Dark Lake Productions was established in 2008 by award winning Australian writer/director Heidi Lee Douglas. Currently based in Sydney, Heidi's expertise covers both documentaries and drama with extensive experience in producing, editing and shooting. Heidi is passionate about storytelling, and her rich life experience brings a deep level of personal and universal thematic understanding and empathy to her work.
Heidi is writing the Convict Western feature script Unnatural Conduct, supported by Screen Tasmania, produced by Marcus Gillezeau, Fiona McConaghy and Executive Producer Chris Brown. The First Draft of Unnatural Conduct was chosen for a live reading as part of the "On the Table" WOW Film Festival Script Competition 2016, was a Quarter Finalist in the Screencraft Action/Thriller Screenplay Competition 2016 and was shortlisted for the Sundance Screenwriters Lab 2017.
Heidi is also working as a writer and researcher for independent Australian producers, and is part of an Australian Women in Horror feature anthology produced by Maggie Miles and Lizzette Atkins through Unicorn Film developed through Screen Tasmania and Screen Australia. Throughout 2016 was a Video Mentor for acclaimed arts and social justice organisation Big hART. Heidi was also a guest panelist and short film judge for Monster Fest 2016.
Heidi's Opening Shot broadcast documentary Defendant 5, about her personal experience of being sued by Australia's biggest logging company (ABC and Al Jazeera), was produced by leading Australian social change documentary production company Smith&Nasht. Defendant 5 was broadcast nationally on the ABC in 2014 and internationally on Al Jazeera to over 260 millions homes in 2015 and 2016. Amongst other acclaim, Defendant 5 won Best Short Film at GFFIS (Green Film Festival in Seoul) 2016 and was nominated for a Golden Kapok award at the Guangzhoa International Documentary Film Festival 2016. Heidi was honoured as a “World Heritage Hero” by the German Government at the opening ceremony of the World Heritage Committee’s meeting in Bonn in 2015 for her film work leading to the World Heritage protection of the Tasmanian forests.
Heidi wrote/produced/directed and edited the award winning short gothic thriller Little Lamb, supported by Screen Australia and Wideangle Tasmania, which premiered at Fantastic Fest (TX) 2014 and has screened in more than 25 film festivals worldwide including Flickerfest 2015, picking up awards for Best Film, Best Script, Best Production Design and Best Thriller. Little Lamb is being distributed for global broadcast by ShortsHD and is part if a yet to be announced Los Angeles produced "Women in Horror" anthology feature film.
Heidi Lee Douglas grew up in Newcastle whilst travelling extensively throughout South East Asia on a shoestring budget with her travel obsessed parents, giving her insight into other cultures and social issues. She felt a bolt of lightning when she picked up a video camera at age 17 and went on to complete a Video Production major (Bachelor of Arts, Media and Communications Studies) in 1999 at the University of Newcastle, whilst being mentored and working as Production/Camera Assistant on Catherine Marciniak's acclaimed documentary about the closure of Newcastle's BHP, Steel City (ABC).
Heidi's graduate films focused on social change documentary storytelling. After university Heidi independently produced, directed, shot and edited the award winning half hour documentary Footsteps (2001) about Aboriginal land rights issues in arid South Australia. After travelling throughout war-torn East Timor and providing footage for Reuters, Heidi went to Tasmania to make a documentary about community division over logging,
Heidi's work drew the attention of Australia's largest conservation organisation, The Wilderness Society, and she was subsequently employed as their national in-house video producer. Over the next six years Heidi produced numerous short documentaries and pioneering web-content about critical Australian environmental issues.
Significantly, Heidi's films and footage archive was used globally to draw attention to the destruction of Tasmania's ancient forests. Logging company Gunns Ltd responded to the campaign to save Tasmania's forest by suing Heidi and 19 other critics for over $6.4 million dollars in an unsuccessful test economic tort that challenged the right to free speech. During this five year court battle Heidi documented the case whilst continuing to make many short documentaries that were pivotal to environmental campaigns all around Australia.
During this time Heidi also developed her drama screenwriting skills through competitive courses run by AFTRS and Screen Tasmania, writing shorts and the gothic feature script My Mother's Skin.
Since establishing Dark Lake Productions Heidi has independently produced and directed documentaries, web movies, educational programs, and music videos for Aboriginal communities, arts and educational organisations, and national and international environmental organisations.
Heidi's other broadcast documentary experience includes Director’s Attachment to Varcha Sidwell and Second Camera The Mission (ABC Compass); Editor Voices in the Dark (ABC Arts); Online Editor Portrait of a Distant Land (ABC Arts); and Additional Cinematographer Vu Die Ciel (Arte France), The Last Valley (ABC), and What Ever happened to Brenda Hean? (ABC).
Through Dark Lake Productions Heidi has worked closely with Tasmanian production company Roar Film as an editor and cinematographer/director on broadcast documentaries and internationally recognised online educational interactive content. Heidi is also a former board member and specialist editing advisor for Wide Angle Tasmania.
Heidi is passionate about empowering minority voices, providing training and producing content with community development organisations in remote communities in the Pilbara, Arnhem Land, Cape York, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu and throughout regional Tasmania.