A slate of 15 television dramas, 11 feature films, and five online series will share in more than $1 million of development funding from Screen Australia.
They include science fiction drama Immersion from Lion director Garth Davis; queer family drama Jimpa from writer/director Sophie Hyde; a television version of the online series Girl, Interpreted; and Northern Territory comedy, The Hairy Marys.
Of the 31 titles, 22 have been funded through the Generate fund and nine have been funded through the Premium fund.
Screen Australia head of development Louise Gough said the agency was delighted to support a mix of originals and adaptations from established and new talent.
“We’re pleased to see a diversity of themes and genres, from coming of age, to gripping thrillers, queer quests, and absurdist comedy, that have the potential to connect with a wide range of audiences.”
“Now five months into the job as the new head of development, it’s thrilling to see the stories that are being developed, the hands they are in, the formats being written for, and the audiences these stories seek to connect with.
“We look forward to continued engagement with talent and the content they are developing.”
Jimpa Closer Screens Pty Ltd Genre: Drama Director: Sophie Hyde Writers: Sophie Hyde, Matthew Cormack Producers: Liam Heyen, Sophie Hyde Executive Producer: Audrey Mason-Hyde Synopsis: A straight woman, her Queer family, and a life-changing visit. Acclaimed director Sophie Hyde’s most personal film yet – Jimpa – is a celebration of LGBTQI+ culture and considers, with nuance, the conflict and connection of a multigenerational Queer family on screen.
Bluey (working title) Genre: Drama, Coming of Age Writer/Director: Darlene Johnson Producers: Darlene Johnson, Tania Chambers Synopsis: Bluey, an angry young woman trapped in a life of violence, meets a mystery mentor who could change everything. Bluey is a story of courage, transformation, and survival.
Agrippina Blackfella Films Pty Ltd Genre: Drama Writer/Director: Amanda Blue Producers: Darren Dale, Erin Bretherton Synopsis: A curious teenage girl escapes the restrictive confines of her migrant suburban community to discover love, her sexuality, and acceptance in 1980s queer Sydney.
Melaleuca Everyone We Know Genre: Drama Director: Jessica Barclay Lawton Writers: Jessica Barclay Lawton, Zef Aster Producer: Lizzie Cater, Zef Aster Executive Producer: Kate Laurie Synopsis: A genderqueer 21-year-old is propelled into a complicated sexual awakening, while they wrestle the angst and restlessness of a young life in crisis.
Down the Hume Azure Productions Pty Ltd Genre: Drama, Neo-noir Director: Craig Boreham Writers: Craig Boreham, Peter Polites, Adrian Chiarella Producers: Annmaree J Bell, Paul Struthers Synopsis: When Bux, a young gay Greek man, suspects his Anglo boyfriend, Nice Arms Pete, is stepping out on him he decides to stalk him amongst the gay beats of the western suburbs. But he soon discovers that the web of betrayal goes far deeper than he could ever have imagined.
Sweet Milk Lake Harvey Zielinski Genre: Dramedy Writer: Harvey Zielinski Producers: Rosie Lourde, Harvey Zielinski Synopsis: After being mistaken for his alpha-cis twin brother by his estranged and dying dad, a soft-spoken trans-man relishes the opportunity to be “one of the boys”; until the weight of the lie becomes heavier than his need for the truth.
Common Ground Carolyn Johnson Films Pty Ltd Genre: Drama Writers/Directors: Amin Palangi, Eve Spence Producer: Carolyn Johnson Synopsis Kayla, a couch-surfing young woman in need of a home, sets out to find her estranged cousin who can support her. Then she meets a refugee with nothing to offer but love. Will Kayla risk her newfound security for him?
Inside Simpatico Films Pty Ltd Genre: Drama, Crime Writer/Director: Charles Williams Producer: Marian Macgowan Synopsis: When a soon-to-be-paroled inmate manipulates a juvenile into murdering Australia’s most infamous never-to-be released prisoner, a strange paternal love triangle forms, with transformative and shocking consequences for all.
My Brilliant Career Jungle Entertainment Pty Ltd Genre: Drama Writer: Liz Doran Executive Producers: Shay Spencer, Chloe Rickard, Liz Doran Synopsis: Sybylla Melvin, a headstrong country girl, must choose between everything a conventional life offers and her own plans for a ‘brilliant career’.
The Last Guests Lingo Pictures Pty Ltd Genre: Drama, Thriller Writer: Giula Sandler Producer: Helen Bowden Executive Producer: Jason Stephens Synopsis: After renting out their vacation home online, faltering newlyweds Cain and Lina undergo a terrifying ordeal that strikes at the heart of their innermost secrets. A piercing dissection of shame, trust and surveillance in our most intimate of spaces. Based on the novel “The Last Guests” by J.P. Pomare.
Bruny Film Art Media Genre: Drama, Political Thriller Lead writer: Suzie Miller Producers: Sue Maslin, Charlotte Seymour Synopsis: Bruny is a political thriller/drama about love, loyalty and the new world order.
Immersion I Am That Pty Ltd Genre: Crime, Science Fiction, Neo Noir Director: Garth Davis Writer: Matt Vesely Producer: Samantha Lang Executive Producers: Garth Davis, Emile Sherman Synopsis: When an investigation into his daughter’s illness leads to signs of a shadowy government agency experimenting with the subconscious, a police detective becomes trapped in an immersive reality.
Speaking in Tongues See-Saw Films Pty Ltd Genre: Drama, Thriller Writer: Andrew Bovell Producer: Emile Sherman, Iain Canning Executive Producers: Liz Watts, Emilie Sherman, Iain Canning, Jan Chapman Synopsis: Interconnected lives are thrown into turmoil when a woman goes missing in mysterious circumstances.
Rank Wheelhouse Productions Genre: Comedy Writer: Brendan Berne Producer: Matthew Gledhill, Ailish McElmeel Development Executive: Julia Flaster Synopsis: Western diplomats courageously decide to put self-interest before world peace after a dictator with a complex captures a North Korean scientist, looking to go nuclear.
Journey to the Stone Country Ambience Entertainment Genre: Drama, Mystery Writers: Katherine Thomson, Chantelle Murray, Wesley Enoch, Isaac Drandic Producers: Michael Boughen, Matthew Street, Daryl Sparkes Synopsis: After her marriage dissolves, Annabelle Beck moves back to her hometown of Townsville, Queensland. She joins her archaeologist friend, Susan, in exploring the mining fields of central Queensland and meets up again with a long lost childhood friend Indigenous officer, Bo Rennie. Bo takes Annabelle on his exploration of his traditional lands, the area she left as a young girl, and tells her of the secret “Elder’s Playground” deep in the Stone Country. Their professional relationship soon develops into a personal one. But both are historically interconnected in ways they could never imagine, a connection that could rip their relationship apart.
Rejecting Elle Confidante Pictures Writers: Lauren Rowe, Mansoor Noor, Steve Anthopoulos Producer: Belinda Dean Synopsis: In this anti-inspiration-porn comedy, a young woman with cystic fibrosis faces the wrath of everyone she loves when she impulsively decides to reject lifesaving treatment and face an early death.
Sanctuary Mad Dan Productions Pty Ltd Genre: Drama, Thriller, Crime, Mystery, Family Creator: Rowena Mohr Directors: Madeleine Dyer, Rachel Griffiths Writers: Madeleine Dyer, Daniel Mulvihill, Hannah Belanszky, Sam Carroll Script Producer: Sam Carroll Producers: Daniel Mulvihill, Madeleine Dyer, Rowena Mohr Executive Producer: Rachel Griffiths Synopsis: As four orphaned kids fight to save their family’s wildlife park from threatening outside forces, they come to realise that the greatest threats don’t always come from outside their sanctuary.
Girl, Interpreted NG Pictures Pty Ltd Genre: Comedy, Drama Writers: Grace Feng Fang Juan, Nikki Tran Synopsis: On an expiring visa, a desperate Chinese graduate picks up easy work as a Mandarin interpreter hoping to stay in Australia, only to find herself ungracefully stomping on cultural landmines and confronting her definition of home and success.
Triple X Glace Chase Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance Writer: Glace Chase Story Consultants: Vanessa Alexander, Christiaan Van Vuuren, Davey Thompson Synopsis: Charismatic trans performer Dexie and straight wall-street banker bro Scotty battle the world and themselves in an explosive, sexy & illicit dramedy charting the impossibility of trans love. Based on Glace Chase’s hit play Triple X.
The Interloper Luke Ryan Genre: Comedy, Drama Director: Ben Chessell Writer: Luke Ryan Synopsis: A downtrodden library clerk trades places with his charismatic doppelgänger, starring in a theatre production that delivers him adulation and a renewed sense of potency, yet confounds his sense of identity and endangers almost all that he has.
Wormie Unless Pictures Genre: Comedy, Drama Creators: Beatrix Christian, Meg O’Connell Writers: Meg O’Connell, Beatrix Christian, Boyd Quakawoot, Stuart Page Development Producer: Sanja Simić Synopsis: Una is a scientist. Has never been interested in giving birth. Sure, she’ll study the biology of other animals, but a stranger developing inside her? Nope. That’s a 40-week experiment she’s not keen to run. But then an ill-timed passion brings the experiment to her; a short-term lover gets long-term ideas; and a neighbourhood cat develops troubling symptoms that mirror her own. Now Una is convinced that a deadly parasite is using her to breed.
Silent Retreat Unless Pictures & Audiocraft Genre: Action Adventure, Disaster Writer/Creator: Meg O’Connell Executive Producer: Kate Montague Development Producer: Sanja Simic Audio Producer: Jessica Hamilton Synopsis: The silence at a meditation retreat is interrupted.
Phi and Me Too Northern Pictures Pty Ltd Genre: Comedy Creators: Fiona Chau, Diana Nguyen Writers: Diana Nguyen, Chi Nguyen Script Producer: Kelly Lefever Producers: Serena Hunt, Joe Weatherstone Executive Producer: Catherine Nebauer Synopsis: Phi and Me Too is a relationship comedy between a Vietnamese refugee mother Kim Huong and her Australian-raised teenage daughter, Phi. Kim Huong goes to outrageous lengths to give her daughter a better life, to love her, and protect her from the big scary western (suburban) world. A beautiful balance of humour and heart – it’s tough love – The Viet Way!
Ding Dong I’m Gay (season two) Wintergarden Pictures Pty Ltd Genre: Comedy Writers: Tim Spencer, Zoe Norton Lodge Producer: Tim Spencer, Rosie Braye Executive Producer: Joshua Longhurst Synopsis: A high-achieving neurotic seeks to guide his naive, newly-out country cousin through the urban gay experience, but his insecurities blind him to the genuine connection they share.
Descent Haven’t You Done Well Productions Genre: Comedy Producer: Sam Lingham Director/Producer: Max Miller Writers: Madi Savage, Millie Holten, Ella Lawry Synopsis: Convinced they can save humanity from climate doom, three disgraced scientists descend the deepest and most treacherous hole in the ocean … the Mariana Trench.
Snack Frances McNair Director: Natalie van den Dungen Writers: Frankie McNair, Harris Stuckey, Scout Boxall Producers: Emma Sharp, Evan Munro-Smith Executive Producer: Max Miller Synopsis: A depressed and socially anxious Banana tries to win therapy so they can win back their human ex-girlfriend.
Single: An Animated Series Studio Antics Australia Genre: Action Adventure, Romantic Comedy, Animation Creator: Tilly Robba Director: Tilly Robba, Steph Jowett Writer: Ang Collins, Michael Costi Producer: Steph Jowett, Tilly Robba Synopsis: Dating isn’t easy, even for a cartoon character. Single follows housemates Tilly, Luke and Bridie as they bamboozle their way through a trippy inner west kaleidoscope of blind dates, trendy pubs, casual hookups, gynaecologist appointments gone wrong, and a bunch of other psychedelic encounters. Their hilariously unsuccessful quests for love in the Sydney cesspool of disappointment ultimately leads them to interrogate their own friendship.
The Hairy Marys Ffunky Munky Productions Genre: Comedy, Drama Creators/Writers: Tamara Whyte, Michelle Crozier Producers: Serena Hunt, Tamara Whyte Synopsis: In the remote Northern Territory town of Nhulunbuy, sassy and intelligent single mums Queen Nwa and Revolution roll through the punches of their chaotic lives as carers to their children on the spectrum.