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Post-production   /  Bridget Callow-Wright

Big Deal: Is Our Democracy For Sale?

A wake-up call about the frightening extent to which money has infiltrated Australian politics.


Impact areas





  • DIRECTOR Craig Reucassel

  • PRODUCER Aline Jacques



Feature + 2 x 1hr TV Series

Christiaan Van Vuuren is an everyday Aussie – a comedian and a father with a keen sense of fairness and justice. Christiaan is proud of his country, its peaceful society and its sound political system. So proud, in fact, that he might be a little complacent. Smug, even.

Big Deal begins with Christiaan mocking the fact that the US democracy has been taken over by big money, but he soon realises that the situation in his home country is not all that different. A wake-up call about the frightening extent to which money has infiltrated politics, Christiaan’s unlikely journey shows us why we should care, and how we might work together to ensure our democracy is safeguarded from being sold to the highest bidder.

Please note: This film + 2x 1hr TV series is now completed. All funds now being donated contribute to the Big Deal impact campaign. Funds that have contributed to making of the production are listed on the Big Deal website-

Support this project

55.09% funded
  • $550,000.00

  • $302,975.00

  • December 2021

  • 26

Minimum amount is $ Maximum amount is $





Roslyn Irwin $50.00
Anonymous $200.00
Lois Goodin $50.00
Andrew Turnour $100.00
Anonymous $50.00
Bruce Kerr $100.00
Nancye Miles-Tweedie $50.00
Nigel Hungerford $200.00
Eugene Lubarsky $100.00
Geoff Tosio $10.00
Anne Martin $50.00
Anonymous $50.00
Anonymous $50.00
Olivier Vallee $200.00
Sean Ghalayini $15.00
Australian Communities Foundation ATF Wanless Family Fund $20,000.00
Just World Investments $20,000.00
Leonie Van Raay $500.00
Anonymous $1,000.00
Australian Communities Foundation $75,000.00
Susan McKinnon Foundation $25,000.00
Oranges & Sardines Foundation $10,000.00
Australian Communities Foundation $75,000.00
Australian Fairness Fund SubFund of ACF $50,000.00
Paul Wiegard $200.00
Ian Darling AO $25,000.00

Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

The extent to which money has infiltrated our political process, and the non-transparent influence of corporate lobbying, is an issue of growing concern for many Australians. It is a bi-partisan problem that is leading to increasing disillusionment with the democratic process, and with our institutions of government.
Big Deal aims to shine a light on some of these challenges as well as demonstrate ways to improve fairness, transparency and confidence in our democratic system.


What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

The extent that money and power have infiltrated our democracy is a bipartisan issue that the Australian public needs to be aware of at this fragile point where we are increasingly divided about politics. Leveraging the power of documentary film, Democracy Project is a tool for overdue political reform. By supporting Australians to better understand the current state of our political system, the film will build pathways for greater democratic engagement and advocacy for a fairer democracy.


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

The film’s impact campaign is expected to seek the following key outcomes:
1. Provide strategic support and platform for key partners pursuing critical democratic reforms including: political donation reforms, the establishment of an Independent Commission Against Corruption at the Federal Level, real time disclosure amd caps of political donations, setting campaign limits, and banning members of parliament from becoming lobbyists for five years.
2. Communities across Australia being provided with practical strategies to participate in democratic renewal.
3. Engage with partners to support democratic institution building including: the role of the judicial system, media and electoral process.
4. Engage young people and renew interest and participation in democratic processes.


How will this documentary achieve its outcomes?

• Targeted event community screening campaign + guides and expert panels – metro and regional
• Education materials for high school students
• Political / policy screenings facilitated by key partners
• Short form media strategy – viral videos to stimulate community conversation.


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

With guidance from Executive Producer, Malinda Wink, we are applying the learnings and networks from Good Pitch Australia to Democracy Project. This format brought together filmmakers with NGOs, foundations, philanthropists, social entrepreneurs, corporates, broadcasters and media — to forge powerful alliances around ground breaking films that shift consciousness, behaviour and influence policy on key social justice issues.
Initial conversations with the sector have indicated strong interest in the story and potential to reach a wide audience, including:
• Human Rights Law Centre.
• Transparency International
• Human Rights Commission
• Centre for Public Integrity
• Citizens for Democratic Renewal
• New Democracy Foundation
• Investigative Journalists (eg. Susie Smith); and
• Philanthropic foundations

The resounding feedback is that this project offers a fresh and timely lens on the functioning of our democratic system.

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

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

1. Support initiatives proposed by our stakeholder partners for democratic reform.

2. Build community engagement in democratic processes, especially among young people.

3. Key decision makers support for key reforms, backed by a groundswell of community support calling for action.

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

We will be guided by the campaign priorities of our stakeholder partners, and by the discovery within the story-telling. Anticipated:
• Creation of a Federal ICAC and a community keenly engaged in its existence and power.
• Increased voter participation in key target groups (POC and young people).
Increased awareness of and participation in democractic processes beyond election day (this will be qualitatively related by our stakeholders, and ABC polling).