Two animated children’s projects and two live-action series will share in $3.2 million of production funding from Screen Australia.
Northern Pictures’ Tom Weekly Versus… and Werner Film Productions’ Surviving Summer are being made for ViacomCBS and Netflix, respectively, while animation offerings 100% Wolf: The Book of Hath from Flying Bark Productions and Kangaroo Beach Summer Special from Cheeky Little Media will both appear on the ABC.
Screen Australia’s head of content Sally Caplan said the funding reflected Screen Australia’s commitment to supporting quality Australian screen stories for young audiences.
“It’s important that Australian kids can see their stories and experiences reflected on screen and families around the country will be in for a treat with these new projects,” she said.
“Northern Pictures are going from strength to strength – building on the success of Hardball, they are now set to bring popular book series Tom Weekly to the screen.
“We have Surviving Summer from the talented team at Werner Film Productions which is sure to captivate teens here and around the world, and fans of Kangaroo Beach and 100% Wolf will be delighted to see more of these entertaining stories coming to the ABC.”
The projects to receive funding are:
100% Wolf: The Book of Hath: A 26-part second season of 100% Wolf from Flying Bark Productions for ABC ME. This animated series is centred on Freddy Lupin, heir to a proud family line of werewolves, who on his 13th birthday turns into a ferocious… poodle. In The Book of Hath, Freddy travels back through time to 825AD where he must help his ancestors defeat the Werelock Hath. Series two sees the return of director Jacquie Trowell, producers Barbara Stephen and Alexia Gates-Foale and executive producer Michael Bourchier. They are joined by script producers Fin Edquist (100% Wolf Movie) and Tess Meyer (Skinford). This project is financed in association with the Australian Children’s Television Foundation and with support from Screenwest. Studio 100 Media is managing international sales.
Kangaroo Beach – Summer Special: A double-length special episode of hit animated children’s series Kangaroo Beach from Cheeky Little Media for ABC Kids iview. The special flashes back to the first day Neville, Frizzy, Gemma and Pounce arrived at Kangaroo Beach and began their junior lifeguard training, and features a cameo from comedian Celeste Barber as Neville’s mum. The series also includes four short-form comedy episodes for release online and two music videos featuring exclusive new songs from the Summer Special. The creative team comprises of Kangaroo Beach directors David Webster and Steve Moltzen, writer and creator Tim Bain, producer Celine Goetz and executive producer Patrick Egerton. They are joined by director Stephanie Davidson.
Surviving Summer: A 10-part live-action series for Netflix from Werner Film Productions in association with ZDFE. This teen drama follows Summer, a fierce teen from New York who is sent ‘Down Under’ to live with family friends in a coastal town on the Great Ocean Road. There she meets ambitious young surfer Ari Gibson who is returning to competitive surfing after a life-threatening injury. Summer’s about to spend the next three months falling in love with surfing, driving Ari crazy and upending everyone’s lives. Surviving Summer is directed by Ben Chessell (The Great), Charlotte George (Two Minutes to Midnight), and Sian Davies (The Gloaming) and written by Josh Mapleston (Dance Academy), Magda Wozniak (Mustangs FC), Keir Wilkins (Neighbours), Gemma Crofts (Gone To Earth) and Kirsty Fisher (The Family Law). It is produced by Joanna Werner (Dance Academy) and executive produced by Werner and Stuart Menzies (The Newsreader). This project was developed, produced and filmed on location in regional Victoria with support from Film Victoria, and ZDFE is managing international sales.
Tom Weekly Versus…: A 20-part series for ViacomCBS based on the best-selling book series by Tristan Bancks, optioned and brought to life by Northern Pictures. The series follows 10-year-old Tom and his outrageous adventures, whether it’s leasing his mum’s internet to the neighbourhood just as her online auction is about to finish, or breaking his Pop out of the nursing home to attend bingo. The production team includes writers Guy Edmonds, Matt Zeremes and Amy Stewart, script producer Fin Edquist, Northern Pictures’ co-development heads Joe Weatherstone and Darren Ashton, and executive producer Catherine Nebauer. They are joined by writers Kala Ellis (Spreadsheet), Erica Harrison (Fam Time), Nayuka Gorrie (Thalu), Tristan Bancks, and Penny Greenhalgh (Random and Whacky). Tom Weekly Versus… is financed with support from Screen NSW with ViacomCBS Networks International managing international sales.