Dark Lake Productions was established in 2008 by award winning Australian filmmaker Heidi Lee Douglas. Dark Lake Productions is in development and production on documentary and drama projects, collaborating with creatives across Australia and around the world.
Our client work includes feature script development, producing documentaries, music videos, advertising and campaign films, as well as video mentoring for community development organisations.
Heidi Lee Douglas is an award winning Australian Writer/Director/Producer whose work ranges from powerful character driven documentary, to game changing campaign films and elevated horror. Her visual aesthetic is bold and striking. Heidi's rich life experience grants her deep insight into exploring the personal amid universal themes.
Heidi’s eco-horror short Devil Woman premiered in 2018 at Fantasia International Film Festival (Montreal) and was officially selected for FrightFest (London) and Morbido (Mexico City). Her gothic thriller short Little Lamb (Screen Australia/Wide Angle Tasmania) has spent four years on the film festival circuit after premiering at Fantastic Fest (TX) 2014. Little Lamb has been awarded Best Film, Best Production Design, Best Script and Best Thriller, and was selected for the 7 from Etheria anthology feature, distributed by Amazon and iTunes USA.
Heidi's autobiographical documentary Defendant 5 was commissioned and broadcast by the ABC and Al Jazeera to 260 million homes worldwide. Defendant 5 was awarded Best Short Film at Green Film Festival in Seoul 2016 and nominated for the Golden Kapok award at the Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival 2016. Heidi was honoured as a “Heritage Hero” by the German Government at the opening ceremony of the World Heritage Committee’s meeting in Bonn, 2015.
An accomplished writer, Heidi’s convict western thriller feature film Unnatural Conduct was shortlisted for the Sundance Screenwriters Lab 2017, a Semi Finalist Gateway LA Script Development Program 2017 and was a Quarter Finalist in the Screencraft Action/Thriller Screenplay Competition 2017.
Heidi is attached to direct whip-smart horror feature Boutique Vixens, and a segment of an Australian produced “Women in Horror” feature anthology, alongside acclaimed Writer/Directors Catriona McKenzie, Donna McRae, Natalie Erika James, and Rebecca Thomson; produced by Maggie Miles and Lizzette Atkins through Unicorn Film, supported by Screen Tasmania and Screen Australia.
A champion for inclusivity and diversity, Heidi is Co-Chair of Sydney's Film Fatales, part of an international network of women filmmakers who meet regularly to mentor each other, share resources, collaborate on projects and build a supportive environment in which to make their films.
Heidi Lee Douglas grew up in Newcastle NSW 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, who created a position for her as their national in-house video producer. Over the next six years Heidi produced and directed numerous game-changing 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 films that were pivotal to environmental campaigns all around Australia. Heidi also developed her drama screenwriting skills through competitive courses run by AFTRS and Screen Tasmania, writing shorts and her first feature, the Holding-Redlich award winning gothic horror love story My Mother's Skin.
Heidi established Dark Lake Productions in 2008 to allow her to work across both documentary and drama filmmaking, and relocated from Hobart to Sydney in 2012. Heidi's other broadcast credits include Director of Photography on the feature documentary Nothing to Lose, Director’s Attachment to Varcha Sidwell and Second Camera on the ABC Compass series The Mission, Second Camera on Whatever Happened to Brenda Hean?, Editor for the ABC Arts Voices in the Dark and Online Editor for SBS’ Portrait of a Distant Land.