Animal protection institute Voiceless gave out almost $200,000 in funding at its annual awards last night.
Among the beneficiaries was a documentary, The Bust, which will expose the horrors of Australia’s factory farming industry.
"As a director of Voiceless, I’ve been looking for a film project to mentor via the grants program, which deals with factory farming, one of Voiceless’s key issues," producer Emile Sherman said.
"We received a lot of applications for film projects. The Bust is helmed by an enthusiastic and talented team, who are willing to go all out to make this a truly revelatory and exciting film," he said yesterday from New York, where he attended the premiere of The King’s Speech, of which he is a producer.
Voiceless, founded by Sydney businessman and philanthropist Brian Sherman and his daughter Ondine, has awarded more than $1.2 million in grants since its inception in 2004.
Speaking at the awards ceremony last night, Brian Sherman said: "We are excited to be funding such an important film as part of this year’s grants program.
"Australians need to see what goes on inside factory farms, to see how cruelly animals are treated for the sake of cheap chicken breast and bacon.
"This film will go a long way to help lift the veil of secrecy that the factory farm industry relies upon to do its dirty work."
Free-to-air television current affairs programs picked up both winner and runner-up in the annual Voiceless Media Prize.
The $5000 Media Prize went to producer Howard Sacre and reporter Liam Bartlett for The Hidden Truth, an expose of the intensive farming pig industry that screened on Channel Nine’s 60 Minutes.
The $2500 runners-up were producer Lesley Robinson and reporter Tracey Bowden for Puppy Farm on ABC’s 7.30 Report.
Voiceless ambassadors Abbie Cornish and Emily Barclay, both filming overseas, sent video messages of congratulations to the grant recipients.
Voiceless ambassador Hugo Weaving made a brief appearance before leaving to appear in Uncle Vanya at the Sydney Theatre Company.
The premiere of a powerful TV ad about the commercial kangaroo industry was shown.
The ad was produced by the group Australian Society for Kangaroos with the assistance of a 2009 Voiceless grant.
It is due to be screened nationally early next year, and will raise awareness about the world’s largest land-based animal slaughter.