By Brendan Swift

Warp Films Australia’s first feature will be based on the notorious South Australian Snowtown murders and plans to start production by mid-year.

The local production house is currently locking in the last component of its funding after Film Victoria today announced a $245,000 commitment following the South Australian Film Corporation’s $212,000 investment last December.

“We’ve had such a great response that it will happen and we’re looking to shoot it by the end of August at the latest,” Warp Films Australia's managing director Anna McLeish said.

Snowtown is set in Adelaide’s northern suburbs and tells the tale of a series of grisly murders through the eyes of 15-year-old Jamie Vlassakis. The feature was written by Shaun Grant and will be directed by Justin Kurzel.

Warp Films Australia, which was set up in mid-2008, has effectively licensed the UK-based Warp brand and its production methodology.

“The production methodology that surrounds the film and its approach is very much a ‘Warp’ one,” McLeish said. “There are some less traditional ways that we are approaching it which we’re buoyed about.”

The SAFC investment was made to the company’s Warp X iniative, which largely centres on low-budget and digital filmmaking.

Warp Films Australia also received $400,000 in funding via Screen Australia’s Enterprise Program last September to developing a feature slate encompassing low-budget genre films, mid-range features and Australian-UK co-productions.

McLeish founded the company with Warp UK creative directors Mark Herbert and Robin Gutch.

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