Debra Oswald, Sarah Bassiuoni, Khoa Do.

A television adaptation of 2018’s Ladies in Black, a feature film from Bryan Brown, and a television drama from one of the creators of Offspring are among the 21 projects to share in more than $730,000 in development funding from Screen Australia.

Of the projects to receive funding, 10 have been supported through the Generate fund and 11 through the Premium fund.

Screen Australia’s head of content Sally Caplan said the agency was impressed by the “rigorous creativity” of Australian creators as the industry continued to rebound from COVID-19.

“It’s great to see a number of engaging stories set around iconic milestones in Australian history, from the building of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, to the social change that took place in the 60s or the recession in the 80s, and I look forward to seeing these projects develop further,” she said.

Features:

Premium:

1989
Sewing Pictures Pty Ltd
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Family
Writer/Director: Khoa Do
Producer: Khoa Do
Script Editor: Roger Monk
Synopsis: When a hard working Vietnamese refugee family lose everything in Australia’s last major recession in 1989, 10-year-old Tram, her brother Anh and mother Hien seek refuge on her family’s struggling duck farm where they discover friendship, hope…and one giant turtle.

A Friend in the Dark
Di Bonaventura Pictures Australia
Genre Horror, Thriller
Writer/Director: Drew Macdonald
Producers: Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, Erik Howsam, Mario Andreacchio
Synopsis: High school kids engage in cyberbullying, unaware of the real monster that they are unleashing lying deep in social media.

Dead Certain
New Town Films Pty Ltd
Genre: Drama
Writer: Joanna Murray-Smith
Producer: Bryan Brown
Synopsis: Harry King, 60, successful crime writer, gives up on life after his adored wife, Georgia, is killed in an accident. When he unexpectedly falls for Maya, a self-help writer, the ghost of Georgia is a constant companion and Harry knows he must confront his own demons — and ghosts — to embrace a new chance at life.

Kangaroo (Working Title)
Film Depot Pty Limited
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Family
Writer: Harry Cripps
Producers: Louise Smith, Marian Macgowan
Synopsis: Inspired by a true story, Kangaroo is a heart-warming family comedy about a disgraced TV host, Chris, and a young Indigenous girl, Charlie, who work together to rescue and rehabilitate a group of orphaned joeys in a remote Outback community.

The Secret Lives of Dresses
Sense & Cents-Ability Pty Ltd
Genre: Drama, Romantic comedy
Directors: Mairi Cameron, Stephen Lance
Writers: Megan Simpson Huberman, Stephen Lance
Producer: Leanne Tonkes
Synopsis: An ambitious young businesswoman is forced to return to her hometown to save her dying grandmother’s vintage dress shop, and must confront old wounds and the man she left behind. Can the advice of six couture dresses help her choose between her plans for success, and the inconvenient call of her heart?

Generate:

Shayda
Origma Productions Pty Ltd
Genre: Drama
Writer/Director: Noora Niasari
Producer: Vincent Sheehan
Synopsis: A young Iranian mother finds refuge in a women’s shelter where her search for freedom brings her face to face with the violence from which she has fled.

Television Programs:

Premium:

Blood in the Sky
Beyond Entertainment Pty Ltd
Genre Drama
Creators: Alexa Wyatt, Karl Zwicky
Directors: Jocelyn Moorhouse, Karl Zwicky
Writers: Alexa Wyatt, Andrew Anastasios, Larissa Behrendt, Michelle Law, Jess Paine
Producers: Karl Zwicky, Alexa Wyatt
Executive Producer: David Ogilvy
Script Editor: Andrew Anastasios
Synopsis: A sweeping drama of crime and family, the untold story of building the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge, the migrants it brought and the lives it changed. UK company man Alex Rendell’s wilful daughter Rose helps riveter Tom Rourke uncover a web of intrigue and corruption after a fatal fall from the arches in a world devastated by the Depression.

Ladies in Black
Bunya Entertainment
Genre: Drama
Writers: Sarah Bassiuoni, Joan Sauers, Greg Waters, Randa Sayed
Producers: Greer Simpkin, Sophia Zachariou
Executive Producers: Sue Milliken, Allanah Zitserman
Synopsis: The series takes place in Sydney in 1961, six months after the events of the novel/film and in a time of great change and upheaval. Set inside Goodes department store, Sydney University and the homes of Magda, Fay, Angela and the Miles Family, Ladies in Black is an optimistic dramatisation of ordinary women facing extraordinary challenges at a time of surprising social and cultural change.

Sex & Thugs & Rock’n’Roll
Ghost Pictures Pty Ltd
Genre: Drama, Musical, Crime
Writer/Directors: Richard Lowenstein, Lynn-Maree Milburn
Producers: Mark Fennessy, Richard Lowenstein, Lynn-Maree Milburn, Andrew De Groot
Synopsis: At the rise of the youth and civil rights movements in the early sixties, three young lives collide in Kings Cross, Sydney, where they enter a world of free love, romance, rock ‘n’ roll music, vice, and crime.

The Family Doctor
Werner Film Productions Pty Ltd
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Writers: Debra Oswald, Michael Lucas
Producer: Joanna Werner
Executive Producer: Debra Oswald
Synopsis: Based on the upcoming novel by Debra Oswald – a dedicated GP, desperate to protect women and their children from violent partners, is driven to use her medical skills to commit murder.

The Twelve
Warner Bros. International Television Production Australia Pty Ltd
Genre: Drama, Thriller, Crime
Writers: Sarah Walker, Brad Winters, Leah Purcell, Anchuli Felicia King, Tommy Murphy
Executive Producers: Liz Watts, Hamish Lewis, Michael Brooks
Synopsis: Twelve ordinary people are selected for jury duty in a murder trial, in which a woman stands accused of killing her sister’s child. Behind the façade of their anonymity, these twelve ordinary people bring with them their own histories. Lives that are as complex as the trial. Through the multiple lenses of these jurors, we see the fragility and imbalances of the law, and the chaotic and flawed way we attempt to determine justice in our society.

Unfathered
Blackfella Films Pty Ltd
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Creator: Rachel Griffiths
Writers: TBA
Producer: Darren Dale
Synopsis: Two women’s lives are torn apart when a university student discovers that her adoption was based on a lie.

Generate:

Avenge My Death
unko Pty Ltd
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Mystery
Director: Claudia Pickering
Writers: Nicole Conway, Michaeley O’Brien, Mark Bonanno
Producers: Belinda Dean, Ellen Fraser
Synopsis: Wild 20-somethings Erin, Jax and Sara are inseparable. That is, until Erin goes on a date with a guy she met online and winds up dead. With the police bungling the investigation, Jax and Sara vow to hunt down her killer using the only piece of evidence they have: a dick pic.

Bending Spoons
Simone Nicholson
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Director: Alyssa McClelland
Writer: Emme Hoy
Producer: Simone Nicholson
Synopsis: An undervalued magician’s assistant kidnaps a drug dealer’s telekinetic dog in order to win a national magic competition that will pay for her dad’s cancer treatment.

Confidence
Invisible Republic Pty Ltd
Genre: Drama, Crime
Writer: Lou Sanz
Producer:Michael Wrenn
Synopsis: Melbourne. 1988. Bicentennial celebrations grip the country. When career con woman Connie Valdez inherits the family’s famed Lygon St restaurant following the suspicious death of her father, she thinks he has left her a second chance.  But after closing up one night, Connie discovers her father didn’t leave her a second chance. He left her a criminal enterprise.

Invisible Boys
Asphodel Films / Feisty Dame Productions
Genre Drama, Romance, GLBTIQ+
Writer/Director Nicholas Verso
Producers Nicholas Verso, Tania Chambers
Synopsis Based on the book by Holden Sheppard – Charlie is a fiery teen outcast living in the remote coastal town of Geraldton, Western Australia – a world where homosexuality is invisible, and so is he. But when a one-off encounter with a married man is exposed, Charlie is outed and suddenly everyone in his conservative town knows his secret. And then Charlie discovers he’s not alone…

Minority Report
Arcadia
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Creators: Sleena Wilson, Mithila Gupta
Writers: Mithila Gupta, Kodie Bedford, Michelle Law, Miranda Aguilar
Producers: Lisa Shaunessy, Sleena Wilson, Mithila Gupta
Synopsis: Maya has blown up her entire life and her only hope of redemption: her new crew of misfit ethnic chicks from IT call centre, GeekGirls4U. Not ideal.

Rainbow Girls
The Fiction Bureau Pty Ltd
Genre: Drama, Comedy 
Creators: Willoh Weiland, Tam Nguyen
Directors: Beck Cole, Willoh Weiland 
Writers: Willoh Weiland, Jada Alberts, Beck Cole, Jane Allen
Script Producer: Jane Allen
Producers: Tam Nguyen, Elisa Argenzio
Executive Producer: Mat King
Synopsis: In 2045, the Australian Republic’s first President Rachel Radford – a Ngunnawal woman – is sworn in. Elsewhere, 24 year old Abigail Bread is sworn into the Freemasons – the first woman in 2000 years to enter the organisation. Her mother, Marsha, stands beside her, looking on with loathing. Feminism, white nationalism and the preservation of a two billion dollar real estate empire collide in this dark comedic drama about the spectacular ways women negotiate power.

Online

Generate:

Dark Matter Don’t Matter
Odd Pirate Productions
Genre: Comedy, Science fiction
Writers: Tamara Whyte, Isaac Lindsay, Warren Milera, Philip Tarl Denson
Producer: Philip Tarl Denson
Synopsis: After the mass evacuation of Earth, a small Aboriginal community is left behind and decide to take matters into their own hands… by launching themselves to the stars.

Romantic Information
Kewl Studio Pty Ltd
Genre: Drama, Romantic comedy
Directors: Tobias Willis, Kathleen Lee
Writer: Kathleen Lee
Producers: Tobias Willis, Julie Eckersley
Synopsis: Romantic Information is an offbeat comedy-drama that follows a young woman as she discovers she is on the spectrum when she falls in love with a charismatic autistic man. Euphoric at this unexpected self-discovery and meeting of a like being she enters headlong into an absurd, colourful, intense romance that quickly escalates out of control

Single: An Animated Series
Studio Antics
Genre: Action-adventure, Romantic comedy
Creator: Tilly Robba
Director: Tilly Robba
Writers: Ang Collins, Michael Costi
Producer: Steph Jowett
Synopsis: Dating isn’t easy, even for a cartoon character. ‘Single’ follows housemates Tilly, Luke and Bridie as they bamboozle their way through a trippy inner west kaleidoscope of blind dates, trendy pubs, casual hookups, gynaecologist appointments gone wrong and a bunch of other psychedelic encounters. Their hilariously unsuccessful quests for love in the Sydney cesspool of disappointment ultimately leads them to interrogate their own friendship.

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