Yael Stone in 'High Maintenance' (Image: David M. Russell/HBO)
A spin-off of High Maintenance, starring Yael Stone, and a comedic crime series from Jungle Entertainment are among the 21 projects that will share in more than $600,000 in story development funding from Screen Australia.
The slate includes 14 feature films, six television dramas and an online project, with 11 titles supported through the Generate Fund and 10 through the Premium Fund.
Screen Australia’s head of development Nerida Moore, who will depart the agency in December after nine years, said she felt privileged to support more many creative projects and people during the time she has left in the role.
“This is an exciting mix of projects and it’s great to support creatives expand on their careers and take on new challenges, including producer Alex White working on her first TV series, and writer Arka Das and writer/director Hannah Hilliard on their debut feature films,” he said.
“The shared vision we are working towards is an inclusive industry where the best Australian talent can tell their stories to all Australians and global audiences. To this end, I’m grateful for the support of the industry while we made some seismic but necessary changes to open up eligibility and support storytelling on all platforms.
Drum Wave Carver Films Pty Ltd Genre: Folk Horror Director: Natalie Erika James Writers: Natalie Erika James, Christian White Producers: Sarah Shaw, Anna McLeish, Natalie Erika James Synopsis: A young composer confronts her fear of motherhood when she marries into a remote island community with bizarre fertility rituals.
In My Body Truant Pictures Genre:Horror, Thriller Writer/Director: Miranda Nation Producers: Zareh Nalbandian, Toby Nalbandian Synopsis:At a prestigious Parisian acting school, a young woman fights to keep her sanity as the rigorous classes, merciless instructors and cut-throat co-students turn her success into a matter of life or death.
Laugh Club Invisible Republic Pty Ltd Genre: Comedy, Drama Writer: Lou Sanz Producer: Michael Wrenn Synopsis: In the wake of a miscarriage, mummy-blogger Morgana King rejecting all sympathy assaults another parent and is sentenced to community service running the local misfit-filled Laugh Club.
No Friend But the Mountains Aurora, Sweetshop&Green and Hoodlum Genre: Drama Director: Rodd Rathjen Writer: Ákos Armont Co-Writer/Associate Producer: Behrouz Boochani Producers: Ákos Armont, Gal Greenspan, Antony Waddington, Kerrin McNeil Executive Producer: Tracey Robertson Synopsis: Imprisoned without a crime, on an island hidden from view, Kurdish refugee journalist Behrouz Boochani, weaponises WhatsApp to rally the world, behind the cause of those in offshore detention.
The Architect Big and Little Films Pty Ltd and Cameron Lukey Genre: Drama Director: Leah Purcell Writers: Matt Cameron, Peter Houghton Producers: Cameron Lukey, Michael McMahon Synopsis: Based on the original play by Aidan Fennessy. Terminally ill, Helen has a decision to make. Her husband John is about to travel overseas and is insisting she hire a carer. To John’s surprise, she chooses the least likely candidate – Lennie, an enigmatic drifter, and jack-of-all-trades. As Lennie wrestles with his past and Helen confronts her future, an unexpected friendship forms between two unlikely strangers.
The Sweet Above Every Cloud Productions Pty Ltd Genre: Action-adventure, comedy, drama Writers: Elliot Vella, Gretel Vella, Timothy Walker Original Story by Wain Fimeri. Executive Producers: Fiona Eagger, Deb Cox, Mike Jones, Drew Grove, Michael Smith Synopsis: How an Air Race that changed history turned the people of a battling country town into heroes.
The Vibe Ben Howling Genre: Action-adventure, musical, science fiction, family Writer/Director: Ben Howling Producer: Ben Howling Synopsis: In Duey’s world, people radiate a visible and audible aura of music which reflects their mood, known as their ‘Vibe’. After a dance battle gone awry, Duey has his Vibe knocked completely out of him, leaving him Vibe-less and with only one option – to undertake the Sacred Pilgrimage to recapture his Vibe.
Together Princess Pictures Genre: Horror Writer/Director: Michael Shanks Producers: Mike Cowap, Andrew Mittman Executive Producers: Emma Fitzsimons, Laura Waters Synopsis: When not-so-young-anymore couple Tim and Millie finally take the plunge and buy a house they are exposed to a mysterious virus that causes their bodies to start to fuse together.
Untitled Matt Okine Project Aquarius Films in association with Wooden Horse Genre: Coming of Age Drama Writer/Director: Matt Okine Producers: Angie Fielder, Polly Staniford Executive Producer: Jude Troy Synopsis: Based on his debut novel, Being Black n’Çhicken n’Chips, and loosely based on Matt Okine’s experiences of growing up in Brisbane, this film is a journey back to 1998, when 12-year-old Australian-African Mike Amon faces the struggle of entering high school, falling in love for the first time, a rapidly changing body – and learning that his mother has been diagnosed with late-stage cancer.
A Good Librarian’s Guide to Vengeance Peking Pictures Pty Ltd Genre: Comedy, Drama Writer/Director: Sam Voutas Script Editor: Sarah Golding Producer: Melanie Ansley Synopsis: When a librarian is sent into aged care against her will by her best friend, she sets about escaping in order to settle the score.
Khana Co-Curious Ltd Genre: Drama, Crime Writer: Arka Das Executive Producer: Annabel Davis Synopsis: A young migrant worker clocks long hours as a dish-pig at an Indian restaurant in Sydney’s Western suburbs. When the opportunity arises to achieve his dream of becoming a chef, Ronny feels his life is about to change. However, he quickly finds his dream has become a prison and he is drawn into the dark underworld of indentured labour where freedom comes at a hefty price.
Mimesis Triptych Pictures Pty Ltd Genre: Drama, Science fiction Director: Hannah Hilliard Writers: Hannah Hilliard, Ian Shadwell Producer: Kristian Moliere Synopsis: When gifted computer scientist Beth Francis, resurrects her dead sister in the form of an Artificial Consciousness, she hopes to come to terms with her own grief and heal her relationship with her mother. Once brought to life, the virtual sister struggles with her new identity and draws Beth and her mother an exploration of the days leading up to her unexplained death, changing their relationship forever.
Piano Mums Nimbus Creative Co Genre: Drama Writer: Aven Yap Producers: Aven Yap, Gabrielle Dalton, Judd Tilyard, James J Yi Synopsis: The close bond of a pushy migrant piano mum and her teenage prodigy son is tested when the pressure to realise unfulfilled dreams and justify sacrifices force them apart, until the power of music and self-discovery brings them back together.
Saccharine Thrum Films Pty Ltd Genre: Drama, Horror Writer/Director: Natalie Erika James Synopsis: A young medical student attempts to win the affections of her personal trainer with a sinister underground diet craze: eating human ash.
The Pastor’s Wife Jungle Entertainment Pty Ltd / About Premium Content Genre: Comedy, Drama, Thriller Creator/Writer: Romina Accurso Producer: Bridget Callow-Wright Executive Producers: Romina Accurso, Shay Spencer, Laurent Boissel Synopsis: An out-of-character snap leads a dutiful pastor’s wife to murder. Desperate to evade capture, she sets her faith aside in order to lie, cheat, and manipulate only to discover that an unruly teen has uncovered some pretty damning evidence. Blackmail leads to extortion which leads to an unlikely friendship as together they go down a rabbit-hole of some seriously ungodly behaviour in order to get away with murder.
Beth (working title) Whitefalk Films Pty Ltd Genre: Comedy, Drama Creators: Alex White, Eden Falk, Charlie Garber, Lexi Freiman, Yael Stone Director: Eden Falk Writers: Charlie Garber, Lexi Freiman Producer: Alex White Executive Producers: Katja Blichfeld, Ben Sinclair, Russell Gregory Synopsis: Beth is a half-hour comedy series that follows Beth, a feisty, freewheeling thirtysomething dog walker just returned to Sydney after ten wild years in New York.
Dawn Donna McRae Genre: Horror, Thriller Writer/Director: Donna McRae Synopsis: A neurotic spinster must make amends for a forgotten incident in order to rid herself of a childhood ghost.
Fourteen Orange Entertainment Co Genre: Comedy, Drama, Family Writer: Jane Allen Producer: Dan Lake Executive Producers: Kurt Royan, Jane Allen Synopsis: When the Molloy family are publicly humiliated by their dad walking out on them, all their deeply hidden issues come to light and they have to do the one thing they suck at to get through it – rely on each other. Based on Shannon Molloy’s memoir Fourteen: My Year of Darkness and the Light that Followed.
She’s Got Balls Northern Pictures Pty Ltd Genre: Comedy Director: Marni Little Writers: Marni Little, Lisa Hughes, Christine Milo Producers: Lisa Hughes, Darren Ashton Executive Producer: Catherine Nebauer Synopsis: She’s Got Balls is a female-centric comedy that follows a social basketball team as they compete in the unnecessarily high stakes world of mixed C-Grade community sport, and attempt to apply the universal lessons of team sport to their dysfunctional personal lives.
Troubled Youth Vanessa Bates Genre: Comedy, Drama Writers: Vanessa Bates, Ross Mueller Synopsis: Three suburban middle-aged women reform their teenage rock band, Troubled Youth, to rage against the dying of the light.
Hail Draconis Truce Films Pty Ltd Genre: Comedy Co-Creator: Micca Delaney Director: Nicholas Clifford Writers: Nicholas Clifford, Nina Oyama Producers: Emma Roberts, Elise Trenorden, Jim Wright, Michael Sinterniklaas Synopsis: The misadventures of four Reptilian shapeshifters trying to take over the world in Earth’s first crypto-powered animation.