Screen Australia invests in PJ Hogan’s Mental

Screen Australia has announced it will invest in PJ Hogan's upcoming comedy Mental.

The film will be Hogan's first local feature since Muriel's Wedding and will reunite him with Toni Collette.

In a statement, Screen Australia CEO Ruth Harley said she was thrilled by the pairing, describing it as a "delicious prospect."

The story follows local politician Barry Moochmore, who finds himself alone with five teenage daughters after committing his wife to a mental hospital. Out of desperation, he picks up a hot-tempered and charismatic hitchhiker named Shaz (played by Collette) and employs her as the household nanny.

The film is being cast through Christine King Casting – the company's online call for the five daughters – Coral, Michelle, Leanne, Kayleen and Jane – closes today.

Hogan also wrote the script for Mental, which was called "one of the most incredible scripts we've ever read," by Universal Pictures International Australasia managing director Mike Baard at last year's SPAA conference.

Screen Australia declined to reveal the investment figure, but said it would be released later this year in the annual report.

Mental is expected to be in cinemas in 2012.