Vicki Madden and Vincent Sheehan en route to the launch of ‘The Kettering Incident’.
Screen Tasmania is supporting the development of 13 projects – a mix of feature films, comedy and drama series and factual – involving both experienced and emerging talent.
The $242,500 in additional project development funding is part of the Tasmanian Government’s cultural and creative industries stimulus package.
While the individual sums are modest, averaging $20,000, the funding round sheds light on some intriguing projects from such creatives as Vicki Madden, Fiona McConaghy, Elli Iliades, Jungle Entertainment, Good Thing Productions, Blur Films, Roar Films and Fredbird Entertainment.
Renewing their collaboration after Stan’s The Gloaming, Madden’s Sweet Potato Films and John Molloy’s 2 Jons are preparing Wireless Hill. The 8 x 1 hour drama follows 10 bright young scientists from around the world who are given the opportunity of a lifetime to study on the unique Macquarie Island.
They discover they are unwitting guinea pigs for a powerful biotech company looking for a horror that humankind was not meant to know.
Screen Tasmania also supported the development of a second series of The Gloaming, with matched funding from Stan.
McConaghy is attached as the producer of two projects – 8 x 30′ comedy Mister Hipster and the feature drama Rain Boy.
‘Mister Hipster’ indicative art.
Scripted by Wendy Hanna and Mark O’Toole and directed by Shaun Wilson, Mister Hipster centres on two over-confident tradies who decide on the spur of the moment to set up a trendy café. When they discover how difficult it is, they enlist the help of the two best chefs they know – their mothers.
Creator/showrunner David Gurney tells IF it will be a co-production between McConaghy’s Latitude Films and Electric Yak, Blue Rocket’s entertainment-for-grown-ups company.
Ranald Allan (script editor on Madden’s The Kettering Incident) scripted Rain Boy, the story of kind-hearted, 12-year-old dreamer Artie Ryan who, following the death of his mother, is desperate to win his father’s love and save the family farm from a crippling drought by finding a way to make it rain. Brian Rosen is the executive producer.
After making several shorts including Waiting for Angel and Theodore’s Gift, Iliades wrote and plans to direct The Boarder, a feature drama about a quiet migrant who develops an infatuation with a married woman from a nearby farming community. When he starts working for her and her husband, he finds himself becoming dangerously embroiled in a family affair.
“I was inspired to write the story after moving back to north-west Tasmania, where my parents migrated after visiting from Melbourne on their honeymoon,” Elli tells IF.
“I have moved back and forth from Tasmania to live overseas and interstate over the last 15 years and decided I wanted to develop a story that was quite close to home. I am developing the screenplay and will eventually send it to potential producers.”
Jungle Entertainment’s Chloe Rickard and Shay Spencer are working on Flames, a 6 x 1 hour drama adapted from the debut novel by Tasmanian Robbie Arnott.
The plot centres on siblngs Charlotte and Levi McAllister who traverse the island as they struggle to cope with the death, reincarnation and swift second demise of their mother. Marieke Hardy is the writer/showrunner with Arnott as story consultant.
Good Thing Productions’ Nick Batzias and Virginia Whitwell are developing Dead Rabbit Trail, a feature drama from writer-director Daniel Peek, which sees a wounded cop taken hostage by a 15-year-old girl a year after the loss of his son.
From Blur Films’ Dylan Hesp and Michael O’Neill, Destination Drift is a 8 x 30′ factual entertainment series in which host Taylor Forward will lift the lid on the underground world of drift motor sport.
It’s the follow-up to their SBS short documentary The Small Town Drifter, which saw Forward travel to Japan for the G1GP drift competition.
“Drift is the fastest growing motor sport in the world and its audience loves this sort of content. So with Taylor’s personality and deep love for car culture it seemed like a no-brainer to continue exploring the idea,” says Hesp, who plans to co-direct with O’Neill.
Producer/director/writer Brendan Shoebridge’s Indomitable: The Pacific Peacemaker Story is a half-hour doc based on the true story of two antipodean tradies and their novice crew who in 1981 sailed across the Pacific Ocean on a daring mission: to blockade the deadly Trident submarine.
Screen Tasmania is providing advanced stage project development to Fredbird Entertainment’s Adventure Gold Diggers, an 8 x 1 hour observational documentary which posits that it takes just one lucky strike to forever change a prospector’s fortunes. Brad Cone is the series producer with Tim Noonan directing.
Roar Films’ Conviction Politics is a 6 x 6′ animated factual webseries, which profiles six unsung political heroes from the convict diaspora, from writer/director Steve Thomas and producers Ruby Thomas and Kath Symmons.