Screen Australia announces $700,000 in story development funding for 20 projects


A feature film from Mia Wasikowska and a TikTok mockumentary series from the creators of Turn Up The Volume are among the projects to be included in the newest round of story development funding from Screen Australia.

The agency will give $700,000 to 17 feature films, two television dramas and one online feature, with 11 projects supported through the Generate Fund and nine through the Premium Fund.

Screen Australia head of development Bobby Romia noted the four stories for children and families, including animated family adventure film Laser Beak Man, and The Great Dinosaur Rescue, which features a re-invigoration of the Walking with Dinosaurs – The Arena Spectacular animatronics.

“These heart-warming stories will explore themes including the importance of chasing your dreams, taking care of the planet, and the power of teamwork and community,” he said.

He added that the inclusion of projects from Rachele Wiggins and Vonne Patiag, both alumni of Screen Australia’s Talent USA program, was an example of career development and talent escalation opportunities that were “at the core” of the agency.

Previously announced features, The Long Ride, Motherless, and 10 Moments will also share in the funding.



Eggshell Skull
Thirdborn Pty Ltd
Genre: Drama
Writer/Director: Mia Wasikowska
Producers: Nicole O’Donohue, Shaun Grant, Justin Kurzel 
Synopsis: Eggshell Skull is a coming-of-rage story charting a young woman’s journey through the Australian legal system, first as a judge’s associate and then as a complainant seeking justice for a crime that has haunted her since childhood.

The Star of the Sea
Last Cab Productions Pty Ltd
Genre: Drama, Western, Mystery
Writer/Director: Jeremy Sims
Producers: Jeremy Sims, Greg Duffy, Daniel Ostroff
Synopsis: Hope is restored to a tiny Tasmanian fishing village when Jan, a stubborn Dutch fisherman at war with himself, his wife and the community around him, has his bleak world-view changed by an apparent ‘Visitation’ by the Virgin Mary…

Hannah Barlow
Genre: Horror, Science Fiction
Writer/Directors: Hannah Barlow, Kane Senes
Synopsis: When Polly, a talented but timid bio-engineer, creates a device capable of hacking the female orgasm, her dream of bettering womankind becomes a nightmare with a tragic climax.

Laser Beak Man
Studio B Animation Pty Ltd
Genre: Family
Writer: Fin Edquist
Producers: Su Armstrong, Brian Rosen, Barbara Stephen
Executive Producer: Tim Sharp
Synopsis: Laser Beak Man – superhero and champion of Power City, who brings colour to his world, has to re-imagine himself when the mischievous Peter Bartman steals his magical colour crystals and trades them for glory to the evil controller, Hewzaplenty, of rival city Jumbopolis, causing Power City to start losing its colour. Laser Beak Man must learn to team up with an odd cast of characters to win the crystals back and return Power City to a world of colour.

More Sauce
Genre: Action adventure, Comedy, Drama
Director: Luke Eve
Writers: Alli Parker, Warwick Holt
Producers: Luke Eve, Adam Alcabes
Synopsis: A gutsy Aussie teen skateboarder joins the world’s top female skaters on a wild bus trip across Australia, as part of the inaugural Women’s World Cup tour, and fights ingrained prejudice and doubts in her quest to become the first women’s number one.

The Great Dinosaur Rescue
Genre: Family
Writers: Belinda Bradley, Franz Docherty
Producers: Belinda Bradley, Franz Docherty
Synopsis: For twelve years a pack of animatronic dinosaurs toured the world bringing joy to millions of people while celebrating their ancestors. Where are those rock star dinosaurs now? Scattered around Melbourne, gathering dust in shipping containers, waiting to be destroyed. Every tick of the clock bringing them closer to their extinction. That all changes when ten-year-old Spike hears about it. She grew up with those dinosaurs. They’re family. Spike’s determination will not only save the dinosaurs but find them a home.


Everyone We Know Pty Ltd
Genre: Drama
Director: Jess Barclay Lawton
Writer: Jess Barclay Lawton
Producers: Lizzie Cater, Zef Valdes
Executive Producer: Kate Laurie
Synopsis: Remy makes a decision to finally get out of Cairns, but when their notoriously elusive mother reappears, they are forced to re-evaluate their choices, relationships, and identity.

Sweet Shop & Green Pty Ltd
Genre: Drama
Writer/Director: Sione Sisifa
Producer: Gal Greenspan
Executive Producer: Sharlene George
Script Editor: Matthew Dabner
Synopsis: When Toby, a talented-but-impressionable young Tongan rugby player, is offered an athletic scholarship to an elite private boys school, his chance at going pro inches closer to reality. But when his efforts to integrate are resisted by his teammates, Toby is faced with a decision: give up his rugby dream, or find a way to continue without sacrificing who he is to get there.

Method to Madness
Silent Assassin Films
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Psychological
Director: Rachele Wiggins
Writers: Rachele Wiggins, Jennifer Van Gessel
Producers: Rachele Wiggins, Sandy Stevens
Executive Producers: Greg McLean, Kristian Moliere
Synopsis: Starlet Anna wins the role of a lifetime, but her director’s intentions may not be entirely artistic.

Creative Differences
Truce Films
Genre: Romantic Comedy, Romance
Director: Bec Peniston Bird
Writer: Graeme Simsion
Producers: Jim Wright, Bec Peniston Bird, Elise Trenorden
Synopsis: When an up-and-coming literary writer is roped into re-writing an overconfident amateur writer’s genre novel, the result is a surprise success – critically and commercially – and the pair find themselves at professional and romantic crossroads. It’s structure versus prose and planning versus intuition in this whip-smart romantic comedy from the bestselling author of The Rosie Project.

In-Between Pictures Pty Ltd
Genre: Drama
Writer/Director: Vonne Patiag
Producer: Maren Smith
Synopsis: Justin, a shy nine-year-old, is bullied at school, much to the shock of his overbearing Filipino mother. When his queer cross-dressing Uncle moves in, Justin begins dressing as a girl, receiving an enchanting crash course in his homeland culture and finds the unexpected superpower in being himself.

Song of Songs
Anita Lester
Genre: Drama, Romance
Writer/Director: Anita Lester
Producer: Jamie Bialkower
Synopsis: Over the seven days of mourning following her grandmother’s death, Miriam forms a forbidden connection with a young Rabbi that sets in motion the unravelling of a complex family reckoning with their identities. As she navigates the dynamics of those left behind, and the truth about their matriarch’s controversial past, Miriam’s unexpected feelings for the Rabbi lead her toward a profound personal and spiritual transformation.

Uplift Kabul
Causeway Films HQ Pty Ltd
Genre: Drama, Thriller, True Story
Writer/Director: Brietta Hague
Producers: Samantha Jennings, Kristina Ceyton
Synopsis: An Afghan athlete and her family are aided by two Australian women to escape Afghanistan before the country falls under Taliban rule.

Anna Robi and the House of Dogs
Maxine Mellor
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Director: Stef Smith
Writers: Maxine Mellor, Stef Smith
Synopsis: Luminescent optimist Anna Robi, sole carer for her overbearing mother and their once-pedigree dogs, dreams of romance and independence, but when Anna gets her first startling taste of life and love outside the home, she must choose between the familiar comfort of the whelping box or finally taking off the leash.

Television Series


Mortal Coil
8 x 40 mins
Magpie Pictures Pty Ltd
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Creator: Roger Monk
Director: Christiaan Van Vuuren
Writers: Roger Monk, Christiaan Van Vuuren, Rebecca Ingram
Script consultant: Belinda Chayko
Producers: Lois Randall, Roger Monk
Synopsis: When a thrill-seeking couple finds an opportunity to pay their spiralling fertility debts by turning their tourist adventure business into a niche euthanasia service, they jump – literally.


8 x 30 mins
Unless Pictures Pty Ltd
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Young Adult
Writers: Jessica Tuckwell, Enoch Mailangi, Thomas Weatherall, Maddie Nixon
Development producers: Sanja Simić, Diya Eid
Executive producers: Meg O’Connell, Kurt Royan, Dan Lake
Synopsis: When a recently disgraced high-school debater is moved to a small coastal town to recover from unspeakable humiliation, rumours quickly follow and she must think, talk and act fast. Even if that means joining the new school’s motley debating team and learning to speak truth to power.


BANTA Productions Pty Ltd
Genre: Comedy
Writers: Betiel Beyin, Leigh Lule
Producers: Nikki Tran, Amie Batalibasi
Synopsis: Two neurotic best friends join forces to run for Youth President at their local youth centre. The resulting fallout threatens the survival of their community ties and lifelong friendship.