The Sydney-based independent production company will develop and produce all genres of unscripted and scripted projects for local platforms and the international marketplace.
They open their doors with four film and TV shows in production with Australian broadcasters and screen agencies.
They include an untitled Wiggles project in partnership with Augusto Entertainment’s Cass Avery and Daniel Story, and with funding from federal screen agency Screen Australia. The Wiggles is a successful children’s musical group that has been on the scene for 30 years and has been involved with both TV and film.
SAM is also readying “Inconceivable: The Secret Business of Breeding Humans,” a documentary for SBS about investigative journalist Sarah Dingle’s discovery at the age of 27 that her mother was impregnated with an anonymous donor sperm. It also has Screen Australia backing.
Also being set up are: an architecture series; and a feature-length music documentary. Additional projects will be announced in the coming months.
Aitken’s “Playing with Sharks” has been nominated for a 2022 News & Documentary Emmy Award. The 2021 Sundance Film Festival hit follows the story of maverick conservationist Valerie Taylor and her love affair with the ocean’s most terrifying predator. Aitken’s debut feature “A Cinematic Life” appeared in official competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 2017. Other major works include “Shark Beach,” with Chris Hemsworth (2021); “The Pacific: In the Wake of Captain Cook, with Sam Neill” (2019); and 2015’s “Getting Frank Gehry.”
Jacques has developed and produced documentaries across a wide range of genres for many of the world’s major broadcasters and distributors including the ABC, SBS, BBC, National Geographic, Arte, PBS, Curiosity Stream and Discovery. She has helmed international co-productions and delivered programs such as “The Pacific: In the Wake of Captain Cook with Sam Neill,” “Slim and I”; “Miriam Margolyes: Almost Australian”; and “The Living Universe.”
“We’re thrilled to have a dynamic new home for our wide range of passions, interests and curiosities and look forward to continuing to grow our slate of documentary and drama projects with other like-minded creatives,” said Aitken and Jacques. “With several projects underway and a pile more in development and imagination, our door is open to filmmakers both experienced and emerging to come and say hello to SAM, a place of trust, bold ideas and plenty of humor in realizing great stories.”