Screen Australia has announced its latest funding round, with $3 million in production and development funding split between two Indigenous TV projects, eight multiplatform projects, eight feature films, and two individuals and two companies.
The two Indigenous television projects to have received production investment are:
• ABC TV’s previously announced Indigenous comedy drama series The Warriors. From Robert Connolly’s Arenamedia, the show is set in the competitive world of Australian Rules Football, and has major production investment from Screen Australia and funding support from Film Victoria;
• NITV documentary Carry The Flag, which delves into the story behind the Torres Strait Island flag designed by Bernard Namok, from Tamarind Tree Pictures with Screen Queensland and Screen Territory support.
The eight multiplatform projects to have received production investment are:
• VR project The Buried, a 3D experience that plunges the viewer into a magical Dreamtime world, from Indigenous writer/director Tyson Mowarin, creative director Stuart Campbell and producer Justin McArdle, with funding support from Screenwest;
• Conspiracy thriller Event Zero, a hybrid-format SVOD feature film and TV series based on the 2012 web series of the same name, from producer/director Enzo Tedeschi (Airlock, The Tunnel);
• Australian Irish co-production teen comedy series Drop Dead Weird for Seven Network and RTE Ireland, which follows an Australian family who move to rural Ireland to run a B&B, from producers Monica O’Brien and Sally Browning with funding support from Screen NSW;
• British comedian Stephen Fry and Gina Carter are executive producing web series High Life, a companion piece to the highly acclaimed series Low Life from creators Adam Dolman and Luke Eve, about 17-year-old Genevieve who experiences her first manic episode of bipolar disorder;
• Punk rockers from Newcastle return for another season of antics in YouTube mockumentary These New South Whales from writer/director/producing team Jamie and Ben Timony and Todd Andrews, with Laura Waters (8MMM) joining Jeffrey Walker (Dance Academy) as Executive Producer.
• Created by comedy troupe Aunty Donna and produced by Nel Minchin for In Films, Chaperones follows three deadbeat nobodies entrusted with the day-to-day care of child star.
• The third series of Doodle, an interactive comedy that takes real people’s drawings and turns them into short animated movies. From Ludo Studio, produced by Meg O’Connell and Charlie Aspinwall, and written and directed by Benjamin Zaugg.
• Bryan Brown executive produces the second season of daughter Matilda Brown’s series Let’s Talk About. Brown co-directs with Matt Jenkins. Produced by Yingna Lu for New Town Films.
• Jungle’s 6 x 4 min comedy The Member follows a fictional political hopeful in the real political world gunning for a Senate seat in the 2016 eleciton. Writen by Charlie Garber, directed by Trevor Clarence and produced by Julia Corcoran.
The latest round of story development funding sees eight feature film projects share in over $250,000 worth of funding. They are:
• The Unknown Soldier is based on the true story of the British priest who created the first Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to help a nation grieving after The Great War, from screenwriter Jan Sardi (The Secret River, Shine) and the team from See Saw Productions: Emile Sherman, Rachel Gardner and Iain Canning;
• Celestial Blue, in which air hostess Avery is faced with a deadly pandemic that breaks out on board mid-flight, from These Final Hours writer/director Zak Hilditch and producer Liz Kearney (Paper Planes, Spear);
• The Blue Tin, a dramatisation of a death-in-custody tragedy and a family’s struggle for justice, from producer David Jowsey (Goldstone, Mystery Road) and writer Stephen Sewell;
• Sci-fi dystopian drama In Vitro from writer/director team Will Jaymes and Sam McKeith. McKeith’s debut feature Beast (co-directed with brother Tom) was selected for TIFF in 2015;
• Jirga, from writer Benjamin Gilmour and producer John Maynard (Sherpa), about a former Australian soldier who returns to Afghanistan to find the family of a man he killed in combat.
• Indigenous supernatural thriller Dingo, from director Catriona McKenzie, writer Mike Jones and producers Liliana Munoz and Neal Kington.
• Written, directed and co-produced by actor Anthony Hayes (about to make his directorial debut on American thriller Stingray, starring Jon Bernthal) Gold follows the story of two men who find an enormous gold nugget buried in the heart of the desert.
• Action-adventure Zero Night, written by Yolanda Ramke and produced by Essential Media’s Ian Collie and Simonne Overend, follows the untold true story of a crack team of British and Australian soldiers who stage an ingenious escape from a prisoner-of-war camp.
The two talent development funding recipients are:
• Director Audrey Lam (Magic Miles), who is headed to the Locarno Filmmakers Academy in Switzerland.
• Revlover Films producer Martha Coleman, who will engage a consultant to create a business sustainability plan.
The two sector development funding recipients are:
• Screenworks On Demand by Northern Rivers Screenworks, which will see the production of 25 webisodes.
• The ICE Screen Cultures Program, an event partnership with ICE for a program of workshops, masterclasses, mentorships and other professional development opportunities for emerging Western Sydney screenwriters and producers.