Please credit Mark Rogers Photographer

Nash Edgerton (left) will participate in the development lab for ‘Croak’. (Photo: Mark Rogers) 

Directors Connor and Christiaan Van Vuuren are set to run a development lab for their upcoming film Croak in conjunction with Screenworks and director Nash Edgerton, in Gladstone, Queensland this November.

Screenworks has opened applications today for five early career, regionally based directors/writers to participate in the four and half day lab, including at least two from regional Queensland. Each selected participant will be paid a fee of $4,500 in addition to having travel to Gladstone and accommodation expenses covered.

Croak, a sci-fi comedy from Jungle Entertainment and Midwinter Films, follows a gang of teenagers living in regional Australia who discover that their biology teacher is harbouring a dark secret with dire consequences. It is the one of the first features being developed under Jungle’s new feature arm. The script has been penned by Shane Brady and co-writer Priscilla Cameron, and will be directed by the Van Vuuren Bros with Jungle development executive, features, Bridget Callow-Wright and COO Chloe Rickard producing. It has been developed with investment from Screen Queensland and Screen Australia.

The film will follow Josh and Stacy, who are forced off their farm due to coal-seam gas fracking. Their mum then takes a job in Galston, a booming coal and gas port. Josh, a sensitive nature boy, and Stacy, a knockabout country girl, are pitched into a new school in a new town amidst strange goings-on: pets vanishing and cars mysteriously crushed in the night.

The lab is designed to provide insight into the filmmaking and development process.

“Writing something that doesn’t suck isn’t as easy as it sounds,” says Christiaan, while brother Connor adds: “Directing something that doesn’t suck isn’t as easy as it sounds either.”

Screenworks has partnered with Jungle Entertainment and Midwinter Films for the lab, which received funding through Screen Australia’s Enterprise Ideas program and investment support from Screen Queensland. It is the second of three labs that Screenworks has been funded to deliver under its Regional Script Lab X Initiative, which aims to connect talented writers and directors living outside the major production cities in Australia and bring unique and authentic perspectives to the development of regionally-based projects.

Screenworks CEO Ken Crouch says: “We all want more diverse, quality stories – but they can’t come from a vacuum. It’s critical that new career pathways are available to people living outside the main production hubs, as the peak industry body for the regional screen industry we’re excited to be creating these opportunities.”

To be considered for the Croak Development Lab, applicants must be able to demonstrate previous experience in screen directing and writing and be living in regional, rural or remote Australia. Applicants also need to be available to travel to Gladstone in November (travel and accommodation expenses will be covered by Screenworks).

Applications are now open and will close at 9am August 26.

To apply, visit

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