2022 AIDC awards announced

I'm Wanita and See What You Made Me Do take home gongs, as well as our own David Tiley.
See What You Made Me Do has won Best Documentary Series. Image: Northern Pictures.
Last night at a special presentation at ACMI, Melbourne and live-streamed around the world, the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) announced the winners of 2nd Annual AIDC Awards.
The AIDC Awards ceremony marks the conclusion of the four-day in-person and online conference for the documentary and factual industry.
The 2022 hybrid event saw the participation of more than 90 local and international speakers, and more than 100 local and international decision makers in a program of 40-plus sessions and 500 curated meetings, with many more spontaneous meetings made throughout the event.
AIDC 2022’s hybrid format provided the best of both worlds for delegates, facilitating a much-anticipated opportunity to catch-up in-person, as well as giving them enhanced online access to international speakers and decision makers.

The winners of the second annual AIDC awards, selected by the AIDC awards jury, are:
Matthew Walker, Carolina Sorensen, Clare Lewis, Tait Brady | People Productions
What the jury said: ‘A daring boldness punctuates this film stylistically, and its colour, music and larger-than-life personalities give it a dramatic flair that seems stranger than fiction. Yet I’m Wanita simultaneously succeeds in capturing life’s fragility and disappointments, providing a complex view of reality with a subject with so much heart that it is impossible not to reflect on who we are as individuals and what, we too, can do to make the world a better place’.

Read: Film Review: ‘I’m Wanita’ isn’t just another ‘Star is Born’ story

Tosca Looby, Karina Holden | Northern Pictures
What the jury said: ‘We were all struck by the power of this original documentary series. Harrowing, compelling, important, it treated the cases and people involved with care, and dealt with the raw testimony of the contributors in a compassionate and fresh way.

‘The slow build of the opening story revealed the insidious, subtle ways that domestic violence can creep and grow in a relationship. By showing the varied types of violence, explaining terms such as coercive control, and showing that no matter how difficult and complicated the situation, help was out there, felt like public service television at its best. See What You Made Me Do stayed with us, haunted us even.

‘These are important stories that people need to hear, engage with, and try to understand. And it certainly felt like a vital tool in the mission against domestic violence’.

Santilla Chingaipe, Tony Jackson, David Collins | Chemical Media
What the jury said: ‘Our African Roots explores the surprising and forgotten history of African Australians and their role in events that helped shaped post-colonial Australia. Led by the formidable Santilla Chingaipe, the documentary uses an approachable tone that invites conversation and awareness raising for a mainstream audience.

‘Beautifully crafted, the film has high production values and utilises stylish dramatised vignettes that speak to an audience that needs to hear the message. Stories like Our African Roots are an important legacy that helps to rewrite and expose the dominant colonial narrative’. 

Read: Eva Orner on her climate-change film: ‘Vote as if your life depends on it

Olivia Martin-McGuire, Brooke Silcox, Ron Dyens | No Thing Productions & Sacrebleu Productions 

What the jury said: ‘Freedom Swimmer is a short documentary that uses a unique hybrid approach incorporating archival material, footage of protests, staged scenes between grandfather and granddaughter plus animation to illustrate flashbacks. It draws on parallels between those who escaped China in the 1970s with the modern-day protesters in Hong Kong, providing a unique perspective on how the past affects the future.

‘These emerging filmmakers have showcased their talent in creating a truly unique, contemporary, and moving documentary that’s absorbing and is quite relevant in today’s global political landscape’.

Madison Griffiths, Beth Atkinson-Quinton | Broadwave

What the jury said: ‘The Tender: Roia Atmar podcast accomplishes the rare feat of giving voice to a community that many have no access to, in solidarity with those who do. It’s powerful and impactful storytelling that hooks the listener with one character’s story, and invites them to understand their experiences before, during and after a horrific and life-changing event.

‘The skillful use of music and sound design throughout is highly evocative, rounding out what is a nuanced and thoughtful series. We came away thinking differently about a familiar topic, and felt more invested and empathetic toward the many, many people who have experienced domestic abuse. We also feel gratitude and admiration for Roia Atmar, who so bravely shared her story and will no doubt inspire other women, in similar situations, to step forward’. 

Ben Joseph Andrews, Emma Roberts | Pernickety Split

What the jury said: ‘With not one word spoken aloud, Gondwana is an open-play documentary set within a lush 3D spatial rainforest that unfolds over a 24-hour experience, as the devastating effects of a century-worth of climate crisis impacts the story world. Participants can roam the forest, watch the sunset on the beach, interact with precious flora, fauna — and data — as they witness the effects of real climate change data unravel a precious ecosystem.

‘For its inventive use of long timescale and climate crisis simulation harnessed within a poetic, contemplative user experience’. 

Kylie Boltin, Ella Rubeli, Ravi Vasavan, Emma Anderson | SBS

What the jury said: ‘This interactive web-doc employs the platform to profound effect. From the unobtrusive gesture recognition system to aesthetics finely attuned to the characters’ story, the work shows careful attention for both source and craft. For a moving and inviting portrait of love shared through sign language’. 


As part of the AIDC Awards ceremony, the already-announced Stanley Hawes Award was presented to screen journalist, David Tiley. 

David began his long association with the screen industry as an educational script writer with the South Australian Film Corporation in 1973. This led to an eventful career in educational programs, documentary, script editing and screen funding, before his recruitment as the editor of ScreenHub in 2005.

‘Since then, he has written extensively on changing trends, policy issues and market developments in reams of sharp, fast and playful investigative journalism. A tireless champion of documentary and factual production, and one of our most passionate grassroots commentators on the screen business, David has long been a singular voice in the Australia media.’

Read: David Tiley wins the Stanley Hawes Award


In addition to the AIDC Awards, AIDC announced the winners of the pitch prizes for the 2022 FACTory International Pitching Showcase.

Prizes generously provided by Doc Edge, Hot Docs and Sunny Side of the Doc have been awarded to five of the project teams that competed in The FACTory: 

Sunny Side of the Doc (France) 
WINNER: Our Hoolocks

Hot Docs (Canada)
WINNER: Guardians of the River

Doc Edge (New Zealand)  
WINNERS: The Last Daughter, Solastalgia: Journeys Through A Scarred Landscape, and Campesinos

You can find more information on the AIDC website.  

Silvi Vann-Wall is a journalist, podcaster, and filmmaker. They joined ScreenHub as Film Content Lead in 2022. Twitter: @SilviReports