Screen Australia helps fund The Tunnel sequel – The Tunnel: Dead End

A sequel to last year’s successful low-budget horror film The Tunnel is currently in the works.

The sequel – titled The Tunnel: Dead End – received development funding from Screen Australia earlier this month and will pick up the story years down the track. No shoot date has been set for the horror flick.

It’s a sequel creators Enzo Tedeschi and Julian Harvey weren’t planning on. “Initially, we weren’t anticipating doing another Tunnel film but the overwhelmingly positive reaction to the original – as well as our fans clamouring for another on an almost daily basis – made us go back and give it a second thought,” Tedeschi and Harvey, of Distracted Media, said in a joint statement.

“We weren't going to go ahead unless we could find a story we were 100 per cent behind, which we now have, and are thrilled to have the support of Screen Australia.”

The sequel will follow Tangles’ sister who is determined to answer once and for all what happened to her brother in the gloomy underground tunnels.

The first film, which was backed by Andrew Denton's Zapruder's Other Films, was internationally-recognised for its unique crowdfunding model and distinctive distribution. The filmmakers sold individual frames at $1 per frame in their attempt to raise a budget of $135,000 (the equivalent of a 90-minute film). It was first released for free on BitTorrent and was the first Australian film to be available for download specifically on the iPad.

The filmmakers have also announced another "135K Project" is in the pipeline: claustrophobic science-fiction thriller Airlock.

"The Tunnel: Dead End is a great opportunity to take Distracted Media into a different playing field but as producers we still very much believe in the basic principles of the 135K Project," Tedeschi and Harvey said.

"Having a more mainstream film in The Tunnel: Dead End will enable us to up the stakes significantly with Airlock which will hopefully raise the bar for our free internet releases and what we can put back into their success."

The film is one of 13 features given development funding by the national agency. Other projects receiving some of the $350,000-plus injection include Black Echoes (Greg McLean), Out West (Alister Grierson), The Outrageious Barry Bush (Kriv Stenders) and What Alice Forgot (Vincent Sheehan).

The 13 projects are:

Genre Romantic Comedy
Producers Bruna Papandrea, Cristina Pozzan
Writer Harry Cripps
Synopsis Grace cannot stop counting things. It has cost her her job as a teacher and shut her off from the rest of the world. But meeting Seamus opens up the possibility of a normal life. Unfortunately becoming normal is a lot harder than Grace thought. Based on the novel by Toni Jordan.

Genre Comedy
Producers Nicholas Cole, Antonia Barnard
Writer Shaun Grant
Synopsis The transformation of Angelo d’Angelo, a New York hit man who is unwittingly embraced into the bosom of a simple, rural Australian community. For the first time, Angelo learns that love and family are just as effective as any weapon he’s ever known.

Genre Horror
Producers Murray Pope, Michael Robertson
Writers Shayne Armstrong, Shane Krause
Director Greg McLean
Synopsis A group of international tourists are taken off the beaten path to an isolated village deep in the Vietnamese countryside where they experience a Viet Cong tunnel crawl that makes the famous Cu Chi tunnels seem like a playground… tighter, more claustrophobic, scarier. They get their money’s worth and then some!

Genre Comedy
Writer Jules Duncan

Genre Drama
Producer Sue Maslin
Writer/Director Jocelyn Moorhouse
Synopsis A bittersweet tragic-comedy about a glamorous young woman who returns, after many years in Europe, to her small home town in rural Australia in order to right some wrongs from the past. When Tilly comes home she not only heals her ailing mother, but with her sewing machine, and haute couture style, transforms the women of the town in such a way that she gets sweet revenge on those who did her wrong. She also falls unexpectedly in love, which leads to her greatest loss and her most destructive deed. Based on the acclaimed novel by Rosalie Ham.

Genre Comedy
Producers Marian Macgowan, Sarah Radclyffe
Writer Mark Herman
Synopsis A romp through family life and black-sheepedness in small town Tasmania in the 1980s. Based on the bestselling novel by DJ Connell.

Genre Drama
Producer/Writer/Director Jeremy Sims
Producer Greg Duffy
Executive Producer Ian Darling
Writer Reg Cribb
Synopsis Max, a taciturn Broken Hill cabbie, has never done anything with his life. He’s in love with his neighbour Polly, but he’s never told anyone, not even himself. He thinks he’ll live and die alone in Broken Hill. Then something happens that forces Max to go on an extraordinary journey – a journey that shows him, and us, that it’s never too late to change your life.

Genre Comedy
Producers Catriona Hughes, Leesa Kahn, Terry Jennings
Writer/Director Alister Grierson
Synopsis Two corrupt ex-cops travel to Coober Pedy with a bag of cash and play chicken with vengeful bikies, thieves, a yakuza wannabe, sociopathic rednecks and a rather short-tempered, one-armed deaf guy.

Genre Adventure
Producer Alan Harris
Writer Andy Cox
Director Kriv Stenders

Genre Black Comedy
Producer Jenny Day
Writer/Director Bruce Petty
Synopsis An animated feature film from Bruce Petty about the certainties we search for and the fantasies we can’t live without.

Genre Children’s Animation
Producer Sophie Byrne
Executive Producer Steven DeNure
Writer Polly Watkins
Creator Nathan Jurevicius
Synopsis Ten-year-old Arkie’s quest to find her friend Blister takes her into a strange and beautiful world, in which she must overcome her darkest fears in order to save him and fulfil her destiny. Based on the hugely popular graphic novel by Nathan Jurevicius.

Genre Horror
Producer/Writers Enzo Tedeschi, Julian Harvey
Executive Producers Jonathan Chissick, Peter Thompson
Director Carlo Ledesma
Synopsis In 2008, Lindsay watched her brother vanish in the dark tunnels beneath Sydney. Now she’s looking for answers – but what happens if the answers find her first?

Genre Comedy Drama
Producer Vincent Sheehan (Porchlight Films)
Writer Pip Karmel

Producer Mary Minas will work closely with producer and distributor John Maynard (Balibo, An Angel at My Table, Romulus, My Father, The Bank) at Felix Media and Footprint Films in Melbourne for six months, receiving bespoke training in development, financing and distribution.