Screen Australia announces $900,000 in development funding for 31 projects


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.

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.

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.

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.

Television Series


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.

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.


26 x 7 mins
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.

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.

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.