The NSW Government is investing $2.77 million  in 17 new film, TV and documentary productions via Screen NSW.

That will trigger more than $50 million in production expenditure to the State and create 2,746 jobs, according to Arts Minister Troy Grant.

The projects include a Blinky Bill feature,  TV drama The Principal from Essential Media and Entertainment starring Alex Dimitriades, and a new collaboration between Blackfella Films and Werner Film Productions.

The funding is provided through Screen NSW’s Production Investment and Regional Filming funds.

“This is a great return on investment for the Government. For every dollar invested, more than $18 will be spent in NSW, building capacity and sustainability in our world-class film and television industry,” Grant said.

“This fantastic range of film and television programs will be produced here in NSW, and not just in Sydney, but across many regional areas where the significant economic benefits of screen production will make a real impact in the community.”

Grant said the key creative talent behind the 17 projects – five new feature films, six documentaries, two factual series, two children’s series and two TV dramas – represent some of Australia’s most celebrated screen industry professionals as well as exciting emerging talent.

The five feature films are:

• The Blinky Bill Movie (Producer: Barbara Stephen, Director: Simon Klaebe, Writer: Fin Edquist, Voice cast: Ryan Kwanten as Blinky Bill
• Ruben Guthrie (Producer: Kath Shelper, Writer/Director: Brendan Cowell, Cast: Patrick Brammall and Abbey Lee Kershaw);
• The Daughter (Producers: Jan Chapman and Nicole O’Donohue, Writer/Director: Simon Stone, Cast: Geoffrey Rush and Ewan Leslie);
• Love Is Now (Producer: Behren Schulz, Writer/Director: Jim Lounsbury, Cast: Eamon Farren, Claire van der Boom, Anna Torv and Dustin Clare); and
• All About E (Producer: Jay Rutovitz, Writer/Director: Louise Wadley).

Project CM (working title) is one of two adult drama series for television. The series is an official co-production between Goalpost Pictures, the Sydney-based production company behind The Sapphires, and NZ-based Pukeko Pictures, the sister company to the Oscar-winning Weta Workshop (The Hobbit, The Lord Of The Rings). Producers are Rosemary Blight, Ryan Griffen, Lauren Edwards and Angela Littlejohn; Writers are Jon Bell, Jonathan Gavin and Michael Miller.

The second television drama is The Principal, by Essential Media & Entertainment producer Ian Collie and director Kriv Stenders (Red Dog), and starring Alex Dimitriades (The Slap).

My Life in 50 Words or Less, about five gifted Indigenous teenagers who come to Sydney to explore their dreams, is a new venture between Blackfella Films (Redfern Now, The First Australians) and Werner Film Productions (Dance Academy). The second children’s series, Prisoner Zero, is an Australian/Irish co-production from Central Coast production company, Planet 55 Studios, and Irish animation company, Telegael Teoranta.

The six documentaries are:

• A Cold War (Producer/Writer/Director: Juliet Lamont);
• Call Me Dad (Producers: Madeleine Hetherton and Rebecca Barr, Writer/Director: Sophie Wiesner);
• Ka-Ching! The Rise And Rise Of The Pokies (Executive Producer: Neil Lawrence, Producer: Mitzi Goldman; Writers: Neil Lawrence and Andrea Lang, Director: Jane Manning);
• Kids Unplugged (Producers: Sally Ingleton, Alex Tarney and Tosca Looby, Writers: Alex Tarney and Tosca Looby, Directors: Alex Tarney and Tosca Looby);
• Over The Edge: Where Are They Now (Producer: Fran Dobbie, Writers: Fran Dobbie and Ben Rose, Director: Ben Rose); and
• Priscilla: Journey to the Heart of a Queer Nation (Producers: Jo-Anne McGowan and Jason Burrows, Writers: Paul Clarke and Alex Barry, Director: Paul Clarke).

The two factual series are Making Families Happy (Producer: Jennifer Cummins, Writer/Director Kalita Corrigan) and Village Vets Australia (Producers: Simon Steel, Tim Vincent and Rodney Richmond, Writers: Mark Barlin and Matthew Duffy, Directors: Tim Vincent and Rodney Richmond).

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