‘Playing for Keeps’ (Season 1).

Film Victoria has announced $2 million in production funding across 11 film, television and online projects, including Matchbox Pictures’ upcoming SBS series Hungry Ghosts.

The agency has also backed second seasons of Screentime’s Playing For Keeps for 10, WTFN children’s series Larry the Wonderpup, and Ruby Entertainment/Robot Army comedy Rostered On, both for Seven.

Matchbox’s Hungry Ghosts is a four-part series which centres on three generations of Vietnamese Australian families touched by the effects of war. When a powerful amulet is broken on the eve of the Hungry Ghost Festival in Melbourne, a vengeful spirit is unleashed, bringing the dead with him. Shawn Seet will direct, Stephen Corvini is producing and the writers are Timothy Hobart, Michelle Lee, Alan Nguyen, Jeremy Nguyen and John Ridley.

Film Victoria has also invested in two fiction features, including Good Things Productions’ Below, which recently wrapped production in Western Australia.

Four feature documentaries have also received funding, including:

  • Geeta from Some Kind of Squirrel Productions, which look at acid attacks on Indian women through the lens of a mother’s inspiring and transformative love for her daughters and the change that follows;
  • SUZI Q from director Liam Firmanger with The Acme Film Company, that looks at the career of Suzi Quatro;
  • The Show Must Go On, from actor and first time filmmaker Ben Steel and producer Sue Maslin. It explores mental health in the Australian entertainment industry, and includes interviews with Sam Neill, David McAllister, Jocelyn Moorhouse, Dean Ray, Marcia Hines and Michala Banas. (Read IF’s interview with Steel here)

Film Victoria has also invested in Ruby Entertainment web series Internment, which looks at the joys of being young and stuck in a job you are not getting paid for. It will be released on YouTube.

The funded projects are expected to generate over $22 million spend in Victoria and create over 1,000 jobs.

The next round of Film Vic’s Assigned Production Investment – Film and Television funding opens on March 25.

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