Radio makers gathering in Sydney: A series designed to produce new radio works for national airplay and nurture talent, is now in its second year.

National Documentary Competition Maddy McFarlane trophy

The national call for applications resulted in 12 emerging documentary makers being chosen to take part in the National Features + Documentary Series for 2015. The series is an initiative of the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia, with mentoring from the Community Media Training Organisation and support from the Community Broadcasting Foundation, the Community Radio Network and APRA/AMCOS.

Following two months of online mentoring, the participants are gathering in Sydney this weekend, to take part in an intensive workshop with documentary professionals providing specialised guidance. These experienced industry mentors have been chosen for their specialist knowledge in writing, producing and presenting stories for radio. They will offer each participant invaluable, hands-on assistance to help fine tune the fresh story ideas already taking shape.

Mentors include: multi award-winning documentary producer, investigative journalist and consultant Sharon Davis; ABC producer, presenter and journalist Lorena Allam; radio producer, researcher and academic Kate Montague; and audio producer and radio producer Chloe Collins who has worked for both the ABC in Australia and the BBC in London.

Also providing mentorship expertise over the two-day workshop are Radio Adelaide’s Nikki Marcel, and the winner of last year’s National Features + Documentary Series, PBS Radio’s Maddy MacFarlane.

The weekend’s workshop follows a number of on-line seminars already organised for participants, where guest speakers have included industry professionals like Julie Shapiro, the Executive Producer at Radio National’s Creative Audio Unit and a founder of Chicago’s Third Coast International Audio Festival. As one of the professionals who listened to each applicant’s story idea and then provided feedback, Julie’s advice was an invaluable part of each story’s development.

The 12 participants in this year’s series were chosen by a selection panel consisting of Michelle Rowland-Bush (BBC), Esther Blank (Deutsche Welle), Seth Jordan (CRN) and CMTO CEO, Nicola Joseph.

Participants will meet their mentors face-to-face during the weekend to develop their editing, scripting and presentation skills, with special assistance from Radio National sound engineer Martin Peralta.

Read more and listen to the features and documentaries produced by the participants in 2014 here

 

Image: 2014 National Documentary Competition winner Maddy McFarlane