$1.8 million funding for six film and TV projects

Minister for Innovation, Services and Small Business Louise Asher today announced that the Victorian Coalition Government, through Film Victoria, is supporting the production of six screen projects – two for film and four for television.

Ms Asher said the projects have been awarded a total of $1.8 million through Film Victoria’s Production Investment program, which aims to support local filmmakers in maintaining Victoria’s reputation for screen excellence.

“These six new projects each show a ‘slice of Australian life’ – celebrating our cultural diversity, our history and recognising the importance of respecting and protecting our natural environment,” Ms Asher said. “The Victorian Coalition Government is committed to championing local talent to tell local stories.
"Since December 2010, our government has supported more than 120 film and television projects, which are expected to generate more than $500 million in production expenditure. “Through programs like this, we are supporting our screen industry and working to ensure that Victoria’s screen industry remains robust and sustainable.

“The six projects being awarded funding today are expected to generate an estimated $23 million in production expenditure and create jobs for around 1,100 Victorians.”

The six new projects being supported through Film Victoria’s Production Investment program are:

-13 part children’s television series, The Adventures of Figaro Pho – series two, which continues the journey of Figaro Pho and his trusty companion, Rivet, as they learn about life (Chocolate Liberation Front);

-The Secret River, also made for television, tells the story of William Thornhill, an English convict who in 1806 is sentenced to the colonies for life (Ruby Entertainment);

-The popular ABC TV series, Upper Middle Bogan, is back for series two with eight new hilarious episodes (Happy Thumb);

-Oddball, a family feature film based on a true Victorian story, to be filmed in Warrnambool. It centres on an eccentric chicken farmer who saves a colony of penguins by putting his sheepdog on their island (The Film Company);

-Ten years in the planning, Putuparri is a two-part, feature length television documentary about an Aboriginal man’s struggles to maintain his cultural heritage in a modern world (John Moore Productions);

-Neon is a feature documentary film that celebrates the colour and vibrant history of the neon sign in a world that will soon replace it with L.E.D. signage (Wild Fury).

CEO Jenni Tosi said Film Victoria was delighted to support yet another strong slate of projects with Production Investment funding.

“From another series of gorgeous long-form animation, The Adventures of Figaro Pho and much-loved comedy Upper Middle Bogan to an exciting adaptation of best-selling Australian novel, The Secret River, we’ll see significant activity in Victoria in the new year,” Ms Tosi said.

“We’re also investing in feature film Oddball, based on a true story and set in Warrnambool; and in two very different but equally compelling documentaries, Neon and Putuparri.

“Melbourne continues to be a hub of activity and we look forward to seeing these projects move into production.”