Film Victoria is investing $1.14 million in three features and five TV projects through its new assigned production investment program.

Combined these projects will create employment for around 400 creatives, cast and crew and generate an estimated $11.8 million in production expenditure in the State, according to CEO Jenni Tosi.

“Under our assigned production investment program, which came into effect in July, Film Victoria’s equity, copyright and recoupment position is assigned to the producer, giving screen production businesses access to an increased level of returns and a greater financial capacity to develop new ideas and expand their output,” she said.

“The diversity of projects in this round reflects the significant production activity taking place in Victoria right now – activity that is being driven by our talented local screen practitioners."

The projects are:

DOWNRIVER, Happening Films
Jannine Barnes, producer
Grant Scicluna, writer/director

The plot follows a teenager, James (Reef Ireland) who serves time for drowning a little boy when he was a child, although the body was never found. In an attempt to right all wrongs and uncover the truth, James takes dangerous risks to find redemption and return the missing body to the grieving mother.

ECCO HOMO, Ghost Pictures
Richard Lowenstein, producer
Lynn-Maree Milburn, writer
Lynn-Maree Milburn and Richard Lowenstein, directors

This feature documentary follows Peter “Troy” Davies, who journeyed through a world of drag, prostitution and artistic excess in the late 1970s. He was diagnosed HIV positive in 1987 and became one of the world’s longest surviving AIDS patients, defying medical opinion with his ability to survive against the odds. He obsessively documented his life and was the subject of music videos and short films including two by Anne Harding, Five Steps to Glamour and Genius in Lying.

The Australian distributor is Apparition Entertainment, which handled Ghost Pictures'  In Bob We Trust, and The Yellow Affair is the international sales agent. Lowenstein describes the film as a "psychological detective story of secrets and lies, sexual abuse, incest, transgender, fame and HIV in the life of an elusive, wilful, wicked and ultimately doomed chameleon." It will premiere at MIFF next year.

Alison Tilson, producer
Sue Brooks, writer/director

Richard Roxburgh and Radha Mitchell play the parents of a 14-year-old runaway (Odessa Young) who hire a retired detective Terry Norris) to help find her in outback WA.


1001 NIGHTS, 1001 Nights Productions
Dan Fill and Frank Verheggen, producers
Steve Bristow, director

Colin South and Liz O’Dea, producers
Philip Dalkin and Doug MacLeod, writers
Scott Vanden Bosch, director

The Nine Network commissioned this Christmas adventure telemovie.

MOLLY, M4 Entertainment / Morrissey Molloy Entertainment / Mushroom Pictures
John Molloy, producer
Liz Doran and Matt Cameron, writers
Kevin Carlin, director

This two-part telemovie for the Seven Network will explore the humble beginnings of Molly Meldrum's life from Quambatook to his rise to become one of the most powerful names in Australian music.

Kate Pappas and Lucy McLaren, producers
Karin Altmann, writer
Jonnie Morris, director

This one-off documentary for the ABC uncovers a world of design where cubism, cuttlefish and warships collide.

Lisa Horler, producer
Lucy Paplinska, writer/director

The docu explores the ramifications of donor-conceived children and donor dads not being allowed to find each other because of existing laws.