A musical from Red Dog director Kriv Stenders, a feature about the choir of hard knocks directed by Jonathan Teplitzky and an untitled project from Joel and Nash Edgerton are three of 16 features that have received a share of $400,000 in development support from Screen Australia.
Of these 16 projects, ten are new additions to the development slate, while the remaining six have been receiving ongoing assistance.
Screen Australia’s head of development Martha Coleman said in a statement that the calibre of features was outstanding. “There’s a general acknowledgement from the marketplace that our filmmakers have raised the bar and I think the next wave of films in the coming years will be really interesting.”
Synchronicity, which is written by Marissa Goodhill, produced by Leesa Kahn and Catriona Hughes and has Kriv Stenders attached as director, is a musical set to the songs of Kylie Minogue. It follows 17-year-old Kylie Power as she is given one last chance to pursue her dream of being a synchronised swimmer.
Choir of Hard Knocks will be directed by Jonathan Teplitzky and produced by Jason Stephens. The story focuses on a group of disparate people banding together to find their voice under the guidance of their choirmaster.
The untitled project from the Edgerton brothers has Nash attached as writer/producer and director and Joel as co-writer.
Julia Leigh (Sleeping Beauty) also received development funding for Disquiet, another film based on one of her novels.
The full list of films are as follows:
ALEX AND EVE: romantic comedy, producer Murray Fahey, executive producer Bill Kritharas, writer Alex Lykos, co-writer Geoffrey Atherden, director Peter Andrikidis. Synopsis: A Greek Orthodox boy falls in love with a Lebanese Muslim girl creating a mismatch made in heaven. Based on the hugely crowd-pleasing play of the same name.
BACKTRACK: thriller, producer Jamie Hilton, writer/director Michael Petroni. Synopsis: Senior clinical psychologist Peter Bower’s life is in turmoil when he reluctantly accepts that all his patients are ghosts. Upon further investigation he discovers they all died on the same day. In a spine-tingling, supernatural thriller, Peter travels back to his past to confront a secret he has kept for 20 years.
BANJO & MATILDA: action romance, producer Bill Leimbach, writer David Roach, director Bruce Beresford. Synopsis: It’s 1895 in Central Queensland and, with the country in turmoil, a young city poet and journalist travels to a remote sheep station to track down a political agitator. When the clashes between union shearers and landowners turn to violence, a man is found dead in a billabong. Was it suicide or murder? Based on the extraordinary true story of Banjo Paterson, Samuel Hoffmeister and Waltzing Matilda.
BYZANTIUM: drama, producer Melanie Coombs, writer/director Cris Jones. Synopsis: After a road accident on the highway, a young man finds himself trapped in a strange, remote town where nothing – and no one – is as it seems.
CHOIR OF HARD KNOCKS: drama, producer Marian Macgowan, executive producer Jason Stephens, writer Pip Karmel, director Jonathan Teplitzky. Synopsis: A disparate and desperate group of people transcend their hopelessness and band together to find their voice, rediscovering, under the baton of their choirmaster, a dignity and purpose that their ravaged lives had threatened to destroy.
CHRONICAL: science fiction, producer Lisa Shaunessy, executive producer Michael Rymer, co-producer James Whitlam, writer/director Seth Larney. Synopsis: The son of a scientist is called to the future to solve the world’s oxygen crisis and save the woman he loves.
DISQUIET: psychological horror, writer/director Julia Leigh. Synopsis: A haunting tale of a family in extremis, based on her own novel.
THE GLASS BLOWER: drama, producer Paul Sullivan, writer/director Denie Pentecost. Synopsis: 20-year-old Nicole is a cleaner at a prestigious art college but dreams of becoming a glass blower. When new teacher Kiera discovers her talent, Nicole accepts her help and they form an unconventional relationship leading Nicole to a buried secret that has been kept from her since she was a child.
JOE CINQUE’S CONSOLATION: crime drama, producer Sue Murray, writers Matt Rubinstein, Sotiris Dounoukos, director Sotiris Dounoukos. Synopsis: In early 1997, Anu Singh, a young law student at the Australian National University, began to tell many people she was planning to kill herself. As her mental and emotional state disintegrated, her plans grew more bizarre and macabre, concerning her boyfriend Joe Cinque. In October she knocked Joe out with Rohypnol and then injected him with a lethal dose of heroin. Nobody tried to stop her.
KOALA BLUE: comedy, writer Duncan Kennedy.
A MURDER OF CROWS: crime, producers Murray Pope, Michael Robertson, writers Shayne Armstrong, Shane Krause, director Nick Robertson.
NIM’S ISLAND: THE RETURN OF THE PIRATES: family, producers Chris Brown, Tom Hoffie, writer Ray Boseley, director Brendan Maher. Synopsis: A sequel to the hugely popular family film Nim’s Island.
THE POST OFFICE: romantic comedy, producers Angie Fielder, Polly Staniford, writers Emma Vuletic, Justine Flynn.
SYNCHRONICITY: musical, producers Leesa Kahn, Catriona Hughes, executive producer Greg Coote, writer Marissa Goodhill, director Kriv Stenders. Synopsis: Set to the hit music of pop star Kylie Minogue, this musical spectacular follows 17-year-old Kylie Power who, upon moving to her father’s hometown of Sydney, is given one last chance to pursue her dream of becoming a synchronised swimming champion.
UNTITLED: black comedy, producer Matthew Reeder, executive producer Greg McLean, writer/director Abe Forsythe. Synopsis: A dark comedy about racism set during the Cronulla riots.
UNTITLED: drama, producer Nash Edgerton, writers Nash Edgerton, Joel Edgerton, director Nash Edgerton.