Rescue plan hatched for Roland Joffe's Singularity
[Tue 07/02/2012 02:21:37]
By Brendan Swift
A rescue plan has been hatched to save embattled Australian-UK feature Singularity from administration.
The proposal, discussed at a creditors meeting held last week in Brisbane, involves completing the film by June 30, which would trigger millions of dollars in government rebates allowing creditors to be re-paid.
About $1.5 million is owed to third party creditors although some internal claims remain outstanding. An initial creditors report from Worrells Solvency & Forensic Accountants initially estimated $15.13 million was owed to creditors however it is understood that the major portion of that relates to an investment vehicle which partially funded the production.
Contrarian Tax Unit’s Brett Thornquest, who is assisting the administrators, said: “We’re optimistic that we can find a path forward to get creditors paid, get the film finished and get it released – it’s in everyone’s interest to do that.”
Creditors are continuing to explore financial options ahead of another meeting scheduled for mid-March.
The $28 million time travel fantasy, initially shot on Queensland’s Gold Coast, was directed by Oscar-nominated Roland Joffé and stars Josh Hartnett, Neve Campbell and Bollywood star Bipasha Basu.
It was plagued by budget woes with cast and crew payments regularly delayed throughout the shoot, which also included four weeks in India. Administrators were called in late last year although the bulk of the film has been completed and post-production has continued in the UK.
Any plans to complete the film will require a greater level of co-operation between Australian producers Grant and Dale Bradley and UK producer Paul Breuls. The relationship is understood to have soured when funding sourced by Breuls fell over during production.
Meanwhile, Screen Queensland confirmed that it did not invest in the $28 million production. It had initially made a $300,000 commitment “to be triggered in post-production only and subject to pre-conditions” according to a statement from Screen Queensland chief executive Maureen Barron.
“After 12 months, and following discussions with the producers and other parties, these pre-conditions were not met and Screen Queensland formally withdrew its funding approval on September 13, 2011.”
Screen Queensland has offered guidance to the producers to resolve the outstanding payments to Queensland creditors, she said.
Contact this reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @bcswift.
[Tue 07/02/2012 02:21:37]