Jessica Marais in 'Love Child'.
Screen NSW has announced it will invest in 20 new Australian film and television projects.
These will include seven TV dramas to be funded under the $20 million Made in NSW Fund, announced by the NSW Government earlier this year.
Among the Made in NSW fund projects are Monkey, a family action-adventure series based on the Chinese legend 'Journey to The West', to be produced by See-Saw Films; Fighting Season, about Australian soldiers returning from Afghanistan, from the producers of The Sapphires and Cleverman; and Friday on My Mind, the story of legendary Australian rock band The Easybeats from the producers of Love Child and The Code. Love Child has also been funded for a further season.
Nash Edgerton is set to make his TV debut, directing Jungle’s Mr In Between, the story of a charismatic yet volatile hitman. Michelle Bennett will produce.
Kristine Wyld and Antony Ginnane will produce Pulse, a series set in the cardiothoracic ward of a major teaching hospital.
Screen NSW CEO Courtney Gibson said the Made In NSW fund was designed to attract high-end, distinctive local TV production to the state.
“Just six months in, the Fund is having a big impact. It has revitalised local television drama production and has brought big international productions here, such as Jackie Chan’s Bleeding Steel and Animal Logic’s Peter Rabbit movie,” she said.
The boost in TV production follows Screen Australia's report detailing an already bumper year for drama production in NSW. The report noted that 55 per cent of all drama production expenditure in Australia took place in NSW, up from 38 per cent in the previous year.
Screen Australia is also a major investor in several of the Made in NSW Fund productions including Monkey, The Fighting Season, Pulse and Friday on my Mind.
In addition to the Made in NSW projects, Screen NSW will back 13 other productions, including The Letdown, the first narrative comedy series from Giant Dwarf – the Chaser team behind The Checkout. Writers Sarah Scheller and Alison Bell will work with No Activity and New Girl director Trent O'Donnell.
Animated series The Wild Adventures of Blinky Bill has also been bankrolled.
Production will be spread across the state with the youth-focused multiplatform series Deadlock to be made in the Northern Rivers, Fighting Season to film in Broken Hill and documentary Teach a Man to Fish to film in Manning Valley.
Pulse, Fighting Season, online comedy series Mustafa Needs a Wife and a third series of Janet King are to be filmed in Western Sydney, and feature film The Merger is to be shot in director Mark Grentell’s home town of Wagga Wagga.
The productions will bring $68,319,296 in investment to NSW and create an estimated 3,158 skilled jobs, according to a Screen NSW statement. The state screen body has invested $3.5 million to attract all 20 productions to NSW.