Page and Myers get funding for first features

13 October, 2013 by Don Groves

Continuing their collaboration after Tim Winton’s The Turning, producer Robert Connolly and Indigenous director/choreographer Stephen Page will bring to the big screen an adaptation of Page’s dance theatre work Spear.

That’s one of two films commissioned by the second HIVE Fund, an initiative of the Adelaide Film Festival in partnership with the Australia Council for the Arts, Screen Australia and ABC Arts.


The other is Girl Asleep, the third in a trilogy of rites-of-passage Windmill Theatre stories by writer Matthew Whittet and director Rosemary Myers.

Page, the Bangarra Dance Theatre director and choreographer, directed one segment of The Turning. His feature directing debut, Spear is a contemporary hybrid feature film where two Aboriginal clans from urban and remote communities live in an apocalyptic world and must decide who will be the new leader for the next 100 years. The work will explore what this means to Indigenous men through dance, physical movement, spoken word, hip hop, traditional song and story. The producers are Connolly and John Harvey.

Girl Asleep focuses on Greta Driscoll, who is frozen in the spotlight of her fifteenth birthday party when an uninvited guest arrives and steals her most treasured possession. Now she must step into the dark unknown to get it back. Produced by Jo Dyer, the film will be adapted from the stage production Girl Asleep, which will premiere at the 2014 Adelaide Festival of Arts.

The $800,000 HIVE Fund assists original and ambitious arts films with bold and imaginative cross-platform ideas and strategies. Amanda Duthie, Adelaide Film Festival Director and CEO said: “This is a unique Australian initiative with the funding partners committed to exploring new production models for artists to contribute to our national screen culture.”

The inaugural HIVE Fund supported three original art film projects which are having their world premieres at the current Adelaide Film Festival: Tender, a documentary from director Lynette Wallworth (visual artist) and producer Kath Shelper (Samson and Delilah); I Want To Dance Better At Parties from directors Gideon Obazarnek and Matthew Bate (Shut Up Little Man); and The Boy Castaways, a rock musical dramatic feature film from director Michael Kantor and producers Jo Dyer (Lucky Miles) and Stephen Armstrong.

The Boy Castaways will screen on the ABC in 2014 and Tender and I Want To Dance Better At Parties in 2015.