The producers of Australian film Teenage Kicks have raised nearly $68,000 from crowdfunding site Pozible and aim to start shooting in Sydney in early 2014. The first feature from writer-director Craig Boreham, the sexually-charged teen drama will star Miles Szanto, Bojana Novakovic and Luke Arnold.

Danish-based sales agent LevelK introduced the project to potential buyers at the Cannes Film Market and the producer, Azure Productions’ Annmaree J. Bell, told IF a pre-sale to a UK theatrical distributor is in negotiation. LevelK’s Tine Klint met the producer at the 2011 Melbourne International Film Festival and had been tracking the film since then.

Szanto, whose credits include TV’s Love My Way and The Elephant Princess, will play 17-year-old Miklós, who is caught between family obligations and a desire to start a new life after the unexpected death of his older brother Tomi.

Arnold, who’s starring in Michael Bay’s pirate adventure series Black Sails and has been cast as the late INXS frontman Michael Hutchence in Shine Australia’s Seven Network miniseries Never Tear Us Apart: The INXS Story, will play Tomi. Novakovic, who appeared with Keanu Reeves in US indie drama Generation Um… last year and has landed a recurring role in the US remake of Rake, will play Tomi’s partner Annuska.

The synopsis describes the plot as a “journey through the minefield of adolescence as Mik searches for a way to navigate through his guilt and explosive sexuality to become the man he wants to become.”

Szanto played the same character in Boreham’s 2009 short film Drowning, which he made after writing the screenplay for the movie. Screen NSW funded the development of the film. Bell aims to raise the balance of the $1.9 million budget from Screen Australia, the producer offset, Screen NSW and private investors.

Some 329 people contributed money via Pozible, enabling the film to beat its $67,000 target, which Bell rates as an excellent result for a project with a first-time director.

In Cannes she sought to drum up interest among international buyers in another of her projects, Darker After Midnight, a thriller about a girl in a vineyard who encounters ghosts, from writer-director Michael Chrisoulakis.


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