PUBLISHED15 Mar 2024

Impact Producer Program update – IF Magazine

Aprille Asfoura, AJ Linke selected for Documentary Australia Impact Producer Program

Filmmaker Aprille Asfoura and sustainability and environmental advocate Anna Jane (AJ) Linke will receive mentorship from Documentary Australia as part of its 2024 Impact Producer Program.

The pair, both from regional NSW, will now take part in a series of masterclasses with experts in the fields of impact, distribution, fundraising, filmmaking and communications, after which they will each be assigned to different films, chosen from one of the Documentary Australia impact areas. Whereas last year’s program ran for 10 months, this year’s initiative will incorporate eight months of training.

Having studied documentary production at AFTRS, Asfoura has since held roles spanning story development, directing, creative writing, and project management across festivals, scripted shorts, VR, and documentary features. She also worked with Screen Australia for two years supporting the Gender Matters Task Force.

Linke is known for founding the waterway waste education event Seaside Scavenge at 21 years old, with the not-for-profit organisation responsible for educating more than 10,000 people about the reality of the plastic and textiles industries. She has since broadened her focus to food production systems and aims to bring a holistic lens to regeneration and community transformation stories.

The announcement comes as one of the inaugural participants prepares to have her work showcased with Maggie Miles and Maggie Eudes’ Trailblazers, a Stan Original documentary that centres on the journey of the Australian national women’s football team and will premiere in the lead up to this year’s Olympic Games in Paris.

Natasha Akib.

Natasha Akib, a co-creator and director at social enterprise Digital Storytellers, joined Documentary Australia as an impact producer for the film after completing last year’s program.

She told IF she was able to draw on her mentorship under Documentary Australia in crafting an impact strategy that aimed to progress gender equality in sports and beyond,

“We started from scratch with Trailblazers in researching the issue area and consulting with the communities impacted by the issues touched on in the film and from there, developing a really comprehensive strategy,” she said.

“In particular, I think the learnings around partnerships have been instrumental in certain phases of the campaign. We are essentially forming this bridge between this film and the organisations and stakeholders that have been working on this issue for decades, if not more.”

Documentary Australia CEO Mitzi Goldman said she looked forward to working with the two new participants while continuing to engage with Akib.

“Last year’s inaugural program produced very encouraging outcomes, with two immediately gaining employment with impact producing for film projects and all four participants actively engaged in the industry,” she said.

“We will be running several public events where we encourage emerging impact producers and the wider documentary filmmaking community to attend to share experiences and build networks.

“As with so many things, we can do more working together than alone.”

The Impact Producer Program is supported by The Snow Foundation, Screen Australia, Screen NSW, Minderoo Pictures, Dyson Bequest, and venue partner Shark Island Institute.

Originally published here.