A film that celebrates the love, lives and creative collaboration of artists Archie Roach and Ruby Hunter as they prepare and perform at the premiere of Kura Tungar—Songs from the River, the result of a two-year collaboration with Paul Grabowsky and the Australian Art Orchestra. Using footage shot in 2004 of interviews, rehearsals and the opening night, the film is a portrait of artists at the peak of their powers and a cinematic musical journey into the landscape of soul.
Philippa Bateman is a producer/writer working across specialty feature film, documentary, television drama and screen-based media arts. She’s a recipient of the 2019 Documentary Australia Foundation/Create NSW She-Doc Fellowship and was ‘embedded’ at Alex Gibney’s Jigsaw Productions in New York where she wrote the feature doc CRASH (in development) to be directed by Alexis Bloom. She is also writing and producing US based feature AMERICAN HUNTER (dir. Alex Kershaw). In 2020, she will produce and direct WASH MY SOUL IN THE RIVER’S FLOW about singer-songwriters Archie Roach and Ruby Hunter, produced by Kate Hodges and executive produced by Archie Roach and Ian Darling.
As executive producer/producer, key credits include: the ACMI/Artbank commissioned non-linear documentary The Beehive about murdered urban activist and heiress Juanita Nielsen (dir. Zanny Begg), the Vivid-commissioned Starry Night by artist Brad Miller, critically acclaimed feature film Jindabyne starring Laura Linney and Gabriel Byrne (dir. Ray Lawrence), and award winning documentary feature Alone Across Australia (dir. Ian Darling).
For two decades, Philippa worked as a senior creative executive in the UK, US and Australia. Philippa’s film career began in script development — her first job was with Oscar-winning screenwriter William Kelley (who wrote Peter Weir’s Witness) working on an adaptation of the Aldous Huxley Novel: The Genius and the Goddess. She was a senior development and production executive at the Australian Film Commission where she supported and oversaw the production and development of first features such as The Boys (starring David Wenham and Toni Collette), Two Hands (starring Heath Ledger and Rose Byrne) and Thank God He Met Lizzie (Cate Blanchett, Frances O’Connor and Richard Roxburgh). From 2000-2005, Philippa had deals with US studios United Artists for whom she consulted on acquisitions and Universal Studios while she was the CEO/Co-owner of award-winning production company April Films (SPA Independent Producer’s Award 2006).
Philippa has a degree in Philosophy and Literature, and on graduation worked as a research assistant to senior academics in the Department of Art and Film at the University of Sydney. Recently she consulted and is developing a film project for Professor Danielle Celermajer and the Multispecies Justice Project at the University of Sydney. Philippa wrote the Good Pitch Australia Blog for the Shark Island Institute about filmmaking, philanthropy, including opinion pieces on social justice issues (2015-2017; previously her long form non-fiction features have been published in Harper’s Bazaar, Elle and The Global Mail (including photo essays). She has also exhibited photographs at the Australian Centre for Photography.