Ian Darling is an award-winning documentary filmmaker. He is Executive Director of Shark Island Institute and Chair of Shark Island Foundation.
His Director and Producer credits for Shark Island Productions include THE TWINS, THE FINAL QUARTER, PAUL KELLY – STORIES OF ME, THE OASIS, SUZY & THE SIMPLE MAN, IN THE COMPANY OF ACTORS, ALONE ACROSS AUSTRALIA, WOODSTOCK FOR CAPITALISTS, POLLY & ME and THE COMEDIAN. He was also a Producer on THE DEPARTMENT, LIFE AFTER THE OASIS, WALL BOY and STORIES FROM THE INSIDE, and an Executive Producer of FLY, WASH MY SOUL IN THE RIVER’S FLOW, PAPER AND GLUE, ALLEN V. FARROW, ON THE RECORD, 2040, THE FOURTH ESTATE, THE BLEEDING EDGE, UNREST, INVENTING TOMORROW and HOW TO CHANGE THE WORLD.
He recently co-wrote and acted in the award-winning play THE TWINS, a two-hander with comedian Greg Fleet. In 2021 the play was performed over 75 shows in Adelaide, Sydney, Kangaroo Valley, Canberra and Melbourne.
His photographs have been finalists in the National Photographic Portrait Prize, the Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize, the Sydney Life Photography Prize and the Head On Portrait Prize.
Ian Darling was Chair of The Caledonia Foundation from 2002 to 2022. He was Founder (and former Chair) of Documentary Australia Foundation, and Founder of Good Pitch Australia, which funded and helped create 19 social impact documentaries and outreach campaigns. He is a Member of the Impact Partners Advisory Board in New York. He was a former Chair of Sydney Theatre Company and STC Foundation, and a Director of National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) and The Salvation Army Advisory Board.
He received the Byron Kennedy Award for innovation and the relentless pursuit of excellence at the 2018 AACTA Awards. Ian received the AFI/AACTA Award for Best Direction in a Documentary, has twice been a Walkley Awards Finalist, a winner of two Film Critics Award, and nominated for numerous Australian Directors Guild, AFI/AACTA, and IF awards. He was named Australia’s Leading Philanthropist by Philanthropy Australia in 2017.
He is a recipient of the Creative Partnerships Australia Business Leadership Award, and his homeless film project THE OASIS was named one of ‘Australia’s Top 50 Philanthropic Gifts of All Time.’ In 2018 Ian Darling was appointed an Officer (AO) of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to documentary film production, to the performing arts, education and community engagement, and to social welfare organisations through philanthropic endeavours.
He has an MBA from IMD Switzerland, and a BA (Acc.) from the Australian National University.
Sally Fryer (ASE) is Senior Editor at Shark Island Institute. She was a founding Director of the Documentary Australia Foundation, and a Co-Producer of three Good Pitch Australia events.
She has 35 years experience as a film editor both in London and Sydney. She has edited well over 100 documentaries during her career and is still as passionate as ever about her craft.
She has been editing films for Shark Island Productions for over 20 years. In 2021 she edited THE DEPARTMENT which played at the (Covid delayed) Sydney Film Festival in November 2021 and was also part of the Australia Uncovered series on SBS. In 2021 she also cut THE TWINS. In 2019 she finished editing THE FINAL QUARTER, directed by Ian Darling, for which she won ‘Best Editing in a Documentary’ at the 2019 AACTA’s as well as an ‘ELLIE’ from the ASE for ‘Best Editing in a Documentary Feature’. This film and its reception and impact has been her career highlight to date.
In 2011 she gained accreditation from the Australian Screen Editor’s Guild, and in 2012 was awarded an ‘ELLIE’ by the Guild for ‘Best Editing in a Documentary Feature’ for the film PAUL KELLY – STORIES OF ME.
In 2008 Sally won the AFI Award for ‘Best Editing in a Documentary’ for THE OASIS.
Sally and Ian Darling have been making films together since 2000 and plan to continue doing so for the next 20 years or so at least.
Their first film was WOODSTOCK FOR CAPITALISTS that won several awards including a Cine Golden Eagle Award. Their second film was ALONE ACROSS AUSTRALIA – winner of 32 international film festival awards, and voted ‘one of the top 20 adventure films of all time’ by Men’s Journal Magazine, USA.
Since then she has also cut IN THE COMPANY OF ACTORS, POLLY AND ME, WALL BOY, and SUZY & THE SIMPLE MAN.
Her work has twice been nominated for an Emmy award and many years ago towards the start of her career, WATERGATE, made for the BBC, won the International Emmy for ‘Best Documentary Series’.
From 2014 to 2016 she enjoyed being a little more out of the cutting room than in, as she co-produced Good Pitch Australia, and loved working with the 19 teams of filmmakers whose powerful documentaries were chosen and guided through the Good Pitch process. Sally is very happy to have found herself solidly in the realm of social impact documentary filmmaking.
Sally treasures time spent with her family, Matthew, Louie and Thommo, and her two staffies, Hiccup and Smudge. Swimming and long walks help to keep her sane.
Susan has produced and executive produced documentaries for over 25 years. Her films have been screened around the world, winning many awards and international acclaim. She has worked with ABC, SBS, ARTE (France), ITVS (USA), HBO (USA), CH4 (UK), BBC (UK), YLE (Finland), CBC (Canada), the Sundance Institute and National Geographic.
Susan is a Producer with Shark Island Productions, and her credits include the recently completed short films POLLY AND ME and WALL BOY and documentaries THE OASIS and IN THE COMPANY OF ACTORS. She is currently producing the feature documentary PAUL KELLY – STORIES OF ME about one of Australia’s most successful singer/songwriters. This film will have a commercial cinema release in Australia in mid October.
Her previous films include LIFE IN MOVEMENT, a tragic story of a gifted young dancer, HONEY BEE BLUES, GLOBAL HAYWIRE by Academy Award winner Bruce Petty, ‘4’ directed by Tim Slade, OVER MY DEAD BODY directed by Ian Walker, MEN AND THEIR SHEDS by James Manche, ETERNITY about the enigmatic Arthur Stace directed by Lawrence Johnston, SOMEWHERE BETWEEN LIGHT AND REFLECTION and YOU MUST REMEMBER THIS, an expose about Alzheimer’s Disease. Her very popular short drama, FETCH, screened at over fifty world festivals, including Official Competition at the International Festival du Cannes.
While making films, Susan is also the Executive Director of the Documentary Australia Foundation (DAF), established in 2008 to bring filmmakers and philanthropists together to create social change through documentary film. DAF seeks to engage audiences first through powerful storytelling, then motivate them to act through education campaigns extending the life of the film. The growth in philanthropic engagement in documentary is a direct result of the work of DAF.
From 1998 to 2005, Susan was the Documentary Investment Manager at the Film Finance Corporation Australia (FFC), where she assisted filmmakers in negotiating finances for their documentaries. During this time, Susan financed over 400 productions and helped internationalise the Australian documentary industry.
Susan served 6 years as a Board Director for the South Australia Film Corporation (SAFC), was a founding member and served 6 years on the Board of the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC). Susan is now a member of the International Documentary Advisory Committee for Hot Docs, Canada and a Committee Member for the ACT Screen Investment Fund.
Mary Macrae is Senior Producer and Production Manager at Shark Island Institute.
Mary recently produced the feature documentary THE DEPARTMENT (SBS Australia Uncovered) and also produced the award-winning stage play and film of THE TWINS, which had a 5-venue tour in early 2021. She is currently producing two new Shark Island Productions feature documentaries (in development).
Mary’s producer credits include THE TWINS, THE DEPARTMENT, THE FINAL QUARTER, LIFE AFTER THE OASIS, SUZY & THE SIMPLE MAN, PAUL KELLY – STORIES OF ME, THE SOLDIER and STORIES FROM THE INSIDE. She was Line Producer and Production Assistant for THE OASIS and IN THE COMPANY OF ACTORS and Production Manager for the short films POLLY AND ME and WALL BOY.
Mary co-produced three Good Pitch Australia events (2014–2016). She was the SII lead for the impact team for THE HUNTING GROUND Australia Project and was a key member of the global impact team for UNREST. Mary led the impact collaborations for the international portfolio work in Australia.
Prior to working at Shark Island Institute, Mary had a career as a Stage Manager in theatre and dance for companies including Sydney Theatre Company, Belvoir Street Theatre, Force Majeure and Griffin Theatre Company, with shows including MY ZINC BED, WAITING FOR GODOT, A CHEERY SOUL, A DOLL’S HOUSE, SAME SAME BUT DIFFERENT, ALREADY ELSEWHERE, the Australian premiere production and UK/USA tour of CLOUDSTREET and the Sydney and New York production of HEDDA GABLER.
Ruth has led and directed THE OASIS, POLLY AND ME/WALL BOY initiatives, building strategic philanthropic and community partnerships, and increasing the impact and reach of each program.
She has over 15 years public and private sector experience: project and program management in government and non profit, business and network development, marketing and events strategy and implementation – building capacity is central to all her roles.
Ruth loves working with people and is looking forward to her greatest challenge yet, designing, developing and implementing the Education and Outreach Program for PAUL KELLY – STORIES OF ME in collaboration with the Shark Team and key philanthropic and community partners.
Toby Creswell is an Australian music journalist and pop-culture writer. He was editor of Rolling Stone (Australia) and a founding editor of Juice. Creswell wrote his first article on rock & roll for Nation Review in 1972. He subsequently wrote articles about all aspects of popular culture and music for RAM, Billboard, Time, the Sydney Morning Herald, the Age, Roadrunner and a range of national and international magazines and newspapers. He has worked for MTV and a variety of television programs as a writer and presenter. As a keyboard player for seminal post-punk band, Surfside 6, he wrote the B-side, “School’s Out”, to their 1980 cult hit single, “Cool in the Tube”.
In 1985 Toby became editor of the Australian edition of Rolling Stone and two years later was in a partnership which took over the franchise. He continued to edit Rolling Stone until September 1992. The following year he started, in partnership with Lesa Belle Furhagen, the publishing company Terraplane Press/Terraplanet and was editorial director of the magazines Juice, HQ, Monument, Big Hit and Australian Style.
In 1993, he wrote his first book Too Much Ain’t Enough a biography of singer Jimmy Barnes. In 1999, he and Martin Fabinyi wrote The Real Thing: Adventures in Australian Rock & Roll (Random House). With Samantha Trenoweth he wrote 1001 Australians You Should Know (Pluto Press). His other books include; Love is in the Air: Stories of Australian Pop Music (ABC Books, 2003) Notorious Australians (ABC Books, 2009), 1001 Songs (Hardie Grant, 2007).
In 2002 Creswell created The National Karaoke Challenge for SBS. In 2007 and 2008 he created, wrote and produced the series Great Australian Albums for SBS. He has written and produced a number of projects for television including a short history of Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War (All the Way) which was nominated for an AWGIE Award and a Walkley for its script. He also wrote and produced the films Cannot Buy My Soul (SBS) and The Wild One (ABC TV).
David is a multi-award winning journalist currently based in northern New South Wales, Australia.
He has worked as a feature writer in Australia, North America, the Middle East, Europe and Asia for the past 33 years and has written for the Australian, the Sydney Morning Herald, the Melbourne Age, HQ magazine, the Bulletin, Good Weekend, the Australian Women’s Weekly, Italian and German Vanity Fair, Newsweek and The Daily Beast. He is currently a contributor to Good Weekend.
He is also the author of four books with a fifth currently in train.
Whether it was witnessing the human tragedy in the aftermath of a murderous regime for “Cambodia: After Pol Pot”, hearing the stories of survivors of the Atom Bomb for “Nagasaki Journey”, hanging with the French Foreign Legion for “Legion of the Damned”, or with Aboriginal communities in Arnhem Land, the Kimberley, or the Western Desert, Simon has relished the opportunities to learn about people, and to bring their stories to a wider audience.
Simon’s work has been shown on all networks in Australia, and he has worked for the Discovery Channel, National Geographic, the BBC and MTV internationally. Along the way, he has won awards for much of his work including for Mark Lewis’s Pursuit of Excellence: Synchronized Swimming, Tom Zubricki’s “Vietnam Symphony”, and ACS awards for music videos he shot and directed for Jimmy Barnes and Dannii Minogue, for the BBC series “Frontiers” and, notably, for “In the Company of Actors”, his first collaboration with Shark Island Productions and Producer/Director Ian Darling.
Simon is proud to have worked with Ian and his team again, on a project of the scope, colour and detail of “Paul Kelly — Stories of Me”.