Screen Australia has announced almost $750,000 of story development funding for nine feature films, 11 television series and two online projects.
The slate includes an Imogen Banks-produced musical dramedy, composed by Kate Miller-Heidke; a television adaptation of Melanie Cheng book Australia Day; and a feature film from Helpmann Award-winning playwright S. Shakthidharan.
Screen Australia’s head of development Nerida Moore said, “We are looking for projects that are distinctive in the market, have a very specific audience in mind and reflect a range of Australian experiences. As such, it’s fantastic to be able to support the development of these 22 productions, which give an exciting glimpse into the diversity of stories, formats and genres we will hopefully see on our screens in the coming years.”
“I’m particularly pleased Screen Australia is able to support creators to expand their skill sets and take creative risks, including actors Lucy Durack and Maria Angelico teaming up as writers on Unbeweavable and The Letdown’s Alison Bell moving into longer-form television with drama series Australia Day.”
Screen Australia funds development through two program strands: Generate or Premium. The Generate Fund is for lower budget projects with an emphasis on new and emerging talent, or experienced talent wanting to take creative risks. The Premium Fund is for higher budget projects of ambition and scale from successful screen content makers. Development funding decisions are made on an ongoing basis rather than rounds.
Feature film projects:
Felix Media Pty Ltd
Genre Drama, Musical
Director S. Shakthidharan
Writers S. Shakthidharan, Jeyasingham Jeyamohan (Tamil dialogue)
Producer John Maynard
Executive Producer Bridget Ikin
Synopsis Separated during Sri Lanka’s civil war, a mother and son are re-united in modern day Sri Lanka.
Good Eye Deer Pty Ltd
Genre Romantic comedy, Female buddy
Writers John Meadows, Maria Jacquemetton, Andre Jacquemetton
Producers Olivia Olley, Gavin Banks, Andrew Miano, Dan Balgoyen
Synopsis Three relationship-challenged American women travel to Sydney in pursuit of the Great Australian Male only to land in the middle of Mardi Gras where, one-by-one, all preconceived ideas of Australia are turned upside down.
Red Lamp Films Pty Ltd
Writer/Director Kim Mordaunt
Producers Sylvia Wilczynski, Ridley Scott
Executive Producer Zareh Nalbandian
Synopsis Based on the book Monster Nanny by Tuutikki Tolonen.
ONCE A QUEEN
Rough Trade Pictures Pty Ltd
Genre Comedy, Drama
Producer Lois Randall
Executive Producers Sue Maslin, Veronica Fury
Writer/Director Lawrence Johnston
Synopsis Once a Queen is a Cinderella story with a different edge that celebrates the beauty and tradition of three generations of women all connected to the magical town they love which is locked in time. Shirley wants to rule, Lana thinks she wants a prince, Sally just wants to be the Queen!
Element Film Production Services Pty Ltd
Writer/Director Elissa Down
Producer Liliana Munoz
Executive Producers Scott Einbinder, Weinan Song, Mark Lazarus
Synopsis Based on a true story, an Australian girl flies to Thailand to pursue glory in the world of kickboxing and discovers that other fighters are not all she has to defeat.
THE UNKNOWN MAN
See-Saw Productions Pty Ltd
Genre Crime, Thriller
Writer/Director Thomas M. Wright
Producers Emile Sherman, Iain Canning, Rachel Gardner, Joel Edgerton, Kerry Roberts, Kim Hodgert
Synopsis A tautly compelling and atmospheric crime thriller inspired by true events in the vein of Animal Kingdom and Insomnia, The Unknown Man marks the emergence of a bold new filmmaker on the international film landscape.
Night Kitchen Productions Pty Ltd
Genre Action adventure, Comedy
Writer Steve Worland
Producer Matt Reeder
Synopsis A reboot of the classic 80s family favourite for a contemporary audience.
Writer/Director Dave Wade
Producer Alexandra Blue
Executive Producer Marian MacGowan
Synopsis Residents of a small town celebrate and embrace a mysterious stranger who is digging a hole in the middle of the desert.
Genre Drama, Psychological horror
Writer/Director Leonie Savvides
Synopsis Monster Face is a film about two young women, friends whose obsessions with image culture lead them into dark and strange territory.
Lucky Country Productions Pty Ltd
Genre Drama, Thriller, Mystery
Director Rachel Ward
Writers Alexa Wyatt, Sarah Smith
Producer Bill Leimbach
Executive Producer Leonie Alldis
Synopsis A taut thriller, set in the 1960s, about a woman’s battle to save her family and town from a serial arsonist. Fear and paranoia grows as she realises the fires are lit by a local, exposing everyone’s secrets including her own.
Beyond Entertainment Pty Ltd
Genre Drama, Music, Crime
Creator Timothy Lee
Writers Timothy Lee, Jane Allen, Christopher Lee
Producers TBA, Melinda Wearne
Executive Producer David Ogilvy
Synopsis Sydney 1968, legendary outliers Dawn O’Donnell and Roger-Claude Teyssedre make a Faustian pact with notorious gangster Abe Saffron, exploiting his hold over corrupt police and politicians to build an extraordinary empire; but what begins as a burning ambition for power and influence is riven by violence and tragedy and becomes an unstoppable force to deliver change. Inspired by the book The Ghost of Ludwig Gertsch by S D Harvey.
Endemol Shine Australia Pty Ltd
Genre Comedy, Drama, Musical
Director Corrie Chen
Writers Lucy Durack, Maria Angelico
Producer Imogen Banks
Associate Producer Emelyne Palmer
Synopsis When a Christian whose life-defining, prophetic visions are waning and a hairdresser in denial of her dead grandmother’s visitations meet, they discover that when they touch, they share electrifying, psychic visions in the form of choreographed musical numbers.
Blue Rocket Beyond Pty Ltd
Genre Children’s, Comedy, Animation
Director David Gurney
Writers Clare Madsen, Wendy Hanna
Producer Alicia Rackett
Co-producer Paul Moran
Executive Producers Alicia Rackett, Jenny O’Shea, David Gurney
Synopsis Lucy and Randall explore the world – by cannon!
AUSTRALIA DAY (WORKING TITLE)
Revlover Films Pty Ltd
Writers Alison Bell, Niki Aken
Producers Martha Coleman, Lauren Edwards
Synopsis A six-part television series adapted from the stunning, award-winning collection of short stories by Melanie Cheng, this series weaves together narratives of the diverse Australian experience in a gripping drama. It’s the story of contemporary loneliness, community and the power of connection.
DEAD HORSE WELL
Genre Mystery, Science fiction
Writers Eloise Healey, Jessica Brookman, Dylan Coleman
Producer Tony Wright
Development Producer Marie Maroun
Synopsis Dead Horse Well is a supernatural sci-fi anthology that explores fear of the unknown. Season one follows corporate scientist Belinda Hardy to the subterranean mining town of Coober Pedy where every belief she’s ever held is challenged as she tries to discover the truth behind a series of increasingly malevolent events.
Film Camp Pty Ltd
Writer Maxine Beneba Clarke
Producers Philippa Campey, Samantha Dinning
Synopsis Based on the multi award-winning debut fiction collection by Maxine Beneba Clarke, Foreign Soil traverses six thematically linked stories in which the marginalised and othered collide with their environment, as they search for empowerment and belonging.
GOLDEN BOY (WORKING TITLE)
Spaceboy Pty Ltd
Directors Steve Anthopoulos, Mansoor Noor
Writers Steve Anthopoulos, Sami Shah, Vidya Rajan, Mansoor Noor, Luke Davidson
Producers Yingna Lu, Steve Anthopoulos, Neal Downward
Synopsis Hassan, a charming young imam, shoots to national headlines when he saves Christmas carolling teenagers from a burning bus. However, he soon learns that the only thing Australia loves more than celebrating a hero, is tearing one down.
Pirate Size Productions
Genre Comedy, Animation
Producer Bryony McLachlan
Writers Dan Nixon, Nick Watson
Synopsis A log drifts into the lives of people in need and somehow always manages to help.
Noble Savage Pictures Pty Ltd
Genre Comedy, Drama
Producers Hayley B Johnson, Majhid Heath
Director Catriona McKenzie
Writers Kodie Bedford, Rae Earl
Synopsis Needing money to pay for her mother’s funeral, a young woman in a small town turns to the world’s oldest profession in a misguided quest for independence.
Genre Dark comedy, Science fiction
Writers Nicolette Minster, Jacklyn Bassanelli, Nick Musgrove, Anna Barnes
Producers Nicolette Minster, Nicholas Colla
Synopsis A forgettable introvert discovers that a popular augmented reality game, in her hands, can kill people. Charged with the power to help women in trouble, she reluctantly reinvents herself as a vigilante.
Holly Austin and Zoe McDonald
Writers Holly Austin, Zoe McDonald
Director Harry Lloyd
Producers Holly Austin, Zoe McDonald, Jamie Houge, Jenni Tosi
Executive Producer Jenni Tosi
Synopsis Ex-lovers, Tiff & Gem are forced back together to co-parent their all knowing (and talking) dog, Butch. But no matter how hard they try to move on, Gem and Tiff keep seeing each other in all their new dates.
Genre Comedy, Drama, Magic Realism
Creator Mohini Herse
Director Mohini Herse
Writers Mohini Herse, Yingna Lu
Producers Yingna Lu, Mohini Herse, Lottie Aspinall (Attachment)
Synopsis A comedy/ drama about Geraldine, a secretly hairy young woman, who opts for laser hair removal only to be unwillingly befriended by an incredibly hairy young woman trapped in her shower drain.