‘Inferno’ creatives Katherine Chediak Putnam, Dean W Law and Brenton Pinsent.
In a first for an Australian screen agency, Screen Queensland is investing more than $250,000 in four proof-of-concept short-form projects.
Danielle Redford will produce two podcasts series for Amazon’s Audible platform, From Her Rib and Beyond Strange Lands, which are intended to lead to a feature film and 12-part TV sci-fi adventure respectively.
Written and directed by Clare Sladden, From Her Rib is a true-crime style, potential feature narrative that tracks a pair of podcasters as they try to solve the mystery surrounding a celebrated musician 25 years after he disappears.
Scripted by David Peterson and Simon Taylor and directed by Hannah Ariotti, Beyond Strange Lands follows Fiona Peters and her teenage son Ethan as they take off into the outback in pursuit of her ill mother Melissa and a box of audio tapes from her parents’ un-aired television show.
Back in 1982, Grant and Melissa Peters led a small documentary crew across Australia to investigate the continent’s mysterious animals, places and events. During filming Grant disappeared.
Fiona and Ethan find Melissa but an encounter with the Min Min Lights leads to betrayal by a close family friend, Melissa’s death, and the revelation of a dark entity.
Co-written by Katherine Chediak Putnam and Dean Law and produced by Law and Brenton Pinsent, Inferno is a horror film, a twist on the age-old haunted house genre.
Due to shoot in January, the plot follows family man Raymond Wyatt as he tears down the remains of his burned-out childhood home to try to bury his family’s tragic past – only to find he is tormented by something sinister uncovered in the demolition.
The Brazilian-raised Chediak Putnam will direct the short in hopes of a feature spin-off and is in talks with a production company.
Acropolisworld is an animated short that centres on Detective Goodwell as he investigates a missing person case in a city without crime that he’s told not to pursue, unraveling dark secrets.
The director/creator Dan Macarthur and producer Mel Poole envision a graphic novel, an animated series and a feature trilogy and have launched a website to begin building an audience for their 3D animated world.
Screen Queensland selected the four projects out of 68 applications. Acting CEO Jo Dillon tells IF the idea sprang from the agency’s remit to give opportunities to new works and new voices.
“We have funded short films but often without a clear idea of how to leverage them into bigger projects and develop their potential as long-form projects,” she says.
“Businesses striving to find novel and audience-driven pathways to produce and test screen content is something we are excited to be investing in.
“As traditional models continue to be disrupted, it’s important as an industry that we support change-makers as they navigate new ways of finding and building audiences, securing finance and selling projects.”
Redford says: “Screen Queensland’s support of innovative script-to-screen models allows us to proactively address market issues in our creative approach. We’re thrilled for the opportunity to tell these stories in an exciting new audio format with Audible.”
Macarthur added: “This funding will fast-track the next chapter of this transmedia project that will debut as an animated series and graphic novel incorporating augmented reality and move through to a feature trilogy.”
Chediak Putnam aims to use some of the knowledge she gained from attending a masterclass given by Jane Campion in June at the International Filmmaking Academy in Bologna, Italy.
She was selected by Griffith University, where she did her Masters of Screen Production after moving to Brisbane five years ago.
Last year Screen Queensland funded Stray, a horror short directed by Law, which he co-wrote with Katherine, produced by Pinsent.
The tale of a wounded World War II soldier who returns home to his wife, only to discover her life now revolves around a sinister stray cat, starring David Breen and Melinda Joan Reed, the short screened at the Sitges festival and was nominated for an AWGIE award.