Screen Australia funds development of five feature films

25 March, 2011 by Sam Dallas

The writing team behind 3D shark film Bait are among the filmmakers who have reeled in Screen Australia finance to help develop their projects.

Writers Shayne Armstrong and Shane Krause will work with producers Michael Robertson and Murray Pope on two new genre films: Black Echoes and A Murder Of Crows.


Other features gaining development support include Jan Sardi-penned, character-driven drama Remarkable Creatures, “ensemble comedy” Siblings and Chris Cudlipp film Worm.

A total of $162,000 has been given for the development of the five projects.

Also announced today (Friday) was the national agency’s support behind the production of three short films through the Springboard Program – which is designed to act as “calling cards” to feature film proposals.

The three creative teams selected will have a budget of up to $150,000 to produce a short film.

The three teams chosen to make a short film to compliment their existing feature proposal were:

Bush Basher (supporting feature Dieback): written and directed by Ben Young, produced by Ross Hutchens and co-produced by Tenile Kennedy

Fish and Chips (supporting feature Please Explain): written and directed by Anna Broinowski and produced by Leanne Tonkes and Steve Kearney

The Wilding (supporting feature Scratch The Surface): written and directed by Grant Scicluna and produced by Janine Barnes.

“Our Feature Development Program supports a diverse range of high-quality and audience-engaging screenplays, while our Springboard Program is about long-term career building and providing an essential stepping-stone in a professional filmmaking career path,” Screen Australia’s head of development Martha Coleman said in a statement.

Features In Development:

Black Echoes
Producers Michael Robertson, Murray Pope
Writers Shayne Armstrong, Shane Krause
Synopsis A group of international tourists are taken off the beaten path to an isolated village
deep in the Vietnamese countryside. They are promised a Viet Cong tunnel crawl
experience that makes the famous Cu Chi Tunnels seem like a playground… Tighter, more
claustrophobic, scarier – they get their money’s worth and then some.

A Murder of Crows
Producers Murray Pope, Michael Robertson
Writers Shayne Armstrong, Shane Krause
Director Nick Robertson
Synopsis Lost love brought him there, cold-blooded murder kept him there, now dark vengeance takes flight.

Remarkable Creatures
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, transcending class and social prejudice. A revealing portrait of the intricate and resilient nature of female friendship, based on the acclaimed novel by Tracey Chevalier.

Writer Cathy Randall
Synopsis An ensemble comedy about five young people all connected by the same sperm donor dad and their quest to find him.

Producers Silvana Milat, Paul Quin
Executive Producer Mike Bullen
Writer/Director Chris Cudlipp
Synopsis When obese 25-year-old Nigel Higson joins a medical trial for a radical new weight loss treatment the kilos begin to fall off, but the side effects are deadly – for him and his love life.