Screen Australia funds four digital projects with $320,000

18 May, 2018 by Staff Writer

Clockwise L-R: ‘Bonnie the Elephant’, ‘Mining Boom’, ’30 Minutes of Danger’ and ‘The Housemate’.

In its latest online funding round, Screen Australia has backed two animated comedies, a satire for ABC iview and a virtual reality project from the creatives behind Downriver with $320,000. 


From Swim Like A Boss Productions, 4×3 minute animated series Bonnie the Elephant is written, directed and produced by Holly Hargreaves, and co-produced by Jerome Velinsky and Nigel Huckle. It is set inside a children’s storybook world and follows the adventures of elephant called Bonnie as she sets off through the forest looking for love.

Thirsty Head Production’s 5×6 minute series Mining Boom, which will distributed via YouTube and Facebook, follows FIFO miners as they slip up, cover-up and shortcut their way through remote Australian mine sites. It is written, produced and directed by Peter Harris, who has worked in the mining industry for the last 17 years, alongside writer and producer Philip Denson.

Previously announced ABC iview series The Housemate is from Chips and Gravy Films, created, written by and starring Alexandra Keddie and Gemma Bird Matheson. Set in Melbourne’s inner east, it follows  Alex and Gemma as they get to know a host of potential housemates over several weeks, eliminating them from the competition one by one until they finally find the housemate of their dreams.

Based on the Jack Heath novel 300 Minutes of Danger, 30 Minutes of Danger is a 10 minute VR project produced by Happening Films and The Pulse Originals, which follows Nassim who is mistaken for Kim, a jewel heist witness, and poisoned in a revenge attack by a deadly assailant. It sees writer and director Grant Scicluna and producer Jannine Barnes reunite following their 2015 feature Downriver. George Kacevski and Melody Ha also produce, alongside executive producers Brett Heil and Michael Agar.

Including these new titles, Screen Australia has provided production funding for nine online projects this financial year, in addition to four ABC Fresh Blood productions, and five Skip Ahead projects.

“It’s critical for us to find and champion compelling and unique creative ideas, supporting creatives at the right time with sufficient resources to properly bring their visions to life. Whether that be by further development, facilitating critical collaborations or in the instances of these four projects, providing production investment, Screen Australia is committed to supporting online creators,” said investment manager for online production Rosie Lourde.

Bonnie the Elephant is a refreshingly original idea and with its sassy sexual overtones, and voice work from Matilda Brown, we are confident it will find an audience. Mining Boom is a distinctively Australian animation, with an engaged online audience through their YouTube channel with views reaching almost a million.”

“Likewise, the sharp wit of The Housemate has already struck a chord with audiences online with the pilot racking up more than 250,000 views on Facebook.”

30 Minutes of Danger is an exciting VR adaptation of the bestselling book. This experienced creative team helmed by Grant Scicluna are experimenting with innovative distribution methods utilising pathways to audience through the existing fan base in ways not previously explored for VR in Australia.”