Screen Australia, Screenwest and France’s CNC Cinémas du Monde have all backed Slam, the latest film from writer-director Partho Sen-Gupta (Sunrise, Let The Wind Blow).
To be shot in Western Sydney later this year, Slam follows the disappearance of a young Muslim woman in a climate of mistrust and xenophobia.
Cast will include Adam Bakri (Omar), Rachael Blake (Sleeping Beauty, Lantana) and Abbey Aziz (Let it Be Love). Post-production will be completed in Western Australia and France.
"I wrote Slam with urgency and anger in reaction to the world around me nose-diving into hatred and fratricide,” said Sen-Gupta.
“But I am very pleased that what has resulted is a poetic appeal to reason, a socially motivated thriller that transcends language and nationality. I am very excited to work with such a talented international cast and crew who were touched by the human story and will collaborate with me to bring my vision to the screen.”
Australia and France have had a co-production agreement in place since 1986, resulting in 32 productions to date.
However, this is the first Australian production to be to be funded under CNC’s Cinémas du Monde scheme, a selective fund dedicated to high quality international co-productions. Other films that have been supported by the fund in the past include Mustang, Hikari and A Gentle Creature.
CNC president Frédérique Bredin said the organisation was delighted to have granted the Aide aux Cinémas du Monde to an Australian-French co-production for the very first time.
“It is encouraging to see this collaboration between France and Australia and we hope it will lead to more co-productions in the future.”
Slam will be produced by Michael Wrenn (Three Summers, The Rocket) for Invisible Republic with Tenille Kennedy (Bad Girl) for George Nille & Co and Marc Irmer (Sunrise) for Dolce Vita Films, France.
“Partho Sen-Gupta has the ability to take a dark subject matter and make an incredibly beautiful film as we saw with his acclaimed feature Sunrise,” said Screen Australia head of production Sally Caplan.
“Slam is a timely, suspenseful thriller that will resonate with audiences both in Australia and internationally.”
Bonsai Films will handle distribution in Australia, while Doc & Film International will take care of international sales.
Slam participated in both Cinemart and the Berlinale co-production markets in 2016.