Screen Australia has announced almost $20 million investment in a diverse slate of feature films, adult television drama projects and children’s television series. The investment in 12 projects will trigger $100 million in production.
Features approved include The Rover, a futuristic Western from the producer and writer/director of Animal Kingdom, Liz Watts and David Michôd. Michôd will join Watts and David Linde (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) as a producer. The film’s cast includes world-class acting talents Robert Pattinson and Guy Pearce.
Felony is a contemporary drama from producer Rosemary Blight (The Sapphires), producer/writer/actor Joel Edgerton and director Matthew Saville (Noise). Aim High in Creation is a hybrid documentary drama celebrating ‘the cinematic genius’ of the late Kim Jong-il from writer/director Anna Broinowski (Forbidden Lie$) and producer Lizzette Atkins.
Healing, a redemptive prison drama from producer/writer/director Craig Monahan with producer Tait Brady and writer Alison Nisselle, will also receive production investment. The cast includes Don Hany (East West 101) and Hugo Weaving.
Screen Australia’s Chief Executive Ruth Harley said, “These four highly engaging and diverse Australian stories have huge potential. The Rover is a powerful well-crafted script from a talented team with an impressive cast. Anna Broinowski’s Aim High in Creation is a distinctive, ambitious film with a humorous and entertaining story. Felony has international breakout potential and Healing promises to be a highly emotional and moving story on screen.”
Adult television drama investments include Wentworth (p: Amanda Crittenden, ep: Jo Porter, sp: Lara Radulovich, d: Kevin Carlin) for FOXTEL, a modern re-imagination of the popular Prisoner series, and Gallipoli (p: John Edwards, Imogen Banks, Robert Connelly, w: Christopher Lee), a four-part Nine Network mini-series based on the book by Les Carlyon.
Better Man (p: Stephen Corvini, ep: Jason Stephens, w/d: Khoa Do) is a four-part true-crime drama for SBS about the devastating consequences of Van Nguyen’s attempt to traffic heroin from Cambodia to Australia. Parer’s War (p: Andrew Wiseman, w: Alison Nisselle, d: Matthew Saville) is an ABC telemovie biopic about World War II frontline cameraman Damien Parer and his efforts to reveal the truth.
A second series of the ABC’s successful Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (p: Fiona Eagger, Deb Cox, w: Deb Cox, John Banas, Kristen Dunphy, d: Tony Tilse) was also approved for investment.
Children’s television investments include three live-action series: the Network Ten adventure series Sam Fox: Extreme Adventures (p/ep: Suzanne Ryan, w: Keith Thompson) based on the thrilling action adventure books by popular children’s author Justin D’Ath; The Lost Boys (p: Michael McMahon, Tony Ayres, w: Craig Irvin, Rhys Graham, Roger Monk, Elise McCredie, Polly Staniford, Shanti Gudgeon, d: Peter Carstairs, Robert Connelly), a drama series with an online extension for the ABC; and The Worst Year of My Life – Again! (p: Ross Allsop, Bernadette O’Mahony, w: Mark Brotherhood, Brendan Luno, Sam Carroll and others, d: Pino Amenta and others), a comedy-drama series for the ABC.
Dr Harley said, “It’s great to support such a substantial slate of distinctive and compelling adult drama and children’s programs, delivering unique Australian storytelling at its best. Across both adult and children’s television, Screen Australia’s investment commitment will produce 66 hours of television and generate budgets of $73.6 million.”
“Screen Australia is committed to investing in a production slate that encourages new talent, develops successful screen practitioners and promotes ongoing achievement,” concluded Dr Harley.