ABC iview launches new Australian documentary strand

As of today, submissions can be made to the ABC for new documentaries that 'entertain, enlighten, move and inspire'.

ABC iview is aiming to become the ‘home of premium Australian documentaries’ with the launch of its new Australian Features strand.

ABC Head of Factual Susie Jones announced the initiative last night at the opening of the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC), and said the ambition for Australian Features is to create a world-class strand of contemporary documentaries that speak to a broad audience.

‘In a streaming era, feature documentaries are more important than ever, and audiences consistently gravitate towards them,’ Jones said. ‘Australian documentaries are world-class and have the ability to entertain, enlighten, move and inspire. We want ABC iview to be the premier destination for the very best Australian documentaries.’ 

Starting from today, submissions can be made to commissioning editors and development executives in the ABC Factual team, who are looking for documentaries ‘ranging in genre and format, including true-crime and investigations, observational access, extraordinary stories of everyday Australians, unknown stories of well-known Australians, and first-person unfolding narratives’.

‘We’re very open to pitches for this strand, so be ambitious and present us with your biggest and best idea,’ Jones added. ‘We expect these documentaries to attract broad audiences and garner critical acclaim.’

Recent documentaries for the ABC include Harley and Katya, Freeman, The Dark Emu Story, Firestarter and Folau. Last financial year, the broadcaster commissioned more than $24m in documentary and factual content with the production sector, generating, it says, nearly $52m of total production in Australia.

Paul Dalgarno is author of the novels A Country of Eternal Light (2023) and Poly (2020); the memoir And You May Find Yourself (2015); and the creative non-fiction book Prudish Nation (2023). He was formerly Deputy Editor of The Conversation and joined ScreenHub as Managing Editor in 2022. X: @pauldalgarno. Insta: @dalgarnowrites