Our world is full of fascinating stories. Storyteller has captured some of these stories and turned them into documentaries or short films for you to enjoy.
Our World is a series of long and short films that stand alone.
MATTHEW’S FIGHT FOR LIFE
Matthew’s Fight for Life tells the story of young Perth boy Matthew Fiddick and his incredible battle to stay alive.At three he was diagnosed with a massive brain tumour and his parents were told it was unlikely he’d reach four. After surgery, he defied the odds and went into remission for nearly five years. But by June 2000 the cancer was back and following treatment and two operations in Western Australia, the Fiddicks say doctors would not operate again.
That’s when Matthew’s sister Sarah saw a television story about Sydney-based neurosurgeon Dr Charles Teo. Two and a half years, sixteen brain tumours and five operations later, Matthew and the man he calls Dr Charlie, share an incredible bond.
In a moving, compelling, emotional journey, MATTHEW’S FIGHT FOR LIFE follows Matthew and his family as they travel to Sydney for one of the most dangerous operations he has faced.
Crew: Writer/Director Carolyn Bertram, Producer Mike Searle, Editor Jonathan Rowdon, Cinematographer Daniel Searle, Sound recordist Damiain Brown, Graphics Jamie Judges, Production Assistants Carolyn Bailey & Nicola Petit Music Music Design Systems, Financial Controller Linda Searle, On-line Flash Frames, Post production sound Hamdon Sound.
In Search of a Lost Princess
Popular belief has it that Anastasia Romanov escaped the assassination when the rest of the Imperial Family was murdered during the Russian Revolution.
The grandchildren of a South African woman claimed that their deceased grandmother was the Grand Duchess of Russia. She was presumed to be Anastasia. They claimed she escaped and lived out her life in fear and hiding as a commoner in South Africa.
After exhuming the woman’s remains from a secret grave, we took the remains to four universities including Oxford University in England, to prove their claim. Astonishingly the results concluded that is was not Anastasia who escaped the revolutionaries’ bullets but her sister Maria.
This is a totally independent production and made without the aid or assistant of any state or federal government film agency or any television network involvement.
Awards: Winner of the Television and Production Award for Investigative Journalist WorldFest Houston Texas 2000,
Crew: Writer & Director Mike Searle, Editor Ingo Helbig, Producers Mike Searle & Linda Searle, Associate Producer Louis Duval, Cinematographers, Ross Mclean, Ian Pugsley ACS, Ingo Helbig, Production Manager Melanie Byres, Locations Manager UK Tony White, Post Production Supervisor Ivon Green, Visual Effects David Binks, Assistant Editor Dan Searle, Production Assistants Nicola Searle & Lorraine Smith, Sound Post Production Planet Studios, Graphics Ryan Rivers, Music Music Design Systems, Actors Keith Hall, Melanie Byres, Kirsty McNamara, Chris Mcinnes, Anthony Anderson, Susan Vincent, Sherry McNamara, Michael Knight, Justin Wolfgang, John Wright, Monica Praxl, James Rowe, Sanchia Robinson, Sara Borg, Jessica Curtis, Thanks to Curtin University, Monash University, Victorian Forensic Institute, Oxford University, Sheffield University, Manchester University, Prince Viktor Romanov, Ballistics Section WA Police Department, Photographic Section WA Police Department, The Melville Theatre Group.
Bone Diggers – Mystery of a Lost Predator
Australia is known for its cute marsupials, the koala, the kangaroo and the wombat among others. Very few people are aware that there was once a marsupial that was a deadly “creep up and get ya” predator that was more ferocious than a sabre tooth tiger. It was Thylacoleo Carnifex – the Marsupial Lion Australia’s lost predator.
The Nullarbor Plain is a remote treeless desert resting between the Great Australian Bight and the Great Sandy Desert. It is hard, stony country…flat and featureless.
In May of 2002 an group of cavers, in an Indiana Jones style operation, discovered three caves, which had never been entered by man. The entrance to one of the caves was mere shoulder-width, vertical tube that rapidly expanded to cathedral proportions. In the first cave their head torches illuminated a sight that caused scientific wonderment and a world-wide media frenzy.
At the far end of a side tunnel the cavers discovered the pristine and complete skeleton of the fabled marsupial lion, Thylacoleo. It lay there as if it had died only a year ago. The skeleton was bleach white against the red earth and not a speck of dust on it. Their immediate reaction was to take a photo and get out – their main concern was to preserve the site for scientific analysis.
The photo of Thylacoleo and the cave coordinates ended up on the desk of Dr John Long, vertebrate palaeontologist a world renowned Bone Digger with the Western Australian Museum. Within a matter of weeks funding and an expedition to recover the remains had been arranged. It would prove a journey full of surprises both during the expedition and later as the remains were studied. The first surprise to take John and his team by surprise was the age of the remains. He was sure the skeleton could only be about 40,000 years old – several dating techniques later and a shattering date of at least 500,000 years suddenly propelled the find into mega-star status.
Bone Diggers – Mystery of a Lost Predator is the amazing story of the dangerous recovery mission and how the remains of the marsupial lion allowed science a unique opportunity to reconstruct the beast and it’s behaviour.
From recreating its brain to morphological analysis, the life and form of Thylacoleo began to take shape – this is science at its best!
Co-producers, WA Museum, ABC TV Australia, NHK Japan, PBS – WGBH Boston USA
Crew: Producers Clay Bryce & Mike Searle, Directors Stuart Scowcroft, Ingo Helbig, Clay Bryce, Carolyn Bertram, Cinematography Daniel Searle, Ian Pugsley, Brian Dowley, Editor Ingo Helbig, Narrator Carolyn Bertram, Sound Recordists Doug Hampton Dean Radovich, Music Music Design Systems, Justin Low, Valeria Niazov, Rob Morsberger, Sound Mix Hamdon Sound, Visual Effects Daniel Pita, Illustrations Alan Muller, Special Thanks Princess Margaret Hospital for Children, Rio Tinto WA Future Fund, Western Australian Museum Foundation Executive Producer Mike Searle. For Nova (WGBH Boston USA) Producer Elizabeth Allege, Associate Producer Molly Longstreth, Editing Doug Quade, Narrator Neil Ross, On-Line & Colorist Jim Ferguso, Post Production Facility The OutPost, Nova Theme Music Walter Werzowa, John Luker, Musikvergnuegen, Inc., Ray Loring Nove Administration Ashley King, Publicity Eileen Campion, Anna Lowi, Yumi Huh, Lindsay de la Rigaudier, Research Gaia Remerowski, Production Coordinator Linda Callahan, Unit Manager Carla Raimer, Paralegal Raphael Nemes, Senior Series Producer Melanie Wallace, Managing Director Alan Ritsko, Senior Executive Producer Paula S. Apsell
Dogs of Peace
Shot in Afghanistan during the first nine months following the ‘fall’ of the Taliban, Dogs of Peace is a documentary that looks at the people and animals who put their life on the line every day as they try to uncover and disarm some 10,000,000 landmines in the country. This documentary also explains part of the of the Islam culture in particular its attitude towards animals.
It also points out, some what prophetically, that unless Afghanistan is supported by the West the Taliban or worse will continue to try to take Afghanistan back to the extreme excess of Islam experienced under its rule.
The special is hosted by Lady Heather Mills-McCartney who is a strong anti land mine activist. Produced by Storyteller Media for Animal Planet.
Awards: Special Gold Jury Prize WorldFest Houston Texas USA.
Director/Writer/Producer: Mike Searle, Editor/Producer: Ingo Helbig, Narrator: Heather Mills-McCartney, Cameramen: Steve Saunders, Ross McLean, Daniel Searle, Ingo Helbig, Original Idea: Daniel Brown, Production Managers: Helen Duncan, Nicola Petit, Productions Assistants, Edward Blake, Damiain Brown, Yasmin Gray, Daniel Satora, Music: Music Design Systems, Graphics Jamie Judges, Animation: Chris Dardis, Researcher: Tony White, Daniel Brown, Technical Advisor: Dr. Ian Mclean, On Line: Garry Shepherd, Sound Post: Doug Hampton, Financial Controller: Linda Searle, Legals: Joan Peters, Translators: Anaitullah Enayatullah , Toufiq Ahmad Nawabi, For Animal Planet Executive Producer Alexandra J. Bennett, Associate Producer Andrea M. Davis, Special Thanks William Graff, Executive Producers: Mike Searle, Tim Sparke.
Malice or Mutiny
1942 and the Western Australian state ship the Koolama is badly damaged by a Japanese air attack as it makes its way north to Wyndam with vital war supplies.
Amidst claims of a cover up an incident, which happened following the bombing, some people claim, was a mutiny. The only mutiny on an Australian ship ever. The first Australian waters in around 400 years (the other being the Mutiny on the Bounty).
Others say it was a major clash of personalities between the skipper and his first mate. Was there a cover up? Was it Malice or Mutiny?
Based on the book ‘The Koolama Incident’ by Bill Loane
Produced in association with the Australian Broadcasting Commission
Crew: Director/Writer Ingo Helbig, Producer Mike Searle, Narrator Bill Kerr, Editor Jonathan Rowdon, Director of Photography Nigel Tomkinson, 2nd Unit Director Mike Searle, Production Managers Suzy Hounslow & Andrew Mills, Additional Cinematography Daniel Searle, Ingo Helbig, David Batty, Sean Helbig, 3D Animation Blinkworks Rick Grimsby, Music Keith Van Geyzel & Tim Count, Production Assistants Nicola Petit, Daniel Satora & Ben Przywolnik, Field Producer David De Vos, Location Sound Leigh Northcott, Camera Assistant Damiain Brown, Make-up Leanne Fiocco, Studio Lighting Chris Murray, Continuity Nick Pasquale, Graphics Jamie Judges, Editors Assistant Alan Iverson
Damian Brown, Transcription Jenny Woodward, Post Production Audio Kim Lord, On-line Editor Caris Penniket, ABC Facilities Liaison Pam Oliver & John O’Brien Costumes & Props Memory Lane, WA Academy of Performing Arts, Accounting Linda Searle, Historical Advisor Bill Loane, Principal Actors Igor Sas, Ingo Helbig, Kym Bidstrup, Alan Iverson, Jane Coulthard, Daniel Satora, Heath Bergensen, Extras Bill Loane, Antony Loane, Al Fuller Les Finlay, Danny Finlay, Jonathon Harris, Steve Innes, Glen Taverner, Mark Norton, Mark Newbury, William Nicoll, Brendan Humphries, Bill Wallace, Graeme Jenkins, Paul Stone, Jason Marsh, Martin Dulwich, Rob McGlynn, Keenan Hopewell, Gary Bertram, Carolyn Bertram, Sally White, Tony White, Nick Pasquale, Jamie Judges, Nicola Petit, Chris Murray, Damiain Brown, Mike Searle, Shannon Helbig, Sean Helbig, Sarah Housley, Kym Bidstrup, Earle Seubert, Kevin Wilcox, Gerald Stretch, Gerald Stretch, Linda Searle, Jazz Band Hank B. Marvin, Bill Loane, Don Bancroft, David Cowie, Peter Groos, Tim Woolley, Rod Evans, Des White, Special Thanks to Tom Lund, Charlie Burton, Bill Sharp, June Jones, Christopher Reynolds, Jim Poole, Jim Rule, Maria Smith, Fr Seraphim Sanz, Dudley Andersen, David Heppingstone Snr, Executive Producers Margot Phillips & Mike Searle
No Survivors The Mysterious Loss of HMAS Sydney
On the 19th Nov 1941 the Australian Warship HMAS Sydney encountered a merchant vessel, the Komoran. However it was a German warship known as a surface raider – disguised as a merchant ship. A battle ensued and the HMAS Sydney was sunk with all hands lost. More than 600 Australian seamen died.
Controversy has surrounded the battle ever since. Some say it was a war crime, other disagree.
This is the only documentary that investigates what really happened in the Indian Ocean on that night during World War Two. The only documentary where you will find the German’s own testimony. Here the story from their point of view, weigh up the evidence and make up you own mind.
An award winning documentary by award winning directed Peter du Cane. A co-production with Prospero Productions.
A performance by some of Russia’s most talented performers including the Moscow Mail Choir, Kremlin Capella. Beautiful pictures and beautiful performances.
Filmed in Moscow and Melbourne. As well as many other performers we see the Kremlin Capella in a private performance in the Kremlin. They sing that amazingly beautiful Russian folk song Little Bell, aka The Most Beautiful Song on the Internet. The first clip below. Russian Bohemia is the second clip.
The Kremlin Capella appear in another Storyteller production Secret Treasures of the Kremlin. A documentary that takes us inside the Kremlin to see some its greatest treasures.