Fifteen new projects to receive $9m from Screen Australia

08 March, 2011 by Ruby Lennon

Screen Australia will invest $9 million, creating $29 million worth of production across 15 projects, including feature films, a television series and an array of documentaries.

The big names attached to the announcement are Jane Turner and Gina Riley, who will be taking their much loved mother-daughter duo Kath and Kim to the big screen in an international romantic adventure The Kath and Kim Filum.


Screen Australia CEO Ruth Harley said: “Australia’s comedic sensibility is world renowned and is a distinctive part of our cultural identity. The Kath and Kim Filum represents iconic Australian comedy.”

Three other features have received investment, including Jeremy Hogarth’s The Last Great Apes and The 20-Something Survival Guide – the debut feature from Peter Templeman.

Development plans were also announced for a further twenty-three features – among them projects by Rachel Ward, Gillian Armstrong, Josh Lawson, Robert Connolly, Kriv Stenders and Stephan Elliott.

More details about the feature development investment from December 2010 to February 2011 can be found here. The full list of the projects are:


The 20-Something Survival Guide
Eddie Wong Films Pty Ltd
Producer: Jodi Matterson
Executive Producers: Bruna Papandrea, Simon Bosanquet, Mark Huffam
Writer: Michael Lucas
Director: Peter Templeman
International Sales: Marble Hill/SC Films International
Australian Distributor: Icon
Synopsis: A freewheeling 20-something guy learns he will be infertile in a month, so he has to find someone to conceive with before it's too late.

Big Mama’s Boy
Valarc Films
Producers: Matteo Bruno, Frank Lotito
Writer: Frank Lotito
Director: Franco Di Chiera
Australian Distributor: Madman
Synopsis: A comedy about life, love and lasagna.

The Kath and Kim Filum
Riley Turner Productions Pty Ltd
Producers: Rick McKenna, Jane Turner, Gina Riley
Writers: Jane Turner, Gina Riley
Director: Ted Emery
International Sales: Royalty & Distribution Services
Australian Distributor: Royalty & Distribution Services/Roadshow
Synopsis: A Fountain Lakes Fairytale. Kath and Kim’s whirlwind trip OS becomes a vajazzling tale of love, lust and revolution… What’s not to like?

The Last Great Apes
Visionquest Entertainment
Producer: Norm Wilkinson
Director: Jeremy Hogarth
Writers: Norm Wilkinson, Jeremy Hogarth
International Sales: Park Entertainment, NWave (Imax)
Australian Distributor: Pinnacle, NWave (Imax)
Synopsis: The world’s great apes are in desperate trouble. Their very survival is under threat. They now have a new champion – someone prepared to stand on the barricades and fight for them.

Low-budget Television

God Squad
ZAC Toons Australia Pty Ltd
Producers: Troy Zafer, Jemma Cook
Writers: Brendan Luno, Chad Fifer
Director: Nick Kempt
Co-director: Emma Camden
Broadcaster: SBS
Distribution: Mercury Mobile (Australia)
Synopsis: God Squad is an animated send-up of gritty police dramas in which the gods of various past and present religions play the principal roles as cops and criminals.

National Documentary Program

The Bombing of Darwin: An Awkward Truth
Producer/Executive Producer: Brian Beaton
Writer: Russell Vines
Director: TBA
Broadcaster: The History Channel
Sales: Off The Fence
Synopsis: The true story behind Australia’s worst disaster, the bombing of Darwin during World War II.

Founders and Survivors Storylines
Digital, Roar Film
Producers: Kath Symmons, Anna Grieve, Steve Thomas
Writers: Steve Thomas, Melinda Standish
Creative Director: Steve Thomas
Musical Director: Mick Thomas
Synopsis: Founders and Survivors Storylines is an online project that springs from one of the world’s great historical studies of immigration, forced labour and settlement – the 73,000 individual records of convicts transported to Tasmania.

Singapore 1942
Electric Pictures
Producer: Andrea Quesnelle
Executive Producers: Andrew Ogilvie, Trevor Graham
Writer/Director: Don Featherstone
Broadcasters: SBS, BBC Scotland, Discovery Asia, UKTV
Synopsis: The fall of Singapore shattered myths, brought an empire to its knees and changed the destiny of millions of people.

Sporting Nation
Princess Pictures Pty Ltd
Producer: Andrea Denholm
Executive Producers: Laura Waters, Yael Bergman, Andrea Denholm
Series Producer: Jeff Stilson
Writers: John Clarke, Jeff Stilson
Director: Bruce Permezel
Broadcaster: ABC
Sales: ABC Commerical
Synopsis: Australia is a sporting nation. In Australia, to be a properly accredited member of society, you’ve got to either play or watch sport. John Clarke, arguably Australia’s greatest natural athlete, kicks around with legendary sporting heroes, amateur athletes and the country’s loudest fans in a documentary series that barracks for and rips into Australian sport, past and present.

The Years That Made Us: Australia Between the Wars
Beyond Screen Productions
Producers: Mark Hamlyn, Renee Kennedy
Executive Producer: Mark Hamlyn
Writer/Presenter: Chris Masters
Director: Stuart Goodman
Broadcaster: ABC
Synopsis: Chris Masters investigates a crucial but sometimes overlooked period of Australian history, the between the war years from the 1920s to the 1940s. When the guns stopped sounding another battle began. The maturing of a nation and its people can often be found less through war than the struggle for peace. This series traces three key themes each connecting this important era to the present. While Federation in 1901 is a formal beginning and Gallipoli in 1915, a symbolic coming of age, in the following years when the soldiers returned, the people endured a depression and then steeled themselves for yet another war, vital steps to nationhood were negotiated.

Special Documentary Program

A Common Purpose
Looking Glass Pictures
Producer/Writer/ Director: Mitzi Goldman
Synopsis: In a landmark trial in South Africa that convicted 26 people collectively of murder of one man and sentenced 14 of them to death, two white lawyers fight for justice in the most violent era of apartheid’s history. A Common Purpose tells this story of law, justice and human rights.

Make Hummos Not War
A Yarra Bank Films and Eclipse Films Production
Producer/Writer/Director: Trevor Graham
Co-producer: Ned Lander
Executive Producers: Andrew Myer, Phil Craig
Synopsis: A new war has broken out in the Middle East between the usual suspects, but chick peas, not bullets, are in the front line.

Missing in the Valley of Gods
Producer: Liz Burke
Writer/Director: Davor Dirlic
Synopsis: Missing in the Valley of Gods is a film about an Australian family who must battle an emotional and cultural minefield in the search for their free spirited son who has mysteriously disappeared in India.

My Long Neck
Producer: Judi Oehme
Executive Producer: Lauren Drewery
Writer/Director: Shalom Almond
Synopsis: Three young Kayan refugees feel trapped by life as ‘long neck’ tourist attractions in a village along the Thai-Burmese border. Now these sisters have a chance at freedom but will they take it?

Sons and Mothers
Pop Pictures
Producer: Louise Pascale
Writer/ Director: Christopher Houghton
Synopsis: A group of isolated men find common ground in the creation of a theatre show about their mothers.