A feature from Prima Facie playwright Suzie Miller, a comedy/drama series from Celeste Barber, and the second season of virtual reality series Lustration are among 31 projects that will share in more than $900,000 of development funding from Screen Australia.
A total of 18 feature films, 10 television dramas, and three online projects have been included in the funding round, of which 16 have been supported through the Generate Fund, 13 through the Premium Fund, and three through the Online Development Fund.
Screen Australia head of development Bobby Romia said the slate reflected “a rich tapestry of creativity, from animated family adventures to thought-provoking dramas”.
“It presents a wealth of opportunities to showcase and nurture the incredible talent we have here in Australia,” he said.
“We’re committed to continuing our drive to invest in ambitious, quality content for audiences far and wide and I’m excited to see these teams transform their visions into compelling narratives.:
Baby Cat Bus Stop Films Ltd Genre: Comedy, Drama, Musical Writer/director: Genevieve Clay-Smith Producer: Eleanor Winkler Executive producers: Nathan Basha, Deanne Weir, and Tracey Corbin-Matchett Executive producer and contributing writer: Mandela Mathia Producer’s attachment: Chanel Bowen Synopsis: After her mother dies, a dance obsessed woman with trisomy 21 (Down syndrome) must prove to her estranged grandmother that she can live independently or risk losing her family home and her freedom.
Bonegilla Ultrafilms Investments & Productions Pty Ltd and Realworld Pictures Pty Ltd Genre: Action-adventure, Drama, Thriller Director: Franco Di Chiera Writers: Jason Agius, Franco Di Chiera Script Consultant: Stephen Cleary Producers: Yvonne Collins, Sabella Sugar, and Franco Di Chiera Synopsis: When the Cold War migrated to Australia; set in 1952, an Italo-Australian cop is hired by ASIO to root out communists at the Bonegilla Migrant Camp. He soon finds things are not what they seem when he discovers a murder.
Once More With Feeling Enjoy Entertainment Genre: Romantic dramedy Director: Mark Lamprell Producers: Phillip Bowman, David Parfitt Synopsis: Arthur and Roberta are facing the end of life’s journey but unexpectedly find each other, and a chance for love and a glorious new beginning.
Dust Bunya Entertainment Genre: Drama, Family Director: John Sheedy Writer: Suzie Miller Producers: Greer Simpkin, David Jowsey, Jenny Cooney Synopsis: An environmental crisis triggers a massive wakeup call forcing a group of individuals to look in new directions, grappling with the core of what matters most.
Metal Fish Falling Show Catherine Moore Genre: Drama, Magic realism Director: Olivia Peniston-Bird Writer: Cath Moore Producers: Cath Moore, Olivia Peniston-Bird Synopsis: When her adored mother dies suddenly, neuro-diverse Dylan (12) is driven across the Australian outback by her mother’s boyfriend Pat to live with her Grandfather William, who she has never met. Struggling with what it means to be of colour, Dylan must confront her fears and falsehoods about the skin she is in.
M.A.M (working title) Ned Lander Media Genre: Musical, Action Director: Ruby C Challenger Writer: Gerard Dewhurst Producers: Ruby C Challenger, Ned Lander Synopsis: Kate has two jobs that never stop: international spy and devoted mother to her five-year-old son. But when Kate is benched after a routine mission turns fatal, she will jeopardise her dream job, her closest friendship and her family’s safety to stop an evil tech giant’s plot to vegetate the world’s children.
What I Like About Me Amplify Live Pty Ltd Genre: Drama, Romantic Comedy, Young Adult Writer: Jenna Guillaume Producers: Hayley Adams, Michelle Melky Executive producers: Alex Reid, Tom Maynard Script editor: Erica Harrison Synopsis: As if finding something to like about herself wasn’t already hard enough, sixteen-year-old Maisie Martin’s summer is turned upside down when her best friend starts dating her childhood crush. But as plus-sized Maisie pushes herself out of her comfort zone and into the limelight of the local beauty pageant, Maisie realises the things she loves about herself have been there all along.
Matriach Monkey and Pig Productions Genre: Horror Director: Jayden Rathsam Hua Writers: Ivy Mak, Jayden Rathsam Hua Producer: Ivy Mak Synopsis: When pregnant newlywed Connie moves in with her traditionalist Chinese in-laws, she becomes ensnared in a demented ritual to immortalise the family legacy.
Crime Casters Haven’t You Done Well Productions Genre: Action-adventure, Comedy Director: Max Miller Writer: Scott Limbrick Producer: Nicole Minchin Executive producers: Georgia Mappin, Tessa Mansfield-Hung, Alexandros Ouzas Synopsis; An ambitious young journalist’s scheme to produce a lightweight true crime podcast takes a dangerous turn when she witnesses a policeman dumping a body. Thrown into a bizarre world of conspiracies and cover-ups, she must risk everything to expose the truth – all while managing a perfectionist audio engineer.
Over the Edge Deadhouse Films Pty Ltd Genre: Drama, Horror, Thriller Director: Enzo Tedeschi Writers: Barbara Bingham, Enzo Tedeschi Synopsis: When an acclaimed film composer past her prime has trouble finding inspiration, she embarks on a self-destructive hedonistic spiral on a desperate and deadly mission to rediscover and unleash her muse.
Senescence 8 x 60 mins Mess Productions Genre: Drama, Science fiction Director: Madeleine Parry Writers: Madeleine Parry, Maddison Connaughton Producers: Madeleine Parry, Peter Hanlon Synopsis: Ambitious 26-year-old dropout Mia gets caught in a corporate battle whilst trying to save her mother from a degenerative illness.
The Night Whistler 6 x 60 mins Perpetual Entertainment Genre: Drama, Thriller, Crime, Mystery Writers: Greg Woodland, Pip Karmel, Shane Salvador Producer: Lisa Duff Synopsis: In 1967 small-town bigoted NSW, a 12-year-old crime buff joins forces with an Aboriginal girl and a fallen detective to stop the mysterious animal-killer and psychopath who’s terrorizing his family.
The Servient 8 x 45 mins Aquarius Films Pty Ltd Genre: Neo-noir, action, thriller Creators: Stella Ha Vi Do, Shiyan Zheng Writer: Shiyan Zheng Producers: Polly Staniford, Angie Fielder Executive producer: Stella Ha Vi Do Synopsis: When a rising management consultant learns that her Vietnamese Tiger Mum has clawed her way to the top of Western Sydney’s underworld and is now under attack from rival gangs, she must do the one thing she swore she’d never do… help her mum.
The Outer Dark 8 x 60 mins Rhapsody Films Pty Ltd Genre: Drama, Thriller, Crime Director Rhys Graham Writers: Rhys Graham, Marieke Hardy, Thomas Wilson-White, Penelope Chai Producer: Alice Willison Synopsis In 1993, four friends in their final year of high school find their destinies forever changed by one of Australia’s most notorious serial killer cases.
Codependent 8 x 30 mins Nondescript Productions Genre: Comedy, Drama Writers: Celeste Barber, Belinda King Producers: Celeste Barber, Alexandra Keddie Synopsis: Marriage counsellor, Darcy, is forced to face her own relationship demons when her husband of 15 years leaves her for someone new.
Wishes 26 x 7 mins Karu-Karu Genre: Family, Adventure, Fantasy Director: Ana Maria Mendez Salgado Producer: Carlos Manrique Clavijo Executive Producer: Colin South Synopsis: Wishes is an animated series about a five-year-old girl, Lucy, and her young Guardian-creature Kino. Whenever Lucy feels the struggles of others and wishes she could do something to help, Kino materialises into Lucy’s world of magical solutions, helping her shape them into selfless acts of kindness.
Pick Up 8 x 30 mins Kindling Pictures Holdings Pty Ltd Genre: Drama Creator/director: Taylor Ferguson Writers: Taylor Ferguson, Jessica Tuckwell, Enoch Mailangi Producer: Emelyne Palmer Executive producer: Imogen Banks Synopsis: Pick Up follows Koen, a musician on the cusp of fame, battling a chronic illness. Introduced to fecal transplants, he begins an intense daily poo pick-up from strangers. As his life grows increasingly public, Koen struggles to maintain his donors’ expectations while navigating the bizarre world of bodily waste, upon which his health now depends. Pick Up is an eight-part series about the intricate dance of transaction and intimacy, the complexities of falling in love, and the daily demands of a chronic illness.
Sharpened Knives 8 x 30 mins Arenamedia Pty Limited Genre: Comedy, Drama Writer: Mararo Wangai Producer: Kate Laurie Synopsis: Kaka is an affluent Kenyan student living in Fremantle, attending a prestigious business school on family dime and barely passing. When his parent’s money inexplicably dries up, he is forced to work as a dishwasher in a volatile kitchen full of eclectic characters, each caught up in the labyrinthine Australian migration system that is built to keep them down.
Brand-Aids 8 x 30 mins Tin Pang Genre: Dramedy Director: Tin Pang Writers: Tin Pang, Amy Stewart Producer: Tin Pang Mentor/executive producer: Linda Ujuk Synopsis: A group of advertising misfits from the minority bench are transformed into Mad Men for the woke age when their white bread agency forces them to give makeovers to ads that have been #cancelled. But will their newfound influence contort them into the very overlords that have constantly oppressed them?
Lustration 2.0 6 x 15 mins New Canvas Pty Ltd Genre: Drama, Fantasy Director: Ryan Griffen Writers: Ryan Griffen, Hannah Belanszky Producers: Carolina Sorensen, Nathan Anderson Executive producers: Nathan Anderson, Wadooah Wali, Ryan Griffen, Wolfgang Bylsma Synopsis: Life is hard. Life after death is harder.
Talked About Media 50 x 1 min Big Yellow Taxi Productions Genre: Comedy, Parody Director: Sarah Ben-m’rad Writers: Sarah Ben-m’rad, Edward Gates Producers: Sarah Ben-m’rad, Edward Gates Executive producer: Kay Lawrence Synopsis: Blurring the lines between fiction and reality, the host of a quasi-successful entrepreneurial podcast goes to increasingly dangerous and dramatic lengths to increase listenership.
Tornadohead 6 x 5 mins Turbo Chook PTY LTD Genre: Comedy Director: Jess Murray Writers: Jess Murray, Declan O’Byrne-Inglis, Thomas Ward Producer: Felicity Wilkinson Synopsis: A loner with a tornado for a head searches for love (and a quick root) in a strange Tasmanian town.