Dialog Box

Community | Education | Health & Wellbeing | Indigenous | Rural
That Sugar Film


$268,640 Raised of
THAT SUGAR FILM is one man's journey to discover the bitter truth about sugar. Damon Gameau embarks on a unique experiment to document the effects of a high sugar diet on a healthy body, consuming only foods that are commonly perceived as 'healthy'. Through this entertaining and informative journey, Damon highlights some of the issues that plague the sugar industry, and where sugar lurks on supermarket shelves.

THAT SUGAR FILM will forever change the way you think about 'healthy' food.

How does the project meet the aims of a philanthropic foundation?

THAT SUGAR FILM aims to investigate how sugar has infiltrated our diet and culture, what its doing to us and how we can develop an arm's length relationship with it. In sweeping away the illusions and clarifying the facts about sugar we aim to educate and create long lasting change both in Australia and internationally. Sugar's dominant association with celebration, reward and comfort mean that we dealing with an emotive subject - our cinematic narrative will engage our audience at an emotional level and help them plan their own 'break up' with this troublemaker. During development, we have consistently found that people wish to support the project in anyway they can - our online request for an overweight candidate to give up sugar spawned overwhelming results. Given the links rocketing sugar consumption has with the prevalence of obesity, type 2 diabetes and society's deteriorating sense of wellbeing, we feel we have a moral obligation for as many people to see this film as possible.
Aims & Objectives

What outcomes do you hope to achieve by making this film and how will you measure its impact?

Through colourful and innovative presentation we aim to reach the broadest audience possible and not just preach to the converted but engage the person with the bucket of coke in their laps. We plan to fully realise transmedia tools to promote and engage our audience from the start of production. Reaction and interaction to the film through its online application will give us good indication of our success in creating change in awareness and dietary habits. Beyond this, we are dedicated to working with educational bodies to use the film as a basis for programs to improve nutritional education from an early age. Long term, we would hope our impact would be evident in changes in supermarket aisle in terms of food labelling legislation , lowered sugar content in processed food, and consumer demand shifting away from sugar loaded products.

This is a break-down of budget, showing the areas of outreach and how we will distribute the funds;

Impact Producer for 3 years $90,000
Website $35,000
Education Resources $25,000
Educational Outreach $110,000
Screenings (with Q&A)
Campaign support for aligned initiatives $25,000
Travel Costs $5,000
Mai Wiru indigenous community nutrition program, Amata SA 2 years- $220,000

What is your education and outreach strategy?

Create ‘Study Guide’ materials for teachers at several levels of school. Aim is to get these materials not just into the hands of teachers, but to get them as part of the health and physical education curriculum.

Tuckshop campaign: target appropriate stakeholders to get Tuckshops around Australia to include sugar free and healthy alternatives as a compulsory part of the broader offering in Schools.

Advocacy and Policy change:
To get Australia to adopt the WHO recommend standards for daily consumption of sugar. Once these are adopted, it will lead to more pointed and meaningful discussion around the transparency and accuracy of food labelling, consumption patterns, etc

Working with relevant not-for- profits and educational bodies to use the film as a basis for programs to improve nutritional education from an early age and influence consumer choices (from supply to the school canteen, to parents lunch box preparation).

Labels and Marketing:
Changes such as ‘healthy aisles’ in supermarkets:, food labeling legislation and lowered sugar content in processed food. Concurrently, consumer education could contribute to demand shifting away from sugar-loaded products.

Support for the Mai Wiru indigenous community nutrition program:
This is a program developed by an Aboriginal community on the APY lands. They have decreased sugar consumption in their community and removed full strength Coca Cola (In 2008, the Northern Territory was the highest selling region per capita in the world for Coca Cola due to the Aboriginal stores).

Sadly, their income stream has been removed and the locals want to continue their work and keep the education about sugar alive in the community. We are looking to provide a revenue stream to fund nutritionist training, employ trained locals in the stores to assist people with shopping, plus provide fridges with free cold water and fresh fruits and vegetables. The bottom line for us is the empowerment of the local people. This is an Aboriginal run health initiative and should be given maximum support.
We feel that success here with the Mai Wiru project in Amata could provide a terrific template that could be shared in other communities around Australia.
Damon Gameau
Nick Batzias
Total budget
93 Minutes