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Production   /  Michelle Sparks

A Clever Label

VR pioneer Michela Ledwidge explores the links between anti-LGBTQI lobbyists, organisations and politicians.


Impact areas





  • DIRECTOR Michela Ledwidge

  • PRODUCER Michela Ledwidge



A highly organised, well-connected and well-funded organisation wields hidden influence within Australian society and democracy. Using the discourse of religious freedom as a smokescreen, it makes LGBTIQ people the focus of fear, uncertainty and doubt for political leverage.

Its name, the Australian Christian Lobby, is a clever label because it implies the ACL represents Christians in Australia. But who does it really represent? And what are the effects on the health and wellbeing of LGBTIQ young people?

A Clever Label is an interactive immersive documentary experience that enables audiences to unearth hidden connections between anti-equality lobbyists, senior Australian politicians and international organisations. Unlike a traditional documentary with a fixed narrative and one-way communication, ACL’s presenter, Michela Ledwidge invites audiences to independently follow threads that intrigue them to form their own conclusions.

Support this project

15.56% funded
  • $80,000.00

  • $12,450.00

  • August 2022

  • 1

Minimum amount is $ Maximum amount is $





Donations 2016 to May 2019 4 Donors $12,450.00

Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

A rising global tide of far right politics, or fascism, requires "an other" to react against and LGBTQI people are facing new challenges to their human rights.

In Australia the Australian Christian Lobby has dominated the debate over religious freedom by focusing on the right to discriminate on the basis of sexuality and gender identity. The ACL waged a successful campaign to remove protection against bullying of LGBTQI young people in schools and it has deep pockets for legal action. It has gained extraordinary influence behind closed doors, out of proportion to the supporter base it represents and has forced policy positions inconsistent with majority opinion.

This production will allow audiences to explore and discover the major players, funding sources and links to local and international influence.


What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

Our goal is to advocate for a more diverse society that better balances the rights of the individual with social cohesion. We aim to raise awareness of how the Australian religious right lobbies government and industry to put religious freedom ahead of LGBTQI rights. This project aims to empower more people to be part of the political process to support LGBTQI human rights by shining a spotlight on how laws are passed and decisions are made.


What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?

We want future generations of LGBTQI people in Australia to grow up safe and healthy, without fear, discrimination and aggression directed towards them in mainstream media and politics. We want to empower LGBTQI people and their supporters with modern tools and methodologies to investigate and challenge the rise of fascism that threatens our pluralistic society and democracy.


How will this documentary achieve its outcomes?

We have produced an immersive and interactive experience pilot involving a wide body of collaborators and testers. Covid-19 has halted our original plan of touring it to festivals, events and technology conferences so instead we have released it on Steam as a free download to be experienced on home VR systems. It will form the basis of a series pitch to Netflix and it is the basis of the next stage of building audience and momentum for further fundraising for the feature-length series.


How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?

We have partnered with various universities on the interactive development side.
We have received funding support from an LGBTQI giving circle.
We have received in-kind donation of time and information from researchers and policy people.

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?

We want more people to get out of their filter bubble and to talk to different people with different perspectives, on and offline. We want people to investigate how their elected representatives are voting on issues and to understand the motivations and interests of those policy-makers. We want people to work on a daily basis, in their neighbourhoods and in the ballot box for a more socially cohesive society with mutual understanding and respect between diverse groups. We also want more people to understand how the world works and encourage more diversity among decision makers. We want to see more people engaging with advocacy and political processes.

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

Downloads of the free immersive and interactive pilot version. Reach of the #acleverlabel hashtag, mailing list volume, shares and repostings of project content, online and media debate of project issues.
Visibility of key project insights and data points in local and international media.