Three features receive Screen Australia investment

26 June, 2013 by Don Groves

Children’s movie Paper Planes, Cambodian-set romantic drama Ruin and art-house drama Partisan received investment from Screen Australia at Tuesday's board meeting.

The agency is investing almost $15.5 million in the three features, five adult drama series, one telemovie and three children’s series, triggering production worth almost $84 million.


Writer/director/producer Robert Connolly’s Paper Planes is a drama about a young boy from a small outback town who dreams of competing in the World Paper Plane Championships in Japan. The writers are Connolly and Steve Worland, produced by Maggie Miles and Liz Kearney.

Connolly told IF, “We don’t make this kind of film any more in Australia, where the hero is an Australian kid. If kids don’t grow up watching Australian films we are not building a future.”

The film will shoot in Perth later this year. Connolly and John Maynard’s Footprint Films will release in Australia and Arclight will handle international sales.

Ruin is a low-budget drama set in Cambodia from producers/writers/directors Amiel Courtin-Wilson and Michael Cody. Formerly known as Om Tuk, it’s a love story about two young Cambodians who emerged from traumatic experiences.

The idea for the film germinated when Amiel and Cody stopped off in Cambodia after their film Hail screened at the Venice International Film Festival. They obtained financial backing from Cambodia’s Hanuman Films and quickly assembled an Australian crew including cinematographer Ari Wegner (who shot Kivu Ruhorahoza’s Rwandan drama Matière Grise /Grey Matter) and a cast of locals. The lead male was the only professional actor, the lead female is a circus performer and the rest were non-actors.

They shot 80% of the film in Phnom Penh. Madman will release in Australia  and XYZ is the international sales agent.

First-time writer-director Ariel Kleiman’s Partisan will star Oscar Isaac (Drive, Robin Hood, the Coen brothers’ upcoming Inside Llewyn Davis) in a confronting tale about a vengeful man raising his children to attack the world that wronged him.

Kleiman’s short film Deeper than Yesterday won the Jury Prize for Best International Short Film at the Sundance Film Festival 2011 and the Kodak Discovery Award for Best Short Film at the Cannes Film Festival 2010.

Kleiman co-wrote the script with Sarah Cyngler. Warp Films Australia’s Anna McLeish and Sarah Shaw will produce. Shaw told IF the plan is to shoot the film in Victoria and Georgia in Eastern Europe in October. Madman is aboard as is international sales agent Protagonist Pictures.