Film Vic goes Xmas crazy with new funding

23 December, 2008 by IF

[press release from Solid Ink PR]

The Film Victoria Board has approved a $1.3 million investment in new film and television projects.


The two supported feature films are being created by Victorian production companies Princess Pictures and Big and Little Films. The six documentary projects that received investment, which covers a wide array of subject matter, are all to be broadcast on the ABC.

John Howie, President of the Film Victoria Board, confirmed the decisions this morning, “It’s with great pleasure that we announce the results of the recent production investment round. These projects are wonderful examples of talented creative teams producing diverse projects for diverse audiences.”

Significantly, five of the six production companies supported have previously received slate funding which has enabled them to structure their businesses to support development of a diverse slate. “What’s also pleasing to see in this round is that our Slate Funding program is supporting Victorian production companies to not only develop a variety of projects but importantly move them into production,” said Mr Howie.

Fresh from their AFI Award winning success, Princess Pictures, the production team behind We Can Be Heroes and Summer Heights High, will produce their first feature film. Producers Yael Bergman and Laura Waters will join with director Daina Reid to make I LOVE YOU TOO, a generation X buddy-film.

Written by well known Australian comedian Peter Helliar, it tells the story of an emotionally-stunted commitment-phobe whose unlikely friendship with a love-letter-writing dwarf might just help him save his own relationship.

LOU is the story of an eleven year old girl whose father walks out on her and is replaced by her grandfather who has Alzheimer’s.

Brought to life by Big and Little Films, writer/director Belinda Chayko will be supported by an award-winning team of producers including Michael McMahon and Tony Ayres the acclaimed writer and director of The Home Song Stories and an impressive cast including Oscar nominee and multiple BAFTA Awards winner John Hurt, together with AFI Award-winner Emily Barclay (Suburban Mayhem, In My Father’s Den).

December Films will ask the big questions in their production, CATCHING CANCER, a 55 minute documentary exploring whether it’s possible to catch cancer and the startling facts about genetic make-up, environment and prior infections.

With writer/director Sonya Pemberton one of Australia’s leading science documentary-makers teaming up with producer Tony Wright to bring this documentary to our screens, it is an astounding look at what is really happening in local and international cancer research in the last decade.

An escaped convict will take centre stage when December Films also produces THE EXTRAORDINARY TALE OF WILLIAM BUCKLEY.

Written and directed by Malcolm Macdonald, produced by Tony Wright and narrated by Tim Flannery, this is the factual story of how William Buckley not only survived as an escaped convict, but possibly thrived for 32 years by living among the Aborigines before Victoria was colonised, near where we would now find the Great Ocean Road.

NED KELLY UNCOVERED examines the first scientific archaeological excavation to uncover the site of Ned Kelly’s last stand at Glenrowan in provincial Victoria. Directed by Alex West and hosted by acclaimed actor Tony Robinson, (UK’s Timeteam, Worst Jobs In History and Black Adder), this Renegade Films Australia production will be jam packed with experiments that will contribute to establishing the truth – testing the protective capacity of Ned’s helmet by shooting it; opening fire on a model of the Glenrowan Hotel to establish how easy it was to kill its inhabitants and burning it down to see if anyone could have survived.

360 Degree Films’ PENGUIN ISLAND will be a behind-the-scenes look at the soap-style dramas of the world famous fairy penguins of Phillip Island. Producer/writer Sally Ingleton enlisted the help of writer Miranda Wills to set the scene for the amazing documentary which will detail the lives of the penguins who entertain half a million tourists each year.

The series follows three penguin couples, living in a colony where relationships are fraught, affairs commonplace, and danger lurks around every corner. A team of scientists will lift the lid on a rich world of secrets, conspiracy and intrigue.

Producer and writer Andrew Wiseman from Pericles Films will work with Don Featherstone, writer and director, to produce the story of a desperate military campaign fought without mercy between Australian and Japanese soldiers in KOKODA.

Based on the best selling book by the same name, written by Paul Ham, the series offers a compelling and balanced portrayal, with interviews from Australian and Japanese veterans who recount their perspectives of the nightmarish Papuan jungle trail where thousands fought and died during World War Two.

Flaming Star Films will go behind the scenes in BALLET RUSSES as The Australian Ballet restages ‘The Firebird’ in celebration of the Ballets Russes tours of Australia between the Wars. Producers Sharyn Prentice and Marianne Latham will team with director Mandy Chang and Graeme Murphy, one of Australia’s best dance choreographers, former Australian Ballet dancer and Sydney Dance Company Artistic Director.

This documentary celebrates the Ballet Russes’ history and one of their greatest productions, as well as embracing the story of the genesis of the Australian Ballet.

“The benefits of these productions will flow on through Victoria, with an estimated 365 jobs created, and potentially over $12 million expenditure in the state as a result of our investment. Film Victoria looks forward to further supporting screen talent that shines, and seeing the local screen industry continue to go from strength to strength,” concluded Mr Howie.