#40: The Greatest Australian Art Heist with Marc Fennell
Marc Fennell: Unraveling the Art Heist That Missed the Spotlight.

In the vast landscape of Australian media, some talents shine brighter. This week, I had the pleasure of connecting with Marc Fennell, aA masterful storyteller. As a young enthusiast, he clinched the AFI Outstanding Young Film Critics Award, all while navigating the mazes of high school algebra. Fast forward a few years, and he's now the mind behind the series and podcast, 'Stuff the British Stole,' not to mention riveting documentaries like 'The School That Tried to End Racism,' 'The Kingdom,' and 'Framed.'

However, our chat primarily circled around his latest project, 'The Mission.' The story revolves around an intriguing phone call which lead the SBS News Documentary team from wrapping up 'Framed' to discovering a lost tale – the heist of New Norcia. A story oddly unknown, eclipsed by time and the voracious appetite of the 24-hour news cycle.

So, What Exactly is 'The Mission'?

In 1986, the walls of the New Norcia Monastery in Western Australia were stripped of over two dozen priceless artworks. This unexpected location housed “European masterpieces,” and the heist left more questions than answers. Fennell, with his knack for uncovering the obscured, dives into this intricate web, tracing crimes more audacious than the most notorious art thefts.

Yet, every great project needs its pillars. Alongside Marc, director Corrin Grant and executive producer Una Butorac played pivotal roles. Corrin, with two decades of journalistic and documentary experience, has previously graced our screens with the series "Framed" and "Where Are You Really From?" On the other hand, Una, an award-winning producer, has steered SBS's flagship shows like "Insight" and "The Feed." Together, their combined expertise brings 'The Mission' to life, marrying interviews, re-enactments, and archival elements in a symphony of storytelling.

Dive in with me for a captivating glimpse into this documentary. I found myself enthralled and mystified as Marc skill-fully navigates the narrative, revealing just enough to pique your interest without giving it all away. Trust me, some of the insights he shares are bound to leave you utterly astounded.

Don't miss out: tune into SBS. This three-part series premieres at 8.30pm on Tuesday, 24 October, with new episodes airing weekly. New episodes roll out weekly. Alternatively, binge the entire series on SBS on Demand. Tune into our podcast chat with Marc Fennell, where we delve even further into the creative process behind 'The Mission'.

Maria Ugrinovski

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#40: The Greatest Australian Art Heist with Marc Fennell