NEWS | Anne Lim
Wednesday 24 June 2015
Australian produced documentary series Everytown Downunder is gaining more success, exposure and accolades, seemingly by the month.
The series, which follows Australian country, gospel and blues musician Steve Grace on a 24,000km lap of Australia, has picked up two awards in Australia and two in the US, with two more nominations at US festivals still pending.
Everytown Downunder collected two gongs from Christian Media Australia in April – Best Film/Documentary/TV Series and the Pilgrim International Graham Wade Media Prize. (Graham Wade was a pioneer Christian filmmaker who presented the gospel to television audiences in an engaging way in the 1980s.)
It then won in the Best Director category at the International Christian Film Festival in Florida, having been also nominated in the Best Documentary and Most Creative Documentary categories. Most recently it has been awarded Best Series and Best TV Format at the International Christian Visual Media Conference in the US.
On the strength of the US win, a secular distributor approached producer Pineapple Media Australia with a proposal to distribute Everytown Downunder worldwide on DVD and video on demand.
“So we’re hoping to pick up a distribution deal,” says producer and director Richard Attieh.
Filmed over four months, the documentary series follows former truck driver Steve Grace and his team as he stages concerts in 78 towns around the mainland including outback towns and top coastal destinations.
“This is a story of faith that combines the outback with everything that’s quirky about Australia,” Mr Attieh says.
“Steve had two Americans on his team who were in Australia for the first time. He also had a Papua New Guinean doing a complete lap of Australia for the first time and so … it was a once-in-a-lifetime dream coming true for them. Through that mix of people we had a lot of different storylines throughout the series.”
On a personal level, Mr Attieh says he was humbled by the amount of trust Steve Grace invested in him, essentially opening the door to a ministry he has pursued for more than 25 years.
“On a professional level, what’s really rewarding is to see the Christian message being so widely received through this TV series. It’s unashamedly Christian. The whole intent of the trip is to tell people in remote areas about the gospel. And so just through good storytelling the gospel is being presented in a way that people are enjoying.”
The eight episodes of Everytown Downunder are currently airing on Australian Christian Channel on Thursdays at 7.30 and repeated on Friday at 7.30pm.