Screen Australia has thrown its support behind 17 new feature projects, currently in development.
More than $500,000 was injected into projects from such filmmakers as Emile Sherman and Iain Canning (The King’s Speech), Jamie Hilton (The Waiting City), and Jonathan Teplitzky (Burning Man).
Sherman and Canning received funds to develop biopic, Life, by writer Luke Davies (Candy), as did Teplitzky for drama Choir of Hard Knocks, which is to be written by Pip Karmel and produced by Marian Macgowan. Teplitzky, whose latest film Burning Man will be released by Paramount/Transmission on November 17, is set to direct Colin Firth next year in Australian/UK co-production The Railway Man, based on the Eric Lomax book of the same name.
Actor Simon Baker (The Mentalist) will work with Hilton, producer Mark Johnson (The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader) and writer Peter Duncan (Unfinished Sky) to develop an adaptation of Tim Winton’s novel Breath. One of Winton’s other best-sellers, Cloudstreet, was recently turned into a successful miniseries by Screentime.
Kieran Darcy-Smith and Angie Fielder, the director/producer team of new film Wish You Were Here, are back again for crime film Memorial Day about two brothers who struggle to redress the fallout from a past family tragedy.
Four comedy feature scripts are also included in the projects, including rom-com Almost French, from writer/director Kate Dennis and producer Sonja Armstrong, while Osamah Sami and Andrew Knight will write Ali’s Wedding, from producers Michael McMahon and Helen Pankhurst. Others include Prince Leonard, written by David Swann, and The Grey Nomads, written by Carolyn Wilson and Jonathan Gavin.
A musical, Bdazl, about a talented loner who seeks a better life through dancing and fame, will be produced by Craig Somers and Brian Mooney, and is also among the projects supported by the national agency. The character-driven Remarkable Creatures, penned by Jan Sardi, has also received more development funds, following on from earlier this year.
“I’m proud of our association with this compelling group of feature projects by such talented filmmaking teams,” Screen Australia’s head of development, Martha Coleman, said in a statement.
“The quality and range of projects we are seeing is hugely inspiring and our development team care passionately about assisting the filmmakers we are working with to achieve the best possible version of their story. This is a very exciting time.”
SINGLE-PROJECT DEVELOPMENT: FEATURE DEVELOPMENT
Producers Helen Panckhurst, Michael McMahon
Associate Producer Sheila Jayadev
Writers Osamah Sami, Andrew Knight
Script Editor Tony Ayres
Genre Romantic Comedy
Producer Sonja Armstrong
Executive Producer Troy Lum
Co-producer Raphaël Benoliel
Writer/Director Kate Dennis
Script Editor Steve Kaplan
Producers Craig Somers, Brian Mooney
Writer Shanti Gudgeon
Script Editor Steve Kaplan
Synopsis A talented loner seeks a better life through dancing and fame, but instead finds it in friendship with the girls she initially saw as rivals.
Producers Jamie Hilton, Simon Baker, Mark Johnson
Writer Peter Duncan
Synopsis When surfer boys Pikelet and Loonie fall under the spell of older enigmatic big-wave surfer Sando, they are pushed to their limits towards self destruction. Based on the best-selling novel by Tim Winton.
Producer Patricia Hunder
Executive Producer Bryce Menzies
Writer Patricia Hunder, Munya Andrews
Director Catriona McKenzie
Script Editor Alison Tilson
Synopsis Set on a remote cattle station in outback Australia in the 1920s, Coonardoo, an Aboriginal girl, and Hugh Watt, the son of the white station owner, are childhood friends struggling between love, lust, prejudice and repression. Based on the acclaimed novel by Katharine Susannah Prichard.
DOG TRAINING FOR BEGINNERS
Writer/Director Pip Karmel
ELVIS IN BOLLYWOOD
Producer Robyn Kershaw
Writer Tom Lubin
Script Editor Louise Gough
THE GREY NOMADS
Producer Jodi Matterson
Writer Carolyn Wilson
Co-writer Jonathan Gavin
Director Darren Ashton
Producers Emile Sherman, Iain Canning
Writer Luke Davies
Producer Angie Fielder
Writer/Director Kieran Darcy-Smith
Synopsis Two brothers – one out of his depth in a hard world he doesn’t understand, the other recently returned from a period of self-imposed exile – struggle to redress the fallout from a past family tragedy.
Producer Leanne Tonkes
Executive Producer Robyn Kershaw
Writer Gerard Lee
Director Stephen Lance
Synopsis Suffering from grief after the loss of his father, 16-year-old Charlie Boyd seeks out the help of a local S&M mistress in an attempt to reconnect with his life.
Producer Tom Burstall
Writer David Swann
Script Editor Greg Woodland
Synopsis A little Aussie wheat farmer takes on the might of the government over an unjust wheat quota and wins his freedom by forming his own independent principality.
Producer Heather Ogilvie
Co-producer Mark Gooder
Writer Jan Sardi
Synopsis Together, one woman’s gift and another’s determination result in one of the most important scientific discoveries of the 19th century. A revealing portrait of the intricate and resilient nature of female friendship, based on the acclaimed novel by Tracey Chevalier.
THE RIGHT HAND
Producer Timothy White
Writer/Director Julius Avery
Script Editor John Collee
Synopsis A young man is sent to prison where he becomes the perfect apprentice to ‘public enemy number one’, turning the tables and beating him at his own game.
Producer Karen Radzyner
Executive Producers Marian Macgowan, Miranda Culley
Writers Pip Karmel, Sonia Whiteman
Director Sonia Whiteman
Synopsis The story of a rockstar who must look offstage to find his band.
SINGLE-PROJECT DEVELOPMENT: FEATURE MATCHED FUNDING
CHOIR OF HARD KNOCKS
Producer Marian Macgowan
Executive Producer Jason Stephens
Writer Pip Karmel
Director Jonathan Teplitzky
Synopsis A disparate and desperate group of people transcend their hopelessness and band together to find their voice, rediscovering, under the baton of their choirmaster, a dignity and purpose that their ravaged lives had threatened to destroy.
SINGLE-PROJECT DEVELOPMENT: MATCHED INITIAL OPTION FUNDING
Producer John Molloy
Executive Producers Michael Gudinski, Mark Morrissey
Writers Richard Molloy, Mick Molloy
Synopsis Emily Tempest. Small, black, snaky as a taipan’s tooth: the woman least likely to pursue a career in policing. Something has drawn Emily back to Central Australia. To Moonlight Downs, the community she left a lifetime ago. Not much has changed; the barefoot kids are bush mechanics now but Emily still doesn’t know if she belongs in the Aboriginal world or the white. And trouble still seems to follow her. Based on Adrian Hyland’s award-winning series.