Screen Aus funds time-travel drama

Shorts director Cris Jones will make his feature debut on The Death and Life of Otto Bloom.

Xavier Samuel is attached to play the title character, an extraordinary man who experiences time in reverse – passing backwards through the years while remembering the future.

Screen Australia, Film Victoria and the Melbourne International Film Festival Premiere Fund are financing the low budget drama which will shoot in Melbourne later this year.

The producers are Mish Armstrong, Alicia Brown and Melanie Coombs, with Jonathan Page as EP. Coombs produced Jones’ well-received 2008 short The Funk.

Page’s Bonsai Films will distribute in Australia and international sales will be handled by Global Screen, which reps Oddball.

The other two features which received funding at Screen Australia’s September board meeting are Hounds of Love and Emo (The Musical).

In Hounds of Love Stephen Curry is attached to play one half of a sinister couple, John and Evelyn White, who abduct teenager Vicki Maloney. She soon realises she must drive a wedge between her captors if she is to survive.

The debut feature of writer/director Ben Young, the thriller will shoot in WA, produced by Melissa Kelly, supported by ScreenWest. Label is the Australian distributor.

Neil Triffett is writing and directing Emo (The Musical), a high school musical satire inspired by his 2013 short of the same title. Producer Lee Matthews tells IF the feature is a “whole new story” but will retain the style and tone of the short.

The plot follows Ethan, who is desperate to fit in to his new school and quickly finds a place in the school Emo band that aims to win the State School Rock Competition.

When the school’s Hope Group enters the competition as well, the two groups are set at war against one another — the worst possible time for Emo Ethan to fall in love with Trinity, the lead vocalist in the Christian band.

Casting is underway and the plan is to shoot in Melbourne in December/January. The EPs are Yael Bergman, Jonathan Page and Shaun Miller. Bonsai Films is the local distributor.

Matthews today launched a crowd funding campaign on Pozible aiming to raise $40,000

Also funded was On The Tracks, Prospero Productions' documentary commissioned by Discovery Channel Australia which explores the inner workings of Australia’s outback railways and the train crews who battle every day to keep the nation on track. Alison James is the director and the producers are Ed Punchard and Julia Redwood.