Screen Australia backs projects from Wayne Blair, Gerard Lee, Rachel Perkins, Catriona McKenzie

15 December, 2017 by Staff Writer

Wayne Blair. (Photo: Eva Rinaldi via Flickr).

Screen Australia has announced development funding for 14 features, a high-end TV drama and two online series.


Among the slate is feature Godfrey, from writer-director Wayne Blair (The Sapphires, Cleverman) and writer Gerard Lee (Top of the Lake, Breath). To be produced by See Pictures’ Jamie Hilton and Ester Harding, the film follows Godfrey, a man in his 30s with autism who lives with his Indigenous adoptive-brother David.

Jasper Jones director Rachel Perkins will reunite with writer Craig Silvey for WA-set period drama The Prospector, which follows a woman searching for her missing husband. Miranda Dear and Darren Dale will produce for Blackfella Films.

Actor/director Matt Day is developing his directorial feature debut Killing Betty, based on his Tropfest-winning short film The Mother Situation. Kirsty Fisher is writing the script, and Porchlight Film’s  Vincent Sheehan will produce.

Writer-director Catriona McKenzie is also preparing the follow up to her debut, Satellite Boy. Called Stolen, the film is being co-written Patricia Cornelius (Blessed) and tells the story of a white baby girl who is brought into an Aboriginal community by a dingo. The mystery of her and those around her unravels in reverse-chronological order to reveal who she is and how she came to be. McKenzie will also produce, alongside Liz Kearney for Arenamedia.

Writer Rita Kalnejais is also adapting her stageplay, Babyteeth for the screen. Shannon Murphy (OffspringLove Child) is attached to direct, while Alex White is producing with Jan Chapman as EP.

CJZ has also secured funding for TV drama series Darby and Joan, about two strangers on an epic outback journey. Claire Tonkin and Glenys Rowe for CJZ, with executive producers Matt Campbell and Nick Murray, and writer Phillip Gwynne (Australian Rules).

Screen Australia has also provided development funding to emerging talent Anthea Williams, Fiona Tuomy, Santilla Chingaipe and Mala Sujan, who will undertake placements with Causeway Films, Film Art Media, Arenamedia and Easy Tiger respectively.