Screen Australia and SBS select Digital Originals for further funding

Nathan Maynard (right) with son Clay.

The launch project for Tasmanian Aboriginal screen production company kutikina Productions and a new production from Jub Clerc and Jodie Bell are among the Digital Originals to be selected for further development funding.

Moonbird (Tasmania), Moni (NSW) and Warm Props (working title) (WA) were selected from seven titles to receive initial funding through the Screen Australia, SBS and NITV initiative in August last year.

This followed a week-long workshop from facilitator Rosie Lourde, at the end of which teams were required to pitch their projects to Screen Australia, SBS, and NITV.

Of the successful titles to receive further funding, Moonbird follows an estranged father and son who reconnect when they go muttonbirding together for the first time on a remote Bass Strait island, only to find there are no birds. The creative team includes kutikina Productions founders Nathan Maynard and Adam Thompson, as well as Catherine Pettman and Matthew Newton.

In Moni, the titular character is a closeted 39-year-old Samoan man who awkwardly sets out to find a female date for his sister’s wedding in an attempt to appease her. However, when his dead mother has other plans, his seemingly simple mission becomes a whole lot more complicated. Working on the production are Taofia Pelesasa, Eliorah Malifa, Alana Hicks, Erin Foy, Nicole Coventry, Jessica Tuckwell, and Tommy Misa.

Rounding out the trio is Jub Clerc and Jodie Bell’s Warm Props (working title), in which culturally clueless crews and locals who haven’t spoken to each other in decades come together for an eight-hour casting call in 40 degree heat.

They follow in the footsteps of previous Digital Originals, such as A Beginner’s Guide to Grief, as well as Tasmanian murder mystery The Tailings and Western Australian comedy Iggy & Ace.