Screen Australia announced today it will invest nearly $10.7 million in 11 television and film projects which will trigger production worth almost $59 million.

In one of the most hotly contested funding rounds, six features succeeded. They include Wayne Blair’s romantic comedy Ali’s Wedding; Joe Cinque’s Consolation, a thriller about a troubled law student who tries to kill her boyfriend, from director Sotiris Dounoukos, whose A Single Body won best short at the Toronto International Film Festival, and Cameron and Colin Cairnes’ horror movie Scare Campaign.

The other three are Taboo, the narrative feature debut of documentary filmmakers Bentley Dean and Martin Butler; Rachel Perkins’ murder mystery Jasper Jones, based on the novel and play by Craig Silvey, adapted by Shaun Grant;  and Greg Mclean’s true-life thriller Jungle.

The TV projects are Shine Australia’s Peter Allen: Not the Boy Next Door for the Seven Network; a Jack Irish series from Essential Media and Entertainment; the second series of Playmaker Media’s The Code; Matchbox Pictures’ previously announced The Family Law for SBS; and a third series of Jonathan M Shiff Productions’ Mako: Island of Secrets.

The Peter Allen biopic will be produced by Kerrie Mainwaring, directed by Shawn Seet and written by Justin Monjo and Michael Miller. Shine Australia CEO Mark Fennessy said:  "There are few stories in the history of entertainment as remarkable as that of Peter Allen. Against all odds he became a truly iconic singer, songwriter and performer who lit up the stages of Broadway and yet the real story is largely unknown."

Guy Pearce and Marta Dusseldorp will star in the 6-part Jack Irish series, written by Andrew Knight, Matt Cameron and Andrew Anastasios, directed by Jeffrey Walker, Jonathan Teplitzky and Daniel Nettheim and produced by Knight and Ian Collie.

In the second series of The Code brothers Ned and Jesse Banks (Dan Spielman, Ashley Zukerman) are facing serious charges as the security committee tries to force them to entrap an elusive player in the darknet.  Shawn Seet directs, Shelley Birse and Sean Cook are the writers and the producers are Diane Haddon, Birse, David Maher and David Taylor.

The Family Law is a black comedy based on Benjamin Law's memoir of his teenage years on the Sunshine Coast, written by Law and Marieke Hardy and produced by Julie Eckersley and Sophie Miller. 

Screen Australia head of production Sally Caplan said, “We are thrilled to support such a great range of film businesses and filmmakers making a sensational mix of stories. In this round we will back the story of an iconic Australian entertainer in Peter Allen: Not the Boy Next Door from the award-winning team behind this year’s highest-rating TV drama, INXS: Never Tear Us Apart. An award was made to creator Shelley Birse and the highly admired team behind the popular political drama series, The Code, for its follow-up series.

"We are delighted to have multi-award winner of over 56 industry awards, Andrew Knight, on two projects. Andrew will work on one of these projects with The Sapphires director Wayne Blair, who will return to Australia from an international project to take the helm on a charming rom com with the Australian Muslim community at its heart.

“Audiences will be spoilt for choice with a great range of stories – from a string of projects based on true events like the hilarious black comedy based on the antics of Chinese-Australian Benjamin Law to favourite crime mysteries Jasper Jones and the new Jack Irish TV series starring Guy Pearce, to an edge-of-your-seat Amazon adventure starring Kevin Bacon. We expect the combination of favourite characters in local stories along with some fresh new faces will appeal to all walks of life.”


Playmaker Media Pty Ltd
Producers Shelley Birse, Di Haddon, David Maher, David Taylor
Director Shawn Seet
Writers Shelley Birse, Sean Cook
Broadcaster ABC
International Sales DCD Rights
Synopsis Did Ned, Jesse and Hani really think they would be able to just stroll away from the shit-storm they unleashed at the end of series 1, a little bruised, but essentially scott-free? As series 2 opens, serious charges are being filed in an American court and Ned and Jesse Banks come face to face with the very real possibility of being extradited to the US. Fortunately for the Banks brothers, the folks in National Security are sitting on a nut they just can’t crack and Jesse Banks might be the man to do it…

Matchbox Pictures Pty Ltd
Producers Julie Eckersley, Sophie Miller
Executive Producers Tony Ayres, Debbie Lee
Writers Benjamin Law, Marieke Hardy
Broadcaster SBS
International Sales NBC Universal
Synopsis Welcome to The Family Law. The story of a sprawling Chinese-Australian family who are unlike any you’ve ever met, and yet also disturbingly familiar. Based on the hit memoir, The Family Law is a black comedy series set on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast over one hot summer. Fourteen-year-old Benjamin Law strives for television soap mega-stardom whilst trying to stop his parents from splitting up, usually with disastrous results.

Essential Media and Entertainment Pty Ltd
Producers Ian Collie, Andrew Knight
Directors Jeffrey Walker, Daniel Nettheim, Jonathan Teplitzky
Writers Matt Cameron, Andrew Knight, Andrew Anastasios
Broadcaster ABC
International Sales DCD Rights
Cast Guy Pearce, Marta Dusseldorp
Synopsis Things are on the move for Jack Irish in this gripping new series. He’s offered a scam that could cost him dearly, secrets surround an unexpected romance and his new mysterious client goes missing before he meets her. As well as a major crime story arc, the familiar endearing characters of Jack’s world remain committed to complicating Jack’s life at every turn.

Shine Australia Pty Limited
Producer Kerrie Mainwaring
Executive Producer Rory Callaghan
Director Shawn Seet
Writers Justin Monjo, Michael Miller
Broadcaster Seven Network
International Sales Endemol Worldwide Distribution
Synopsis There are few Australian stories as remarkable as Peter Allen’s. The boy from the bush whose talent, determination and drive made him Hollywood royalty and an international household name. The only Australian to win an Oscar®, a Grammy and a Golden Globe®, Allen wrote some of our most iconic songs. He died in 1992 at 48, but his songs and spirit live on – whether on the stage as part of The Boy from Oz or as part of Coldplay’s no. 1 worldwide hit ‘Every Teardrop is a Waterfall’.


Jonathan M Shiff Productions Pty Ltd
Producer Jonathan M Shiff
Executive Producers Jonathan M Shiff, Julia Adams
Writers Mark Shirrefs (Story Producer), Sam Carroll, Anthony Morris, Phil Enchelmaier, Max Dann
Directors Evan Clarry, John Hartley
Broadcasters Network Ten, Disney Channel Australia
International Sales ZDF Enterprises
Cast Isabel Durant, Allie Bertram, Chai Romruen, Gemma Forsyth, Kerith Atkinson
Synopsis The Mako pod is threatened by a fearsome magical creature. Ondina, Mimmi, Sirena, Evie and Zac, together with the newly arrived Chinese mermaid, Weilan, must find a way to defeat it before the pod is destroyed forever.


Matchbox Productions Pty Ltd
Producers Sheila Jayadev, Helen Panckhurst
Executive Producers Tony Ayres, Michael McMahon, Greg Sitch, Nina Stevenson
Director Wayne Blair
Writers Andrew Knight, Osamah Sami
Australian Distributor Madman Entertainment
International Sales Beta Cinema
Synopsis After a reckless lie sets off a catastrophic chain of events, Ali, the son of a Muslim cleric, finds himself caught between his sense of duty to his family and following his heart. Based on real events, Ali’s Wedding is an irreverent, warm-hearted comedy, and an affectionate and vivid portrait of Islamic life in Australia.

Porchlight Films & Bunya Productions
Producers Vincent Sheehan, David Jowsey
Executive Producers Anita Sheehan, Colin McCumstie, Liz Watts, Rebecca O’Brien
Director Rachel Perkins
Writer Shaun Grant
Australian Distributor Madman Entertainment
International Sales Mongrel Media
Synopsis Jasper Jones is a coming-of-age murder mystery based on the best-selling Australian novel by Craig Silvey.

Fandango Australia Pty Ltd
Producers Sue Murray, Donna Hensler
Director Sotiris Dounoukos
Writers Matt Rubinstein, Sotiris Dounoukos
Australian Distributor Titan View
International Sales Urban Distribution International
Synopsis In early 1997, Anu Singh, a beautiful law student at the Australian National University, began to tell people she planned to kill herself. With doctors unable to help, Anu’s engineer boyfriend, Joe Cinque, attempts to get to the bottom of her condition. But as Anu’s mental and emotional state disintegrates, her plans grow more macabre and more public as she convinces fellow student Madhavi to help her. With Joe beginning to understand the true nature of their relationship, Anu starts talking of killing him as revenge for having made her ill. After an elaborate farewell dinner party attended by friends, Anu attempts to kill Joe but fails. She tries again and this time she succeeds, injecting Joe with a lethal dose of heroin. Nobody tried to stop her.

Arclight Films International Pty Ltd
Producers Dana Lustig, Gary Hamilton, Mike Gabrawy, Mark Lazarus
Director Greg Mclean
Writer Justin Monjo
Australian Distributor Umbrella Entertainment
International Sales Arclight Films International
Cast Kevin Bacon
Synopsis Four travellers set off into the heart of the Amazon rainforest, but what begins as a dream adventure quickly deteriorates into an utter nightmare. After a terrible accident, Yossi is forced to survive for weeks alone against one of the most treacherous backdrops on the planet: the Amazon Jungle. Stranded without a knife, map or survival training, he must improvise shelter and forage to survive. After losing all sense of direction, Yossi begins to give up hope, wondering if he will even make it out of the jungle alive. Based on the real story of best-selling author Yossi Ghinsberg.

Cyan Films Pty Ltd
Producer Julie Ryan
Executive Producer Jonathan Page, Roger Savage, Bryce Menzies
Writer/Directors Cameron Cairnes, Colin Cairnes
Australian Distributor Madman/Bonsai
International Sales Films Distribution
Synopsis Popular prank TV show, Scare Campaign, has been entertaining audiences for the last five years with its mix of old school scares and hidden camera fun. But as we enter a new age of online TV, the producers find themselves up against a new hard-edged web series which makes their show look decidedly quaint. It’s time to up the ante, but will the team go too far this time and are they about to prank the wrong guy?

Contact Films Pty Ltd
Producers Martin Butler, Bentley Dean, Carolyn Johnson
Directors Bentley Dean, Martin Butler
Writers John Collee, Bentley Dean, Martin Butler
Cast Mari Matuwa, Mungow Waripe, Marcelline Kowia, Albi Nangia
Australian Distributor Umbrella Entertainment
Synopsis A groundbreaking glimpse into life, love, war and peace in one of the last tribal societies on earth.

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