to bring an artist undone like the infamous Kurt & Courtney. Rarely, do you ever get to see a balanced documentary that is willing to show the good and bad of its subject.

Going into Underground Inc: The Rise & Fall of Alternative Music I was expecting one of those black or white doccos. This was either going to be a film that concentrated on the positives of alternative music or it was going to focus on the unfounded negatives – alternative music leads to depression and suicide yada yada.

To my surprise though Shaun Katz’s film actually ends up being a concise and informative film that explores the world of the underground music scene during the 1990s… a time when the underground scene very much took over the charts and verged on becoming the mainstream.

As some of Katz’s subjects talk about back in the early 90s we saw one of the biggest changes the music scene had ever seen. One week Whitney Houston was the top of the charts and literally a week later Nirvana had taken that spot… and music as we knew it had changed forever.

With Underground Inc. Katz doesn’t swim in the shallow end of the pool. This isn’t a fan-made documentary where he wastes screen time chatting to groupies or ‘that guy that was once in the front row at a Nirvana show.’ Katz goes in deep and chats to the likes of Sean Yseult from White Zombie, Steve Albini who was the producer for both Nirvana and The Pixies and then chases down bands like Helmet, Cop Shoot Cop and Corrosion Of Conformity to get a really inside look at what the underground music scene was like at that time.

If you want a warts and all documentary about alternative music, then this is it. The film explores the highs – bands signing million dollar deals because suddenly alternative music was popular but he also explores the lows – bands who were snapped up in the alternative frenzy only to be left high and dry by record labels who had no idea how to market them. The result for many was devastating, band in-fighting through to some artists finding themselves more than $200,000 in debt to the label they signed with.

If Katz’s aim was to show the world that for every Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins there was an equally as good band who were over-looked but kept slaving away then it certainly achieved that. As far as the filmmaking style of the film goes it works brilliantly. There is no boring voice-over or lame re-enactments. Instead Katz lets the film flow by chatting to people who were there and not only witnessed the events they are talking about but also lived through them.

Underground Inc: The Rise & Fall Of Alternative Music is a must see for anyone who lived and loved music through the 1990s. This is one of the greatest snapshots of the era that I have ever seen and while it does glorify the music it also shows the dark side of the music industry and how signing to a major label is not always the blessing that artists expect it to be. This is one of the most important music documentaries of modern times.




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Today, Disney+ shared the trailer for its upcoming original series “Rogue Trip,” premiering exclusively on the streaming service on Friday, July 24.

“Rogue Trip”, led by ABC News Correspondent Bob Woodruff and his 28-year-old son Mack Woodruff, takes viewers on a father-son adventure to some of the world’s most unexpected places – roguish nations and territories mostly known for conflict, but each possessing a unique power to surprise, amaze and inspire. They’ll visit Colombia, Papua New Guinea, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Lebanon and Ukraine. Along the journey, Bob and Mack will share raw, big-hearted moments when “going rogue” together changes their perspectives – not just on their own relationship, but on other people and places.

All six episodes of National Geographic’s “Rogue Trip” will be available to stream on Disney+ beginning July 24,2020. 


Summary: A short documentary that looks at the lives of Etty Hillesum and Franz Jaegerstaetter.

Year: 2018

Australian Cinema Release Date: NA

Thailand Cinema Release Date: NA

Australian VOD Release Date: 10th July 2020

Country: Australia

Director: Grant Fraser

Screenwriter: NA

Cast: Michael Finney (Pirest), Rachel Griffiths (Etty Hillesum), Kali Hulme (Franziska Jaegerstaetter), Neil Pigot (Bishop), Oscar Redding (Franz Jaegerstaetter), Jenny Seedsman (Franz’s Mother)

Running Time: 42 mins

Classification: TBC (Australia)





Dave Griffiths’ Strangers To The World Review:

I’ll be the first to admit that I am a history buff. I’m the person who while in a car will yell out for it to stop so I can go and look at a historical marker that I have spotted on the side of the road. I can’t explain it I have just always been that way. Even as a child I would throw my Golden Books out of the way in order to get to my Ned Kelly colouring book.

It is perhaps for that reason that I warmed to new Australian documentary Strangers To The World the way I did. Featuring prominent Australian actors Rachel Griffiths (Muriel’s Wedding) and Oscar Redding (Van Dieman’s Land) the documentary looks at the lives of Franz Jaegerstatter and Etty Hillesum – two people that stood up to the Nazi regime during World War II and refused to allow their morals to be changed.

With Strangers To The World I found the subject matter enthralling. Being a fan of Terence Malick’s 2019 film A Hidden Life Catholic-resister Franz Jaegerstatter has been someone I have been yearning to learn more about for awhile now. Watching Strangers To The World did fill in some of the blanks for me. I was able to learn about the fact that Jaegerstatter lived a rebellious life and only turned to religion during the rise of facism in Europe – but there was something that was unsettling for me throughout the documentary; the very Australian accents during the dramatisations.

Scenes such as Jaegerstatter confronting his Bishop (Neil Pigot – Blue Heelers) about where the Catholic Church should stand on the rise of Nazism was a fascinating watch and was well delivered by two talented actors, but at the same time I just couldn’t ‘not’ here the Australian accents which at times seem to distract from the power of the scenes.

It was also the same with the dramatisations during the story of Etty Hillesum. Having never heard her story before I sat glued to the screen wanting to learn more. Again the theatrical-style dramatisations – this time delivered as great monologues from the talented Rachel Griffiths reading from Hillsum’s letters – looked great but could have been so much more natural had Griffiths been asked to adopt a Dutch accent.

If the sole aim of Strangers To The World is to educate and inspire then it certainly hits it mark. Having watched the documentary I now feel like I know a lot more about Jaegerstatter and received a great insight to how he was feeling in the last days of his life. Likewise I now know about the amazing spirit and determination of Etty Hillesum who remained smiling even while she was in a concentration camp. So powerful was the delivery of her story here that I am trying to find a way to read her letters and diaries.

However if the aim of Strangers To The World was to entertain then I am not sure that it worked. As a documentary it felt to me like the kind of film that would be shown to a High School history class or screened at a museum rather then something that would have people lining up at a cinema to watch. To be succinct it feels like it was more designed to be a Sunday afternoon docco on the ABC then it is to be a big cinema experience.

Strangers To The World is an inspirational film but it is also the kind of documentary that makes you want to learn more about the subjects at the hand. It is well worth a look if you a serious history buff but may be a little dry for those looking to be entertained at the same time.





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IMDB Rating: A Good Woman Is Hard to Find (2019) on IMDb


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The trailer for new Australian documentary Slim & I has just been released.

For over 50 years country music legend Slim Dusty and his wife Joy McKean trail-blazed their way across Australia performing, writing and collecting songs of the bush and its people. They created a musical legacy that to this day continues to entertain and inspire, a catalogue of plain speaking yet profoundly insightful music documenting the rural Australian experience. Theirs is perhaps one of the greatest partnerships in Australian music history.


SLIM & I is a feature documentary that tells the incredible story of that partnership and of the brilliant woman who lived beside, rather than behind, the legend. Australia’s own “Queen of Country Music”, Joy McKean.

Slim & I will be released in Australian cinemas on August 20th.


Dark Matter Distribution today launched the website, trailer and poster for feature documentary The Leadership, following the announcement of the film’s world premiere in the 2020 Sydney Film Festival. Produced by multi-award winning Bunya Productions’ Greer Simpkin (Mystery Road, Sweet Country), The Leadership is written and directed by acclaimed documentary maker Ili Baré in her feature length debut.

 A global pandemic and the urgent crisis of climate change are showing us that we need to be guided by science more than ever before. At the same time, our world leaders have never been more scrutinised. The world is crying out for the best minds of our generation for solutions. But women are disproportionately excluded from both leadership and STEMM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Maths and Medicine). The Leadership reveals the systemic challenges and obstacles for women in STEMM and why it could have a profound impact on us all. 

In 2016, an ambitious leadership initiative for women working in STEMM fields called Homeward Bound was launched. As the maiden voyage of the pilot program set sail for Antarctica with the first 76 scientists on board, documentary maker Ili Baré and her small film crew joined the voyage to document the experiment ‘warts and all’. 

Filmed on location in Antarctica, Argentina, Indonesia, China, Australia, United Kingdom, France and United States, the film follows a handful of the scientists back to their homes and workplaces to reflect on their journeys post-voyage. 

 Director/writer Ili Baré said “When I boarded the ship to Antarctica in 2016 I had no idea what to expect. But as events unfolded on board I began to see the ship as a microcosm for a wider story about us all. And four years later, it is amazing to me that this film we have created about science, women and leadership feels more relevant by the day.”

Producer Greer Simpkin said “‘In a time of great change, director Ili Baré has delivered a complex and compelling film about the change we want to see. We are incredibly grateful to the Sydney Film Festival for bringing our film to audiences right now. Bunya is immensely proud of The Leadership and we congratulate Ili on her feature doc debut.”

 The Leadership screens in competition for Sydney Film Festival’s Documentary Australia Foundation Award for Best Australian Documentary. 
The Leadership is one of the 2016 cohort of Good Pitch Australia films alongside 2040, In My Blood It Runs, Ghosthunter, Dying to Live and Guilty. 


The Leadership is Produced by Bunya Productions in association with Screen Australia, Good Pitch Australia and Screen NSW.  Director/Writer: Ili Baré; Producer: Greer Simpkin; Executive Producer: David Jowsey.


The Leadership will release in cinemas nationally later in 2020 through Dark Matter Distribution and will be accompanied by a 3 year social impact campaign.


Passion River Films has acquired worldwide rights to Jorgy Cruz’s debut feature “Funny Pains.” The feature documentary features Nikki Glaser, whose recent Netflix stand-up comedy special “Bangin” made the NY Times’ Best Comedy Specials on Netflix list. Jim Norton, another comic with real estate on Netflix with his special “Mouthful of Shame,” is also featured. Hot comediansBonnie McFarlane, Andrew Shultz, Yamaneika Saunders, Krystyna Hutchinson, Rich Vos and Mehran Khaghani,who also have specials released on Netflix, Comedy Central, YouTube and other platforms, round out this elite cast of working comics. Krystyna Hutchinson, co-host of the popular feminist podcast “Guys We F’d” served as executive producer, along with Pablo Minier, TahuantyPena, and Daria Scoccimarro.

“Funny Pains” follows stand-up comedian Wendi Starling, whose career, working process and life areclosely examined in the film, as she navigates one of the entertainment’s toughest, most competitive professions – all during the height of the #MeToo movement, feminism, and the infiltration of stand-up comedy by the politically correct. Above all else, the film delves into serious issues of sexual assault and mental health, with Starling revealing her not-so-private personal traumas.

The deal was negotiated by Hewes Pictures’ head of sales and acquisitions Princeton Holt and Passion River’s Director of Sales and Acquisitions Mat Levy, after talks that first began at EFM 2020 in Berlin. About “Funny Pains”, Levy said “We are very proud and honored to release ‘Funny Pains’ and help share Wendi’s brave narrative with the world. Wendi’s story is one of risk and determination, ironically the very essence of great independent cinema. We are confident that you will fall in love with Wendi and be inspired by her bold journey as much as we were. And above all else, we promise you that you will LAUGH!”

Director Jorgy Cruz added, “’Funny Pains’ is a two-part love letter to NYC and to stand-up comedy; both which I love, respect and owe a lot to. Having the support and representation of the superb team at Hewes Pictures made all the difference. They’re one of the main reasons why we are now ready to share our movie with the world on all platforms. I’m grateful and humble.”

Passion River is gearing up for a second quarter 2020 release date.