Screen Australia funds new Israel Folau documentary

Screen Australia has announced it’s backing a whole bunch of new documentary projects investing 3.7 million into new Australian works, among the chosen projects is a documentary on Israel Folau and his controversial social media posts.

The project does not yet have an official title but is described as “a feature documentary about Australia’s most gifted and controversial athlete, and how a social media post landed him at the heart of culture wars, derailing campaigns and careers in the process.

“A homophobic bigot to some, a persecuted freedom warrior to others, this will be the first time Israel Folau’s story is examined in all its multilayered complexity.” amedia release claimed.

The creative team features director Nel Minchin, associate director Vanilla Tupu, and producer Ivan O’Mahoney of In Films. This project is developed with additional support from Screen NSW. Minchin and O’Mahoney previously made the acclaimed documentary Firestarter: The Story of Bangarra.

The funding from Screen Australia comes via their Producer Program.

In 2019 Folau was sacked by his employer Rugby Australia after he made a social media post suggesting that declared that a range of Australians, including homosexuals, would be going to hell unless they embraced Christianity. The post came after the player had previously been warned that his social media posts were deemed inappropriate by the football code.

After a protracted legal battle Rugby Australia and Folau came to an settlement for an undisclosed amount. HIs case is often used as an example of why Australia needs new religious freedom legislation and tougher anti-discrimination laws to protect people’s religious beliefs.

OIP Staff

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