Documentary Australia reveals Impact Producer Program participants

Now in its second year, the Documentary Australia Impact Producer Program has selected its 2024 participants.

Documentary Australia has announced that Aprille Asfoura and AJ Linke are the two participants for its 2024 Impact Producer Program.

The Impact Producer Program is a ten-month professional development program, aimed at training the next generation of impact producers, and it was first launched by Documentary Australia in 2023.

Placements for 2023 were awarded to four participants: Andrea Foxworthy, Mel Harwin, Natasha Akib and Rowena Potts.

The second year is focused on training the two new participants from regional NSW, Linke and Asfoura, for 8 months in producing with impact.

Asfoura is a Palestinian-Australian woman and mother with a background in the arts and screen industry in Australia and overseas. She studied documentary production at AFTRS, inspired by her time in New York collaborating with acclaimed documentary filmmakers on their award-winning documentaries Cameraperson (Kirsten Johnson); and Life, Animated (Julie Goldman).

Linke is a sustainability and environmental advocate, ‘determined to shape the narrative around our changing climate’ with stories that inspire action in people and communities from all backgrounds. AJ founded an environmental non-profit at the age of 21. Its programs were responsible for educating over 10,000 people about the reality of the plastic and textiles industries, as well as the potential for an alternative.

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‘Last year’s inaugural program produced very encouraging outcomes, with two immediately gaining employment with impact producing for film projects and all four participants actively engaged in the industry,’ said Documentary Australia CEO, Dr Mitzi Goldman. 

‘This is a much-needed program for the sector and we look forward to working with two new participants while retaining one of our last year’s cohort, Natasha Akib, to work as an impact producer on a film launching soon. 

‘We will be running several public events where we encourage emerging impact producers and the wider documentary filmmaking community to attend to share experiences and build networks. As with so many things, we can do more working together than alone. 

‘Thank you to our funders who share the vision with us and understand the importance of this role. We can only do this work of storytelling and social change with your belief and support,” added Dr Goldman. 

After completing the 2023 program, participant Natasha Akib has since joined the Documentary Australia team as an Impact Producer for The Stan Original Documentary Trailblazers, which captures the transformational journey of the Australian national women’s football team. 

‘It has been a great opportunity to put everything we learned on the program into action, with the aim of progressing gender equality in sports and beyond,’ she said. 

‘We are thrilled to have Natasha’s energy and enthusiasm on the impact campaign for Trailblazers to be released later this yearWe are looking forward to continuing to support the documentary ecosystem by training new impact producers to support documentary films to create change on pressing social issues,’ said Documentary Australia Impact Director and Program Lead, Lisa Kanani.

Documentary Australia’s Impact Producer Program is supported by The Snow Foundation, Screen Australia, Screen NSW, Minderoo Pictures and Dyson Bequest, plus venue partner Shark Island Institute.

Learn more about the Impact Producer Program at the Documentary Australia website.

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