Melbourne and Brisbane-based Continuance Pictures has launched a short film fund offering up to $10,000 per project for emerging filmmakers whose shorts would serve as concepts for feature films or TV series.

The aim is to create shorts that will screen at A-list film festivals and provide proof-of-concept for bigger productions.

Co-founded by Tristan Barr and David Gim, the production company hopes the Continue Short Film Initiative will result in more than 50 shorts over five years.

Barr says: “As a filmmaker there is nothing worse than receiving a rejection letter and not understanding why. Through this process the team at Continuance Pictures are attempting to provide feedback to applicants to build working relationships and ongoing opportunities for the future.”

Umbrella Entertainment, which is discussing several projects with Continuance, supports the initiative. Head of acquisitions Ari Harrison tells IF: “We believe it’s a great idea. There are so many first-time directors who are having huge success based on a high concept short, such as The Babadook, Hereditary, Cargo and the upcoming Relic.”

The scheme will fund the shorts and assist with submitting them to film festivals around the world. The shorts would then be used as a proof of concept in a bid to convince studios and investors of the potential of related feature-length films or TV series and franchises. Continuance will own the copyright.

The idea sprang from a meeting the founders had with Blumhouse’s Jason Blum at the Busan International Film Festival in Korea. Blum gave them valuable advice on shooting on low budgets and testing content with short films.

Barr wrote and directed Watch the Sunset, an 83 minute, one-shot, low-budget thriller which follows an ex-bikie who tries to reunite his family after they are torn apart by his devastating drug addiction.

Tristan Barr and David Gim.

Inner Voice Artists, a US-based international management and production company launched last year by Ina Petersen, Barr’s agent who formerly worked at CAA and Sierra/Affinity, will assist with casting.

“As I have learnt with Watch the Sunset, momentum is such an integral part of the process of surviving in this business,” Barr says. “We will be capitalising on festival screenings with meetings in the marketplace with the already developed feature script of the project.”

Harrison says Umbrella is looking at Continuance’s Isolation, a Korean/Australian horror film, and Cursed, a horror/comedy TV series based on an online series which was funded by Screen Queensland.

The producers have pitched Barr’s Isolation, which looks at the seemingly lone survivor of a plane crash who encounters a wild woman in the Australian wilderness, to CJ Entertainment and Showbox as an Australian-Korean co-production.

The slate includes Wildflower, a drama about a shy Korean teenager who is shipped off to a hostile Australian town without explanation, where he works as a farm labourer. Things turn nasty between his new workmates and the grieving widow who owns the farm.

Writers, directors and producers who have bold and innovative ideas are invited to submit their feature-length scripts to the Continue Short Film Initiative via the Continuance Pictures website before 5 pm AEDT February 1.

To apply go here

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