Diverse Titles & Talent Supported With Almost $650,000 in Development Funding
Screen Australia has committed $643,125 in funding to support the development of 18 feature films and to cultivate the careers of the next generation of filmmakers.
In line with the increasingly genre-diverse ambitions of Australia’s film industry, projects being funded through Single Project Development include animation, action and adventure, thriller, comedy, romantic comedy and drama titles.
Producer Polly Staniford and executive producer Angie Fielder will be supported to develop the edgy thriller Berlin Syndrome. Written by Snowtown writer Shaun Grant, and with Cate Shortland attached to direct, it tells the story of a passionate holiday romance that turns into an obsessive relationship, when an Australian photojournalist wakes in a Berlin apartment and is unable to leave.
Also receiving development support, The End of Everything is a thriller based on the LA Times bestseller by Megan Abbott, and is produced by Kristian Moliere and written by Andy Cox.
True History of the Kelly Gang is a western, based on Peter Carey’s novel of the same name, produced by Liz Watts (Animal Kingdom, The Rover), Hal Vogel and David Aukin, and written by Joe Penhall, with Justin Kurzel attached to direct and Vincent Sheehan as executive producer.
Comedy drama Palm Beach (Those Were the Days) will be developed by producers Bryan Brown and Deb Balderstone, working with the acclaimed playwright Joanna Murray-Smith.
Jane Austen’s Emma will be given an Aussie makeover in romantic comedy EM, courtesy of producers Matthew Dabner, Karen Radzyner and Anna Vincent, with director Kate Riedl and co-screenwriters Emma Jensen and Matthew Dabner.
First-time writer Krew Boylan has been supported to script the comedy drama Seriously Red, produced by Matt Reeder, about a self-confessed clown who decides to take herself seriously by becoming a Dolly Parton impersonator.
The story of four mates fighting in World War II, who make history by stopping Rommel’s dreaded Panzer Divisions at Tobruk, is the subject of The Rats of Tobruk, written byMax Mannix, with director Greg Mclean attached.
Producer Antony I. Ginnane (Patrick) has been supported to develop the kill-or-be-killed action thriller Turkey Shoot Resurrected, with director Jon Hewitt, who co-writes withBelinda McClory.
Director Jonathan Teplitzky (The Railway Man), with producer Marian Macgowan and writer Pip Karmel, will be supported to develop Choir of Hard Knocks, based on a true story about a disparate and desperate group of people who find hope and dignity when they band together to find their voice.
Salvation Creek tells the story of a high-flying magazine editor who turns her back on her career after the sudden death of her husband and brother and finds salvation in an
unexpected place. It is produced by Heather Ogilvie and written by Ross Grayson Bell, with Megan Simpson Huberman attached to direct.
Writer/director Nicholas Verso will be supported to develop Boys in the Trees, with producer John Molloy and executive producer Michael Gudinski, having begun work on the project through Screen Australia’s Springboard program. The film is a drama about two estranged teens who embark on a surreal journey through their memories, dreams and fears when they find themselves walking home together on Halloween, 1997.
Animated feature Nymphaea, produced by Jessica Brentnall and executive producerTimothy White, and written by Ari Gibson and Eddie White, has also been supported.
Emerging directors Anna Spencer, Isabel Peppard and Sophie Miller, and up-and-coming producer Katia Nizic received funded opportunities to grow their careers through Screen Australia’s Talent Escalator program.
Screen Australia’s Head of Development Martha Coleman said, “It’s fantastic to see our filmmakers developing projects that are so varied in their subject and genre. It’s a sign of a healthy, confident feature film industry and the wealth of talent out there, which is constantly becoming more skilled, confident and ambitious.”
See below for the full list of announced projects in development.
SINGLE PROJECT DEVELOPMENT: Feature Development
Genre Drama, Comedy
Producers Helen Panckhurst, Michael McMahon
Executive Producer Tony Ayres
Writers Andrew Knight, Osamah Sami
Producer/Writer/Director Rachel Griffiths
Producer Louise Smith
Writer Samantha Strauss
Producers Polly Staniford
Executive Producer Angie Fielder
Writer Shaun Grant
Director Cate Shortland
Synopsis A passionate holiday romance leads to an obsessive relationship, when an Australian photojournalist wakes one morning in a Berlin apartment and is unable to leave.
BOYS IN THE TREES
Producer John Molloy
Executive Producer Michael Gudinski
Writer/Director Nicholas Verso
Synopsis Two estranged teens begrudgingly find themselves walking home together on Halloween, 1997, embarking on a surreal journey through their memories, dreams and fears.
CHOIR OF HARD KNOCKS
Genre Comedy, Drama
Producer Marian Macgowan
Writer Pip Karmel
Director Jonathan Teplitzky
Synopsis A disparate and desperate group of people transcend their hopelessness and band together to find their voice, rediscovering, under the baton of their choirmaster, a dignity and purpose that their ravaged lives had threatened to destroy.
Genre Romantic comedy
Producers Matthew Dabner, Karen Radzyner, Anna Vincent
Writers Matthew Dabner, Emma Jensen
Director Kate Riedl
Synopsis Jane Austen's Emma down under.
THE END OF EVERYTHING
Genre Thriller, Crime
Producer Kristian Moliere
Writer Andy Cox
Synopsis When Lizzie's best friend, Evie, disappears, Lizzie takes up her own pursuit of the truth, pushing herself into the dark centre of Evie’s teenage world until she begins to wonder whether she really knew her friend at all.
Producer Tara Morice
Executive Producer Martin Fabinyi
Writer Isobelle Carmody
Director Luke Doolan
Synopsis Struggling to cope with his mother’s death, Jack enters a strange, grey world and begins to write a story for his little sister.
Genre Animated feature
Producer Jessica Brentnall
Executive Producer Timothy White
Writers Ari Gibson, Eddie White
PALM BEACH (THOSE WERE THE DAYS)
Genre Dramatic Comedy
Producers Bryan Brown, Deb Balderstone
Writer Joanna Murray-Smith
THE RATS OF TOBRUK
Genre Action Adventure
Writer Max Mannix
Director Greg Mclean
Synopsis North Africa, 1941. Four young mates fighting in World War II make history by stopping Erwin Rommel’s dreaded Panzer Divisions at Tobruk.
Producers Heather Ogilvie, Sarah Radclyffe
Executive Producer Bruce Davey
Writer Jan Sardi
Synopsis On a windswept English beach, what two women discover will challenge the way we see the world and ultimately test their friendship. Based on the acclaimed novel by Tracy Chevalier.
Producer Heather Ogilvie
Writer Ross Grayson Bell
Director Megan Simpson Huberman
Synopsis A high-flying magazine editor turns her back on her career after the sudden death of her husband and brother. Sometimes salvation turns out to be a place of unexpected beauty.
Producer Matt Reeder
Writer Krew Boylan
Synopsis A self-confessed clown decides to take herself seriously by becoming a Dolly Parton impersonator. To find who she really is she first has to become someone else.
THIS YEAR’S ASHES
Writer Jane Bodie
Synopsis A touching urban fable of connection and redemption, adapted from the 2011 stage play of the same name.
TRUE HISTORY OF THE KELLY GANG
Genre Thriller, Western
Producers Liz Watts, Hal Vogel, David Aukin
Executive Producer Vincent Sheehan
Writer Joe Penhall
Director Justin Kurzel
Synopsis Based on Peter Carey’s award-winning novel, Justin Kurzel’s True History of the Kelly Gang is a fresh and startling take on this familiar tale.
TURKEY SHOOT RESURRECTED
Genre Action Adventure, Thriller
Producer Antony I. Ginnane
Writers Belinda McClory, Jon Hewitt
Director Jon Hewitt
Synopsis Disgraced ex-Navy SEAL Rich Tyler is the next contestant – number #777 – in the kill-or-be-killed smash hit TV reality show, Turkey Shoot.
Producers Jim McElroy, Marta McElroy
Co- Producer Michael S Murphey
Writer David Williamson
Director Bruce Beresford
Synopsis In South Africa in 1983, one man defies racist Apartheid laws when he coaches a multi-racial team to a championship. Based on a true story.
TALENT ESCALATOR PROGRAMS: Director's Acclaim Fund
Director Anna Spencer will develop her animation and storytelling skills through a placement with film and new media company Fifty Nine Productions, under the guidance of the Creative Directors. Anna's short animation Barn Owl was the only Australian fiction short film in competition at the prestigious Annecy International Animation festival in 2012.
Under the mentorship of acclaimed feature horror writer/director Jennifer Lynch (Boxing Helena, Surveillance), director Isabel Peppard will develop her skills in the horror genre through a series of workshops. Isabel's short animation Butterflies won the Dendy Yoram Gross Award for Best Short Animation at the Sydney Film Festival.
Under the mentorship of writer/director Cate Shortland (Lore, Somersault), director Sophie Miller will hone her story, performance and visual style through workshops and consultations. Sophie's award-winning short film Spine won Best Australian Short Film at the Melbourne International Film Festival.
TALENT ESCALATOR PROGRAMS: Industry Internships
Producer Katia Nizic will spend six months working closely with Producer Sue Maslin of Film Art Media on her feature adaptation of The Dressmaker (novel by Rosalie Ham), which will star Kate Winslet.