New projects from Emile Sherman, Wayne Blair, Andy Cox, Rosemary Blight, Kristian Moliere and Melanie Coombs are among the recipients of the latest round of development funding from Screen Australia.
The agency is allocating $560,000 to support 17 single-draft screen projects selected from applications received through its development program in the last three months. In addition, four emerging filmmakers will be assisted through the Talent Escalator program.
“From Neolithic crime to Muslim comedy, we’re delighted to support a range of projects from expert practitioners and talent on the rise," said Screen Australia creative director Veronica Gleeson.
“The diversity of storytelling ambition is impressive, as is the shared aim of making meaningful contact with audiences. We are also very pleased to continue our support for talent development in assisting four promising filmmakers to advance their directorial skills.”
Development investment will be given to eight new projects: TV's Bronze and the features Lost Cat, The Death and Life of Otto Bloom, Shadow Warrior, Wake with Me, Taboo, The Other Side of the World and The Children, plus continued support to nine other titles.
Bronze is a detective drama set between Neolithic Scandinavia and contemporary Australia, written and produced by Screentime's Felicity Packard, Peter Gawler and Greg Haddrick. It is the second project to receive funding through the High-end Television Development program.
Comic memoir Lost Cat will be adapted by writer/producer Andy Cox and produced by Julie Byrne and The Babadook’s Kristian Moliere. The story by Caroline Paul follows what happens when Katherine and Annie decide to use a GPS tracker to solve the mystery of their disappearing, reappearing San Franciscan cat.
Mary and Max producer Melanie Coombs teams with Alicia Brown and Mish Armstrong on The Death and Life of Otto Bloom, a vividly imagined fictional documentary about a man who experiences time in reverse. From writer/director Cris Jones, the mystery drama has Xavier Samuel attached as the lead.
Oscar®-winning producer Emile Sherman begins early stage development on Shadow Warrior, a drama penned by Beatrix Christian (Jindabyne).
The Sapphires’ Wayne Blair returns to Australia to helm Ali’s Wedding, a comedy by Osamah Sami and Andrew Knight about the son of a Muslim cleric who sets off a catastrophic chain of events after telling a reckless lie, and is caught between his sense of duty to his family and following his heart. Sheila Jayadev and Helen Panckhurst will produce for Matchbox Pictures.
In supernatural comedy Wake with Me, a pair of unlikely soul mates meet for the first time the night they get engaged – to other people. Each morning thereafter they wake up together, no matter where they’ve slept the night before. The script is by Joshua Tyler, produced by Goalpost’s Lauren Edwards and Rosemary Blight and directed by Maia Horniak.
Bentley Dean, Martin Butler and Master and Commander’s John Collee have penned Taboo, a drama which will be produced and directed by Dean and Butler and also produced by Carolyn Johnson. The film examines life, love, war and peace on the Island of Tanna, one of the last tribal societies on Earth.
Sam Holst, whose short Meathead was nominated for best short film at Cannes' Palme d’Or, will work with emerging talent Danielle Harris on The Other Side of the World, a collaboration between producer Michael Cody and Zentropa’s Katja Adomeit. The plot will explore the story of a young European couple, Rene and Nadine, who suffer a sudden trauma while travelling that throws their relationship into chaos.
Writer/director Claire McCarthy, who made a segment of The Turning starring Rose Byrne, will adapt The Children from the novel by Charlotte Wood. The film follows a hard-bitten war correspondent who reluctantly returns home to Australia only to discover that some of the most challenging stories are located within her own family. Sue Taylor and Tenille Kennedy will produce.
HIGH-END TELEVISION DEVELOPMENT
Producers Peter Gawler, Greg Haddrick, Felicity Packard
Executive Producers Greg Haddrick, Bob Campbell
Writers Felicity Packard, Greg Haddrick, Peter Gawler
Synopsis In Neolithic Scandinavia the inventor of bronze fights to protect his invention from being misused, while in 2015 an Australian anthropologist fights to protect the medical miracle revealed by forensic analysis of the Nordic warrior’s frozen, mummified body.
SINGLE PROJECT DEVELOPMENT: FEATURE DEVELOPMENT
ALI’S WEDDING (AKA A GOOD LIE)
Producers Sheila Jayadev, Helen Panckhurst
Executive Producers Tony Ayres, Michael McMahon
Director Wayne Blair
Writers Osamah Sami, Andrew Knight
Synopsis After a reckless lie sets off a catastrophic chain of events, Ali, the son of a Muslim cleric, finds himself caught between his sense of duty to his family and following his heart.
BANG BANG MING WANG
Genre Action Comedy
Producer Samantha Jennings
Executive Producer Sheila Hanahan-Taylor
Writers Will Kuether, Paul Sammes
Synopsis A hapless but good-hearted waiter becomes an unwitting hero when he is forced to protect a beautiful heiress from the Chinatown underworld.
Genre Crime, Thriller
Producers Sheila Jayadev, Lyn Norfor
Executive Producers Greg Sitch, Nina Stevenson, Prue Williams
Writers Andy Cox, Ranald Allan
Synopsis 1919. A suicidal young soldier hiding in the hills surrounding his home town, meets an orphan girl who helps him unlock the truth behind his sister’s murder – a crime for which he was wrongly accused. Based on the novel by Chris Womersley.
Genre Family Drama
Producers Sue Taylor, Tenille Kennedy
Writer/Director Claire McCarthy
Synopsis Hard-bitten war correspondent, Mandy Connelly, reluctantly returns home to Australia only to discover that some of the most challenging stories are found within her own family.
CHOIR OF HARD KNOCKS
Genre Comedy, Drama
Producer Marian Macgowan
Executive Producer Jason Stephens
Director Jonathan Teplitzky
Writer Pip Karmel
Synopsis A choir that brings together the disparate and the desperate provides its reluctant choirmaster with unexpected discoveries, not the least himself.
THE DEATH AND LIFE OF OTTO BLOOM
Producers Melanie Coombs, Alicia Brown, Mish Armstrong
Writer/Director Cris Jones
Cast Xavier Samuel
Synopsis A fictional documentary about a man who experiences time in reverse, and his impact on the world around him as he passes backwards through the years.
Genre Comedy Romance
Producers Julie Byrne, Andy Cox, Kristian Moliere
Writer Andy Cox
Synopsis When Katherine’s cat, Tibby, disappears and then returns sleeker and healthier than before, Katherine’s world is turned upside down sending her on a cat’s-eye-view-of-the-world adventure with new lover, Annie. Based on the comic memoir by Caroline Paul and illustrated by Wendy MacNaughton.
Genre Science Fiction, Thriller
Producer Stuart Parkyn
Writers Adam Spellicy, Penelope Chai
Synopsis Years after a plague kills every woman on Earth, the world is repopulated with identical, submissive female clones. Now, one of them wants her independence.
Genre Comedy, Drama
Producer Marian Macgowan
Director Gillian Armstrong
Writer Lally Katz
Synopsis Cathy, a 27-year-old woman with a secret heartbreak, is lost until she meets her neighbour Anna, a cantankerous 80-year-old Hungarian woman, equally crippled by history. They begin a friendship that will ultimately save them both.
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD
Producers Michael Cody, Katja Adomeit
Director Sam Holst
Writers Sam Holst, Danielle Harris
Synopsis Rene and Nadine – a young European couple travelling on the other side of the world – suffer a sudden trauma that throws their relationship into chaos. But far away from home, it is each other they will need most in order to survive.
Genre Romance, Action, Drama
Producer Sylvia Wilczynski
Writer/Director Kim Mordaunt
Producer Emile Sherman
Writer Beatrix Christian
Producers Carolyn Johnson, Bentley Dean, Martin Butler
Writers John Collee, Bentley Dean, Martin Butler
Directors Bentley Dean, Martin Butler
Synopsis A ground-breaking glimpse into life, love, war and peace on the Island of Tanna, one of the last tribal societies on earth.
UNTITLED GC PROJECT
Producers Christopher Sharp, Timothy White
Writer Natasha Pincus
WAKE WITH ME
Genre Romantic Comedy
Producers Lauren Edwards, Rosemary Blight
Director Maia Horniak
Writer Joshua Tyler
Synopsis A pair of unlikely and seemingly incompatible soul mates meet for the first time on the night they get engaged to other people. Each morning from then on, they magically wake up together, no matter where they had gone to bed the night before.
SINGLE PROJECT DEVELOPMENT: FEATURE MATCHED FUNDING
Producer Antony I Ginnane
Executive Producers Anthony J Lyons, Richard Becker
Writers Kris Wyld, Tim Knapton
TALENT DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS
Director Martha Goddard will be attached to director Jocelyn Moorhouse (Proof, How to Make an American Quilt) on The Dressmaker, which started shooting this week.
Animation director Simon Cottee will spend 10 months in Montreal working under the guidance of director/ animator Malcolm Sutherland on the development and production of his commercial and short film slate.
Director Goran Stolevski will be attached to director Alister Grierson (Kokoda, Sanctum) on the second series of Matchbox Pictures' Nowhere Boys, which started shooting in July.
Writer/director Eve Spence (Playground) will attend the Binger Filmlab to be held September 17- January 31 with her feature drama script Truesong.