Spotlight on Mint Pictures

Spotlight on Mint Pictures

Profiled today as part of an ongoing series is unscripted production company Mint Pictures, which has produced such titles as Great Australian Walks, Finding the Archibald, The Ghan and Hitler’s Jewish Nazi? -which debuts tonight on SBS.

Production company name?
Mint Pictures

When was the company founded?
Mint is a 100% Australian-owned company established in 2013.

Where are you based and which states did you film in for 22/23 productions?
We are based in Balmain, Sydney, NSW. In 2022/23, we filmed in NSW, ACT, VIC and TAS. We also filmed in Paris, Los Angeles, New York and Montreal.

How many full-time equivalent staff and how many does it expand to during production?
We have a core team of 10 creatives who work across all shows. This expands to between 20 and 40 people for individual productions. Our most recent feature-length production, Hitler’s Jewish Soldier?, which premieres on SBS on February 8, employed a cast and crew of more than 100. Great Australian Walks (Series 2) employs a team of more than 40.

What is your ownership model and who are key principals?
Mint is owned by Dan Goldberg (since 2013) and Craig Graham (since 2023). Jodi Boylan, award-winning director and producer, joined Mint in 2023 as Head of Factual & Entertainment. Jodi has worked in television for 25-plus years and specialises in unscripted content and Australian originals. Her most recent credits include, River Cottage Australia, War on Waste, Taboo, Osher Günsberg: A Matter of Life and Death and Great Australian Walks (Series 2).

Describe the genres you specialise in for production?
Mint’s DNA is unscripted original content – arts, sport, history, religion and culture forms a large part of our slate; Mint will continue to tell the very best stories in this space. The shape and form of our content will include feature-length films, premium documentaries, returnable factual entertainment shows and wide-audience appeal talent-led programs. Mint collaborates with some of the most exciting names in Australian television, including Rachael Griffiths, Julia Zemiro, Anthony LaPaglia, Claudia Karvan, Gina Chick, Susie Youssef, Melissa Leong and Steph Tisdell.

What have been some of your notable credits and with which broadcasters/streamers?
Mint has received numerous awards and nominations. Notable credits include: Code of Silence, an expose into child sex abuse (Walkley Award for Best Documentary, ABC); The Bowraville Murders, a feature-length true crime documentary, which premiered at the 2021 Sydney Film Festival (SBS); Brilliant Creatures, which was nominated for a Logie, AACTA and Grierson Award (ABC & BBC), Finding the Archibald with Rachel Griffiths (ABC Arts), Great Southern Landscapes with Rachel Griffiths (ABC Factual), The Haka with John Eales (Discovery ANZ), Sky Blue: Inside Sydney FC (Paramount+) and Great Australian Walks (SBS) with Julia Zemiro.

Great Australian Walks was one of SBS’s break-out hits for 2023 and has been commissioned for a second series. Mint was also first to market in Slow TV in Australia with the launch of The Ghan (SBS), which accrued 715,000 viewers overnight when it aired in 2018, making it one of SBS’s highest-rating shows for that year.

What’s coming up on your slate and how many projects are in active development?
Mint has a stand-out line-up of market-ready shows and ideas in development: our most recent feature documentary, The Jewish Nazi?, won Best Feature Documentary at Cannes World Film Festival (2023) and goes to air on SBS this week and we’ve started filming Series 2 of Great Australian Walks – this time, Julia Zemiro is joined by presenters Susie Youssef of The Project and Alone winner Gina Chick, who’ll each do their own walks. We’re developing two series with support from Screen NSW: a revelatory project about loneliness-cum-happiness (with Smashing Films in WA) and a show called Speechless, which explores the greatest ever speeches in history that were written but never delivered; we’re also in formal development with SBS on a new series led by two of Australia’s most loved actors and we have a major music project in early-stage development with Australian superstar Tones & I in collaboration with Sony Music and Sony Publishing. And we are in formal development on an exciting series with Rachel Griffiths. Finally, we’re working on our first podcast series with the Canadian Broadcasting Authority.

Do you receive unsolicited material, what are you looking for, how should people pitch projects?
We’re always searching for new ideas and love hearing from emerging directors and producers. And we love to collaborate. If you have a well-formed idea or exclusive access to a precinct or organisation, please say hello at info@mintpictures.com.au.

What change would you most like to see when it comes to commissions?
We’d love to see broadcasters discover and re-discover their love for original Australian-made documentaries and factual shows.