Director and writer Sally Aitken (Playing with Sharks) and producer and media executive Aline Jacques (Lindy Chamberlain: The True Story) have launched of SAM Content, an independent production company based in Sydney.
The new outfit will develop and produce all genres of unscripted and scripted projects for domestic and international markets.
“We’re thrilled to have a dynamic new home for our wide range of passions, interests and curiosities and look forward to continuing to grow our slate of documentary and drama projects with other like-minded creatives. With several projects underway and a pile more in development and imagination, our door is open to filmmakers both experienced and emerging to come and say hello to SAM, a place of trust, bold ideas and plenty of humour in realising great stories,” they said.
The company launches with four projects in various stages of production with Australian broadcasters and screen agencies.
They include an untitled Wiggles project in partnership with Augusto Entertainment’s Cass Avery and Daniel Story and Inconceivable: The Secret Business of Breeding Humans, a documentary for SBS about investigative journalist Sarah Dingle’s discovery at the age of 27 that her mother was impregnated with an anonymous donor sperm, which have both received production funding from Screen Australia; as well as an architecture series; and a music feature documentary.
Additional projects will be announced in the coming months.
Founders Aitken and Jacques bring an unrivalled mix of experience to the company. Aitken’s most recent film, Playing with Sharks, has been nominated for a 2022 News & Documentary Emmy® Award. Winners will be announced at a ceremony in New York City on September 29, 2022. The 2021 Sundance Film Festival hit follows the remarkable story of maverick conservationist Valerie Taylor and her love affair with the ocean’s most terrifying predator. Aitken’s debut feature, A Cinematic Life appeared in official competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 2017 where she was also nominated for the Camera d’Or. Other major works include Shark Beach with Chris Hemsworth (2021); The Pacific: In the Wake of Captain Cook with Sam Neill (2019); and Getting Frank Gehry (2015).
Jacques has developed and produced documentaries across a wide range of genres for many of the world’s major broadcasters and distributors including the ABC, SBS, BBC, National Geographic, Arte, PBS, Curiosity Stream and Discovery as well as theatrical distributors, Madman and Universal Pictures. She has helmed numerous international co-productions, collaborated with many of Australia’s finest writers and directors; and has delivered acclaimed programs such as The Pacific: In the Wake of Captain Cook with Sam Neill; Slim and I; Miriam Margolyes: Almost Australian and The Living Universe.