Nominees for the Third Annual Australian International Documentary Conference Have Been Annouonced


Today, the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) proudly reveals the nominees for the third annual AIDC Awards, and is honoured to announce filmmaker and educator Dr Cathy Henkel as the winner of the $5,000 Stanley Hawes Award for 2023. The 2023 AIDC Awards Presentation will be held at ACMI, Melbourne on Wednesday 8 March 2023. 
The AIDC Awards recognise outstanding works of new Australian documentary and factual content across six different categories. Alongside Dr Cathy Henkel as the 2023 Stanley Hawes Award recipient, AIDC attendees will celebrate the talent and achievements of the nominees during AIDC 2023. 
Natasha Gadd, CEO/Creative Director, AIDC, said, “The AIDC Awards shine a spotlight on exceptional nonfiction projects from the past year as determined by our incredible AIDC 2023 Awards Jury, made up of a stellar line-up of local and international industry representatives. The outstanding nominees were selected by the Jurors on the merit of their creative treatment of the subject, quality of the storytelling and integration of craft & technical elements. 
“We extend our congratulations to all nominees across the six categories and thank our Awards Jurors for their time and consideration in selecting the 2023 awards nominees, as well as our pre-selection committee members. Enormous gratitude to our AIDC Awards sponsors – Film Finances, Artisan Post Group,  AFTRS and Deakin Motion Lab for their generous cash prizes. On behalf of the AIDC Board, we also extend our congratulations to Dr Cathy Henkel for being this year’s well-deserving recipient of the 2023 Stanley Hawes Award.” 
The 2023 AIDC Awards Presentation will be held on Wednesday 8 March at ACMI, Melbourne. 
The exceptional talent and work of Australian practitioners will be recognised across six award categories: Best Feature Documentary, with a $5,000 cash prize presented by Film FinancesBest Documentary/Factual SeriesBest Documentary/Factual Single, with a $5,000 cash prize presented by Artisan Post GroupBest Audio Documentary, with a $3,000 cash prize presented by AFTRSBest Short-Form Documentary; and Best Interactive/Immersive Documentary, with a $3,000 cash prize presented by Deakin Motion Lab

This award is supported by completion guarantor Film Finances with a $5,000 cash prize. 
Because We Have Each Other
2022 | Arenamedia
Director: Sari Braithwaite | Producer: Chloe Brugale
Clean (aka The Cleaning Company
2022 | Walking Fish Productions & Good Thing Productions
Director: Lachlan Mcleod | Producers: David Elliot-Jones, Charlotte Wheaton
2022 | Rock Island Bend Productions Pty Ltd 
Key Creatives: Kasimir Burgess, Oliver Cassidy, Chris Kamen, Annie Venables, Claire Smith, Natasha Pincus
2021 | Stranger Than Fiction Films 
Key Creatives: Jennifer Peedom, Jo-Anne Mcgowan, Joseph Nizeti
Wash My Soul in the River’s Flow
2022 | Enigma Machine in association with the Shark Island Institute
Director/Writer: Philippa Bateman | Producers: Archie Roach (AC), Kate Hodges, Philippa Bateman | Executive Producers: Ian Darling And Emma Donovan

Dan Read, Film Finances CEO, said, “AIDC continues to be a highlight of the year for us, offering a platform to engage with and acknowledge the remarkable individuals within the nonfiction community. This year, we are proud to extend our support for documentary filmmakers and are thrilled to present the Best Feature Documentary award at the 2023 AIDC Awards.”

Stuff the British Stole
2022 | Wooden Horse, Wildbear Entertainment, Cream Productions
Creator & Writer: Marc Fennell | Series Producer: Kate Pappas | Executive Producers: Richard Finlayson, Kate Harrison, Alan Erson 
Great Southern Landscapes
2022 | Mint Pictures in association with Magdalene Media 
Key Creatives: Rachel Griffiths, Dan Goldberg, Adam Kay
The Australian Wars 
2022 | Blackfella Films Pty Ltd 
Key Creatives: Rachel Perkins, Darren Dale, Jacob Hickey
This award is supported by post-production company Artisan Post Group with a $5,000 cash prize. 
Still We Rise
2022 | Tamarind Tree Pictures
Producer: Anna Grieve | Writer/Director: John Harvey | Composer: Leon Rodgers | Editor: Patrick Mccabe
I’ll Be Frank
2022 | Studio Dropped 
Director/Editor: Aaron Lucas | Producers: Eloise Walker, Christina Schoefisch | Lead Animator Ed Smith | Director of Photography: Stephen Korytko
Australia Uncovered: Kids Raising Kids 
2022 | Only Human Productions, SBS
Producer: Sally Aitken | SBS Head of Factual: Joseph Maxwell | SBS Commissioning Editor: Georgina Davies

Michael Darren, Head of Post Production at APG, said “We are passionate about documentary cinema, and supporting filmmakers and storytellers is really important to us. It’s a privilege for us to be able to support an award that celebrates one-off documentary and factual works and we’re proud to be involved.”


This award is supported by AFTRS, with a $3,000 cash prize.  

Ben Roberts-Smith v the media
2021 | The Guardian

The Greatest Menace: Inside the Gay Prison Experiment
2022/2023 | Lockdown Productions, Audible
Researched, Written and Produced by Patrick Abboud & Simon Cunich; Audible Director of Original Podcasts: Paul Horan

2022 | In Films

Jeanie Davison, AFTRS Head of Industry & Alumni Engagement, said, “AFTRS is thrilled to be sponsoring the Best Audio Documentary Prize at AIDC. Audio documentaries are an important part of our radio and podcasting education, and offer an impactful way to tell important stories that reach new audiences.”


The Dreamlife of Georgie Stone
2022 | Closer Productions
Key Creatives: Maya Newell, Georgie Stone, Sophie Hyde, Lisa Sherrard, Matt Bate

Regenerating Australia
2022 | Regen Studios
Key Creatives: Damon Gameau, Anna Kaplan

The Accidental Archivist
2022 | Compass, ABC TV
Producer: Tracey Spring | Editors: Danielle Akayan/Philippa Byers | Executive Producer: Amanda Collinge

Eden Alone Surpasses Thee
2022 | Tom Chapman Film Pty Ltd
Director: Tom Chapman | DOP: Gabriel Morrison | Music: Finn Clarke | Editor: Geri Docherty


This award is supported by research centre Deakin Motion Lab (DML), with a $3,000 cash prize. 

Beyond the Milky Way
2021 | White Spark Pictures 
Writer & Director: Briege Whitehead | Producers: Jess Black & Briege Whitehead

Night Creatures
2022 | Film Camp
Writer-Director-Animators: Isobel Knowles, Van Sowerwine | Producer: Philippa Campey

2022 | Storyscape 
Key Creatives: Yalinguth Working Group

Stefan Greuter, Director of DML, said, “DML is an interdisciplinary research and knowledge community focused on pioneering screen experiences. We are passionate about creative applications of technology, and the AIDC Best Interactive / Immersive Documentary Award recognises outstanding work and encourages new voices and experiences to emerge.”

Night Creatures
The winner of this year’s lifetime Stanley Hawes Award is documentary filmmaker Dr Cathy Henkel.
Dr Henkel’s award-winning career spans more than 30 years as a documentary producer/director and writer, with credits including The Burning SeasonI Told You I Was Ill: Spike MilliganRise of the Eco-Warriors, and Laura’s Choice. She is the Director of the WA Screen Academy at Edith Cowan University and is an unfailing supporter of emerging documentary talent.  
Dr Cathy Henkel said, “I’m truly honoured to receive this prestigious award. As only the second Western Australian recipient of the award, and someone who worked in Northern NSW for much of my career, I am very pleased that AIDC acknowledges practitioners working outside of the eastern states capital cities. I also see this award as recognition of activist filmmakers and people working independently on passion projects.”
The Stanley Hawes Award was established in 1997 to honour documentary producer and director Stanley Hawes, Producer-in-Chief of the Australian National Film Board and Commonwealth Film Unit from 1946-1969 – and recognises the significant support he gave independent filmmakers in the documentary sector. Since its inception, 24 recipients have now been recognised for their outstanding contribution to the documentary and factual sector in the tradition of Stanley Hawes. The recipient receives a $5,000 cash prize.
The 2023 AIDC Awards Presentation will be held at ACMI, Melbourne on Wednesday 8 March 2023. To learn more about each nominee and the winner of the Stanley Hawes Award, visit

Conference 5-8 March, ACMI, Melbourne
International Marketplace 9-11 March, Online
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