Minderoo Pictures, which pitches itself as “a social impact film enterprise” is being launched by the Minderoo Foundation, one of the largest philanthropic organizations in the Asia-Pacific.
The new company starts life with a commitment of A$10 million ($7.7 million) from the foundation and a mission to develop, produce and assist in the release of screen projects that inspire change.
The first four projects in development will span themes of ocean conservation, plastics and human health and early childhood development in Indigenous communities.
Louie Psihoyos, director of “The Cove,” the controversial 2009 documentary about dolphin slaughter in Japan, is among the first to be backed by Minderoo Pictures. He will work Josh Murphy (“Artifishal”) on an untitled feature film.
Australian director Robert Connolly (“The Dry”) is receiving backing for his “Blueback” film which shot in West Australai between March and May this year. It stars Radha Mitchell, Mia Wasikowska and “Star Trek” and “The Dry” star Eric Bana.
Other early commitments go to “Honey Ant Dreamers,” directed by Michael Cordell (“Year of the Dogs”), and Emily-Anyupa Butcher and “First Born,” produced by Workshop TV.
Minderoo Pictures is headed by Australian film veteran Richard Harris as executive producer. Harris previously held leadership roles at Screen Australia and the South Australian Film Corporation.
“Minderoo Pictures will be a strategic and active collaborator seeking the best films, the best teams and the best ways to invest across the film value chain, from development through to production and release,” said Harris.
In addition to the film slate, Minderoo Pictures is also working to produce high profile, cross-platform impact campaigns, to reach diverse audiences across policy makers, schools, and the business sector.
“Lasting change doesn’t just happen by itself. To have real impact we must motivate people, companies, and governments to act, to reassess their behaviors or start a movement. This is what we hope to achieve through Minderoo Pictures,” said foundation chairman Andrew Forrest.
“Long form storytelling through film speaks to us in a unique way. It has the capacity to cut through, it can create movements for change and even trigger cultural shifts. Minderoo Pictures is seeking projects that will reach new audiences and inspire them to work towards a better, fairer world,” said Minderoo Foundation co-chair Nicola Forrest.