Screen Aus grants development funding to 10 feature films

04 March, 2013 by Brendan Swift

Screen Australia has granted more than $276,000 in funding to support the development of 10 feature films, including projects by the co-writer of local smash The Sapphires and the team behind Wish You Were Here.

It is a small financial lifeline for the industry which is no longer receiving drama production investment from the national government agency after it spent its entire annual $42 million budget in just six months.

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Among the new feature film projects to receive funding is comedy-drama The Grip, written by Tony Briggs (The Sapphires). It follows five young Australian businessmen who discover the secret to winning the pokies and develop Robin Hood-like reputations. David Field (The Combination) will direct.

Writer Felicity Price and director Kieran Darcy-Smith (Wish You Were Here) have also received funding to develop a new (as yet) untitled thriller. It follows social misfit Vincent, who holds a flame for 17-year-old Amber, but when his hopes are crushed he acts impulsively, kidnapping her and locking her in his basement. The schoolgirl embarks on a dangerous game of seduction in a desperate attempt to flee, but what she doesn’t reckon on is Vincent’s strange sister and the dark past they share.

The full list of projects are:

SINGLE-PROJECT DEVELOPMENT: FEATURE DEVELOPMENT

B MODEL
Genre Drama
Producer Louise Smith
Writers Rachel Griffiths, Samantha Strauss
Director Rachel Griffiths

BUTTERFLY STING (AKA METAMORPHOSIS)
Genre Psychological Thriller
Producer David Elfick
Writers Kristine Wyld
Synopsis Scientist Susan Wang disguises herself to gain prison access to her sister’s killer and dispense her own form of justice.

THE DECAYED
Genre Thriller
Producer Sue Taylor
Executive Producer Edward Saxon
Writer Michael Lloyd Green
Director Grant Sputore
Synopsis In the early 20th century, a plague that targets middle-aged adults ravages the Australian countryside, cutting human life expectancy in half. Some of those infected cling to governmental promises of a cure – a vaccine divvied out by lottery; others resort to less savoury methods of survival – transfusing the ‘clean’ blood of children. Enter Doyle, a plague-stricken war vet whose winning lottery ticket is stolen, placing him in the middle of a dilemma.

DOG EAT DOG
Genre Psychological Thriller
Producer David Curzon
Executive Producer Ashley Luke
Writer/Director Simon Portus
Synopsis Sam Person’s ideals of family life in the country are torn apart by a series of wild dog attacks. When the local authorities prove ineffective, moral boundaries begin to blur and Sam takes the law into his own hands. As the situation spirals out of control paranoia takes hold and Sam finds himself forced to question everything he has previously taken for granted.

THE GRIP
Genre Comedy Drama
Writer Tony Briggs
Director David Field
Synopsis In 1965, five young Australian businessmen from New South Wales discover the secret to winning with the pokies. Reaping huge rewards they generously spread their wealth to other poor punters receiving Robin Hood reputations and the wrath of the gaming world.

OM TUK
Genre Romance
Producer/Writer/Directors Amiel Courtin-Wilson, Michael Cody
Synopsis A brutal and beautiful portrait of trauma and transcendent love – a metaphysical road movie through the cities and jungles of modern-day Asia.

PURELY BUSINESS
Genre Comedy Romance
Producer Mark Forstmann
Writer David Hely
Director Rowan Woods
Synopsis A workaholic female executive, vying for a promotion, hires a male escort for much needed stress relief and passes him off at work as her boyfriend to demonstrate she has a life.

THE SEED
Genre Biopic
Producer Nicole O’Donohue
Writer Kate Mulvany
Synopsis Based on a real-life story, a young Australian woman accompanies her Vietnam veteran father on an overseas trip to meet her grandfather, only to discover a garden of long-buried familial secrets. Based on the stage play by Kate Mulvany.

UNTITLED THRILLER
Genre Psychological Thriller
Writer Felicity Price
Director Kieran Darcy-Smith
Synopsis Social misfit Vincent holds a flame for sweetly charming 17-year-old Amber. But when his fragile hopes are crushed he acts impulsively, kidnapping her and locking her in his basement. The schoolgirl embarks on a dangerous game of seduction in a desperate attempt to flee, but what she doesn’t reckon on is Vincent’s strange sister and the dark past they share.

SINGLE-PROJECT DEVELOPMENT: FEATURE MATCHED FUNDING

FRIENDS UPSTAIRS
Genre Drama
Producers Julie Baines, Ray Quint
Writer Steve Wright
Director Ray Quint
Synopsis When three old friends – all in their fifties – set out on a voyage of self-discovery they are reminded of who they were and what might have been and find themselves reigniting long-held passions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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