By Zona Marie Tan

Ten years since her last feature film Amy, director Nadia Tass will return to the big screen with a new film, Love and Mortar.

Love and Mortar was one of 25 projects to receive grants under Screen Australia’s first funding slate announced last month. The film will be produced under Tass and her husband, David Parker’s Melbourne-based company, Cascade Films. The couple are best known for their comedy features Malcolm (1986) and The Big Steal (1990).

In the last decade, Tass and Parker moved to the U.S. and worked on numerous projects including two telemovies with actress Julia Roberts’ production company, Red Om Films.

“My experience [working] in America was fantastic,” says Tass. “I made some movies that I’m really proud of and worked with some amazing actors like David Strathairn, Marcia Gay Harden and Mia Farrow… But we always had the intention to return to Australia.”

Tass attributes her return to the Australian film industry after 20th Century Fox Australia agreed to distribute Love and Mortar.

“After ten years of being away and working overseas, Fox was able to lure us back by saying ‘Yes, we’re picking up this script. It’s great!’” says Tass. “The story has had such amazing feedback from all over the world where we’ve had it read. Now is the right time for me to come back.”

Love and Mortar, a dramedy feature originally written by Lynne Renew and co-written by Parker, is about a woman’s struggle with her son’s illness and her husband’s infidelity. But after a chance encounter with an Irish sailor and his son, her life is turned upside down in a love story that defies explanation and breaks all the rules.

Irish actor James Nesbitt (Bloody Sunday) has been confirmed to play the lead role, with principal photography beginning in Melbourne in January 2009.

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