Martin Wilson joins forces with Fremantle Indonesia for supernatural horror ‘Top Floor’

Emergence Creative Festival chair Mat Lewis, WA writer/director Martin Wilson and Fremantle Indonesia's Jason Neal at Emergence Creative Festival (Image: Ovis Creative)

WA writer/director Martin Wilson will partner with Fremantle Indonesia to develop a horror feature as part of the Australia – Indonesia Fast Track Initiative.

Top Floor, which follows a gang of outcast teens in a battle for survival to protect their community after ravenous supernatural beasts besiege their apartment building, is heading into development via the program, which is supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Australian Cultural Diplomacy Grant Program and managed by Screenwest.

Initially launched in 2018 to accelerate opportunities for collaboration between the two countries, the initiative has since been responsible for Australian films screening at the Film Sinema Australia Indonesia festival, the appointment of an Australia Indonesia Coordinator at Screenwest in 2019, a WA filmmaker delegation trip to Indonesia in 2023, and this year’s Indonesian Marketplace 2:1 Matched Development Fund, which provides two dollars for every one dollar of confirmed marketplace commitment, with up $20,000 per project available.

Wilson conceived the story for Top Floor while a location scout through Malang in East Java, where a group of teenagers playing street soccer caught his attention. There are plans for the film, to be produced by Wilson’s Third Storey Pictures, to shoot in Indonesia as a co-production with an Australian and Indonesian cast and crew.

The writer/director, who announced the project at last week’s Emergence Creative Festival, wanted the production to be an example of what could be achieved through working with the Indonesian industry.

“The hope is that Top Floor will pave the way for future collaborations between Western Australia and Indonesia film communities on multiple levels, both with physical crews, post-production houses, and possibly gaming, setting up and pioneering new long-term partnerships which can only be a good thing,” he said.

Fremantle Indonesia managing director Sakti Parantean said collaborating with Wilson and Third Storey Pictures was a testament to his company’s commitment to innovation and creativity.

“We are thrilled to introduce this collaboration with Martin Wilson and Third Storey Pictures, which will initiate game-changing ways of bringing together creative minds, unique stories, and the power of collaboration in the region and around the world,” he said.

Fremantle general manager of original content and innovation Jason Neal agreed, identifying Top Floor‘s combination of “terrifying ghosts, gripping storyline, and undeniable commercial appeal” as what set it apart.

“In a market where horror reigns supreme, the film offers a bone-chilling, fresh perspective that resonates with Indonesia’s fascination with the supernatural,” he said.