With the Australian cinema release of the film now drawing to a close, I just wanted to publicly acknowledge the incredible support that we have had from rich and varied sources that has allowed the sugar message to be taken far wider than would ever have been possible with a standard cinema release.
In November of 2014 we were lucky enough to be selected for the inaugural Good Pitch2 Australia. This wonderful initiative allowed us to meet some of the finest minds in Australia’s health industry and then pitch our film to a room of 300 philanthropists at the Sydney Opera House. It was an incredible day where seven filmmakers were asking for money to help with a project they believed could have tremendous social impact. ‘Begging with class’ is probably the most accurate description of the day.
On that day we secured enough financial support to kick-start the Mai Wiru Sugar Challenge Foundation, the free sugar counting app (That Sugar App), the School Action Toolkits and most importantly, the ability to hire a fantastic outreach producer, Anna Kaplan, who has been on the end of at least 2,000 emails in the last two months.
Apart from the kind financial support, we were also given access to extensive databases and valuable contacts that allowed us to raise terrific awareness of the film.
So I would like to send a huge hug and a gift-wrapped box of sugar free chocolates to Malinda Wink and Ian Darling (and all the Good Pitch team) for getting the ball rolling and igniting so many conversations for us. They really are the ‘Prom King and Queen’ of getting shit done and I would be handing out Australian of the Year nominations if I had the ability to. They were able to provide connections to the corporate sector in ways that no other films do. It was a great privilege for us and we are incredibly grateful.
They are currently embarking on the next round of Good Pitch Australia films and any filmmaker lucky enough to be selected is in for an incredible experience.
Here is a list of all the groups and organisations we have crossed paths with in the last 6 months that have kindly offered the support in one way or another:
The Sharkies (the team at the Shark Island Institute) – not only did they bring the Good Pitch format to Australia and pull off the event with impressive aplomb, they continue to provide unwavering support, invaluable advice and nourishing hospitality at Australia’s best B&B (thanks Sarah!)
Ruth Johnstone and The Caledonia Foundation – they funded our schools outreach materials and have continued to be an incredible advocate for the film within the philanthropic sector
The Documentary Australia Foundation – for administering our grants and advising us on the intricacies of donor relationship management and evaluation reporting.
Bupa Australia for recognising the importance of educating the next generation, partnering with schools outreach program and subsidising the cost of the School Action Toolkits.
The George Institute for Global Health for providing access to their incredible Food and Beverage Database to power That Sugar App
The Obesity Policy Coalition for offering invaluable guidance on how to navigate the advocacy and health promotion space, and for their amazing contribution to our post-screening Q&As.
Janice Aitkin for developing an incredible resource for schools and providing introductions to key contacts in the education sector. Gun.
Australian Council of State School Organisations (ACSSO) for providing access to their national database and helping to promote our schools outreach initiatives.
Karn Ghosh and Hit 100
The Parents’ Jury
Another box of sugar free chocolates and a bouquet of flowers also goes to the foundations and donors who have provided grants to help us achieve our social impact goals:
The Caledonia Foundation
Danielle and Daniel Besen Foundation
Limb Family Foundation
James N. Kirby Foundation
The Horizon Foundation
The Vasudhara Foundation
Rebecca Gorman and John Sevior
Ben Rozenes and Laini Liberman
A powerful coalition all determined to improve the health of the population and future generations. Thanks to all and onwards march!