Creating quintessential Australian stories with universal appeal.
Born from a union of remote bush experience and the edgy world of film and entertainment Rebel Films has emerged as a key player in the Australian television industry. Established in 1998 by writer/director David Batty and producer Jeni McMahon, Rebel Films produces innovative television for audiences throughout Australia and the international arena.
Rebel Films’ mission is to deliver fresh, energetic and entertaining documentaries that celebrate the human spirit. With shameless enthusiasm and a warm sense of humour this irrepressible production team brings to the screen stories and characters that surprise, inspire and continually delight. This is keen spirit, raw and off the edge filmmaking at its best.
After seven years based in Broome, Rebel Films are now based in Melbourne and have established a position in the industry as an innovative, resourceful and efficient company producing high quality, sought after broadcast content.
David Batty's career has spanned 27 years of writing, producing, directing and shooting both documentary and drama throughout most parts of remote Australia and in recent years Melbourne and Sydney. Over the years Batty has carved his own unique style of documentary filmmaking which is vibrant, intimate and rich in detail. The immediacy of his work comes from having a close rapport, trust and great access to often isolated and rarefied communities. He combines local knowledge with great story telling to make television that is fresh, pertinent and thought provoking.
Based in Alice Springs for twelve years and then Broome for a further 12 years and now in Melbourne, Batty has a long and distinguished history of making programs with and for Aboriginal people. His filmmaking career began around 1980 in Alice Springs during which time he played an integral part in establishing the television production unit at CAAMA (Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association).
The culmination of Batty's work in Central Australia can be seen in the hit television series, "Bush Mechanics", originally screened on ABC TV in 2001 to a national audience of over three million viewers. David's recent projects include directing two episodes of the popular SBS series "Going Bush", shooting and mentoring "Veiled Ambition" and writing, directing and shooting Australia's first made for mobile documentary "Marree Man"
With the series "Halal Mate" and the one off half hour "Desert Heart", and in production with the one hour "Wedding Makers" for the ABC, 2007 has been a watershed year Rebel Films. Along with producer Jeni McMahon, Batty has now firmly established himself as a significant player in the broader Australian Documentary community.
From 1998 to 2002 Jeni produced projects that primarily reflected aspects of life in remote Aboriginal Australia. She has a strong connection with this region, having lived at various times in Central Australia, Arnhem Land and the Kimberley.
Jeni's knowledge of outback Australia held her in good stead whilst producing the Bush Mechanics Series in 2000- 2001. Over a period of eighteen months, she drove across the continent more times than she can remember, made countless cups of tea for co-director Francis Jupurulla Kelly, cooked and cleaned for the Bush Mechanics and tolerated heat, dust and floods at Yuendumu.
Of her experience she says: "Bush Mechanics has been both the most challenging and exhilarating project I've ever been involved with and I'm extremely glad to have survived the experience!"
In 2004, after six years of filmmaking throughout regional and outback Australia, Jeni returned to her home town of Melbourne to complete post-production on "Inventions from the Shed." She liked it so much she decided to stay and in 2005, Rebel Films established a permanent production base and studio in Brunswick, Melbourne.
2005 saw her return to outback Australia to produce the "Going Bush" series with Cathy Freeman and Deborah Mailman for SBS and Lonely Planet Television. This year she hopes to stay closer to home to concentrate on the many projects she has on her development and production slate.
Of producing she says " there's nothing I enjoy more than being on the road and in production. We've had the privilege to work with some amazing people all over the country, sometimes people who you meet for only a short space of time but who nevertheless open up their world to you. That's the highlight of documentary filmmaking for me - making those connections and allowing people to speak in their own voice and that I think, is what's most important....."