Entries for the 2021 Walkley Award for Documentary open on July 1 and close August 31.
Entries can comprise any nonfiction film made for cinema, broadcast or web release with a running time of at least 40 minutes and a maximum time of three hours, not including entirely scripted or improvised fictionalisations of actual events. If the documentary is part of a series that exceeds the three-hour limit entrants must choose the three hours of content they wish to be judged on (i.e. the first three episodes).
Entries that have appeared within regularly scheduled television current affairs programs must be documentary in nature and execution.
Number of entrants: The named entrant(s) should be the individual(s) most involved in the key journalistic and creative aspects of the filmmaking process. A maximum of three people may be designated as entrants, at least one of whom must be the credited director who exercised directorial control.
Congratulations Sarah Ferguson, Nial Fulton and Tony Jones, winners of the 2020 Walkley Documentary Award
ABC and In Films
The Revelation team set out to achieve a series of television firsts — to interview Catholic priest sex offenders and film their trials. The level of difficulty in achieving those ambitions was enormous.
In the long-running scandal of clerical abuse in Australia, there was one voice that hadn’t been heard: the perpetrators. Revelation took cameras into courts to film the criminal trials of priests and brothers accused of sex crimes against children. Sarah Ferguson also conducted interviews with two of the church’s worst offenders. Conscious of the risk they were taking putting these criminals on camera, the team had to be sure the material would justify the affront of seeing and hearing them.
Sarah Ferguson is one of Australia’s most respected and successful investigative journalists and film-makers. Her work has secured her reputation, along with an increasing global profile, built on hard-hitting interviews with international figures. Ferguson has received multiple journalistic and film-making awards, including the Gold Walkley, six Logies and AACTA awards for Best Documentary.
Nial Fulton is an award-winning producer of internationally recognised films. He puts cameras where access has never before been granted, as seen in the critically acclaimed US series Borderland and award-winning series on domestic violence, Hitting Home. Fulton has received many awards, including AACTA and Walkley awards for documentary.
Tony Jones has covered seminal news events of the last two decades, from the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, through the collapse of apartheid in South Africa to the rise of the Taliban. He co-created and presented Q&A, Australia’s leading news panel program. He has received multiple awards for his work, including six Walkleys.
This haunting documentary broke new ground on an issue already well covered by the media and investigated by police and the Royal Commission alike. The extraordinary access to some of the Catholic Church’s most notorious perpetrators of sexual abuse against children, as well as the insight it gave viewers into court proceedings, showed just how powerful journalistic documentary-making can be.