Stranger Than Fiction Films' 'Mountain'.
This year’s round of Screen Australia’s Enterprise funding program, designed to local allow companies to explore innovative new business models and cultivate the careers of emerging talent, will offer six companies and five individuals a share in $2.5 million.
Among successful industry proposals is a screenwriting development program from the AWG, Madman’s documentary VOD platform Docplay and giant cinema projects from Jennifer Peedom and Jo-anne McGowan’s Stranger Than Fiction Films.
Emerging talent will also receive placements with likes of Vicki Madden (The Kettering Incident) and Angie Fielder (Lion) through the People strand of the fudning.
“I would like to offer my congratulations to those who were successful, in an extremely competitive round of Enterprise funding, for presenting us with such distinctive and compelling business ideas,” said head of business and audience Richard Harris.
The round marks the last of Enterprise’s intended three year cycle. The funding will now be reviewed with industry consultation, with a new program and focus to be announced in the new year.
The six successful Enterprise Industry proposals are:
• The Australian Writers' Guild will create an extension of Scripted Ink., The Writers Room Project, offering an opportunity for up to 20 experienced and emerging writers from its Pathways Program to develop their skills and maximise the market potential of their TV drama projects;
• Brisbane-based kids' content specialists Like A Photon Creative will establish a series of writers rooms designed to develop content for their slate (targeting the particularly challenging tween market), create a long-term marketing strategy, and enhance their team;
• Content producers at Lingo Pictures, Helen Bowden and Jason Stephens, will build Australian IP with a focus on attracting international pre-sales, enabling co-productions and non-traditional equity investment;
• Independent distributor Madman Entertainment are launching VOD service Docplay in next month, which will include Australian and international documentary content with a revenue-share model for filmmakers. It will use this funding to acquire and curate quality independent Australian documentaries for the platform;
• Film and television production company Revlover will capitalise on their relationship with sister company, TV commercials production company Revolver, to explore the acknowledged opportunity for brand association at the development stage of content creation;
• Documentary makers Stranger Than Fiction Films (STFF), helmed by Jennifer Peedom and Jo-anne McGowan, will investigate the international market potential of immersive giant screen films, using the release of their film Mountain inJune 2017 as a launch pad.
“We are so pleased to have received this support from Screen Australia, which will enable us to expand and explore international partnerships across our slate including feature documentaries and the growing giant screen market,” said Peedom.
A further two Enterprise Industry projects have received conditional funding and will be announced at a later stage pending approval.
The Enterprise People placements will go to:
• Comedy writer Tristan Baumber, who will expand on his credits at Aquarius Films where he will be mentored by creative partners Angie Fielder, Cecilia Ritchie and Polly Staniford (Lion, Berlin Syndrome, Wish You Were Here), and script executive Greg Waters (Dance Academy, Secret City);
• Penny Harrold will join Vicki Madden at Tasmanian-based company Sweet Potato Films as a creative producer, giving her exposure to the industry and the opportunity to assist the company to capitalise on the success of The Kettering Incident.
“Enterprise People funding will allow me to employ talented upcoming producer Penny Harrold with whom Sweet Potato Films has a long association,” said Madden. “This is invaluable at a time when the company has seen recent success and will allow us the opportunity to produce a slate that is sustainable and internationally focused.”
• Lisa Hoppe will be mentored by children’s animation content maker Avrill Stark (The Deep, Santa’s Apprentice) at A Stark Production with a view to seeing her achieve broadcast producing credits;
• Producer Melissa Johnston will undergo a placement at film and TV production house Ruby Entertainment where she will be mentored by principal Stephen Luby (The Secret River, Crackerjack), focusing on the company’s development slate, online content and her own projects;
• Jessica Mitchell will be mentored by Western Australia-based film and TV production company WBMC’s Janelle Landers (Son of a Gun) where she will work across the company’s development slate and attend domestic and international festivals and markets.