Nearly 50 projects will benefit from $1.2 million through Screen Australia’s Premium and Generate Funds, including new work from Class of 07 creator Kacie Anning and multi-hyphenate Leah Purcell.
A total of 29 feature films, 13 television dramas, and four online projects will be supported as part of the story development funding, with 28 coming under Generate and 19 backed by Premium.
Among the titles receiving funding are six projects that came through Screen Australia and Australians in Film’s 2022 Untapped initiative. The announcement also includes the remainder of projects funded in the 2022/23 financial year, during which Screen Australia supplied over $3.1 million of story development funding to 97 projects.
Screen Australia’s development head Bobby Romia said the latest cohort represented a vast selection of dynamic and diverse voices, which showcased the strength and capability of the talent in our screen industry.
“It is an exciting time for filmmakers and storytellers in Australia and we are thrilled to be supporting so many exciting projects at the beginning of their journey,” he said.
Koa Kid Oombarra Productions PTY Ltd Genre: Action-adventure, Family Writer/Director: Leah Purcell Producers: Bain Stewart, Leah Purcell Synopsis: Set a task of ‘dinosauric’ proportions by ancient forces, our two pre-teen heroes, Gidgee and Tim, realise they are capable of anything they put their minds and hearts to.
45 and 47 Stella Street Tough Crowd Pictures Genre: Comedy, Family Writers: Vidya Rajan, Alistair Baldwin Producer: Bron Belcher Executive Producers: Charlotte Nicdao, Lital Spitzer Synopsis: When the horrible Mr and Mrs Phoney move into Number 45 and start ruining everything, the adventurous kids of Stella Street must band together to defend their community and discover exactly what their wealthy new neighbours are up to. Based on the bestselling novel by Elizabeth Honey.
Swept Dreaming Tree Productions Genre: Drama, Horror, Thriller, War Writer: Yolanda Ramke Synopsis: In a desperate bid to spare her childhood friend from certain death on the Western Front, a young woman strikes a dark bargain with The Sidhe, a race of otherworldly beings who dwell beneath her Irish village. Though her wish is granted, it comes with a perverse twist: Bronagh awakens in a trench, trapped inside Oran’s body instead of her own. In turn, Oran is returned to the home front in possession of Bronagh’s body, and must carry their unborn child.
The Good People Aquarius Films Pty Ltd Genre: Dark Fairytale Writer: Hannah Kent Producers: Angie Fielder, Polly Staniford, Martina Niland Synopsis: 19th century Ireland: as the Catholic church wages war against pagan beliefs, three women conspire to banish a changeling.
The Golden Age The Golden Age Rights Holding Pty Ltd Genre: Drama Director: Elissa Down Writers: Sue Smith, Cathryn Strickland Producers: Tristram Miall, Renee Kennedy Executive Producer: Geoffrey London Synopsis: In an act of defiance, two thirteen-year-olds in a polio rehab ward determine they won’t let their dreams and lives be defined by their condition, and poignantly fall in love.
The Golden Galah Monsoon Pictures Australia PTY LTD Genre: Comedy, Family, Heist Writer: Adam Dolman Producer: Adam Dolman Synopsis: An alienated boy and his twin sister, desperate to keep their ex-con dad out of prison, assemble a motley crew of kids in an attempt to return the valuable statue their dad stole to its near-impenetrable museum exhibit in a daring reverse-heist.
Jiling Darlene Johnson Genre: Drama, Coming of Age Writer/Director: Darlene Johnson Producers: Darlene Johnson, Tania Chambers Synopsis: Jiling, an angry young woman trapped in a life of self-destruction and violence, meets a tough mentor who could change everything. A timeless story of courage, self-discovery and survival.
Ascent Truant Pictures & Southern Light Films Genre: Survival Thriller Director: Jennifer Peedom Writer: Becca Johnstone Producers: Zareh Nalbandian, Toby Nalbandian, Gregory Schmidt, Timothy White Synopsis: On a remote mountain wall, a fearless free solo climber out on her most ambitious climb must help a stranded amateur ascend to safety without ropes or equipment, all the while the natural elements and their own personal demons conspire to keep them from reaching the top.
Canary Highway Lumila Films Genre: Comedy, Drama Writer/Director: Allanah Zitserman Co-Writer: Felicity Price Producers: Allanah Zitserman, Alexandra Taussig Executive Producers: Bruno Charlesworth, Michael Helfand Synopsis: In 1976, a young Sydney mother fed up with her confined existence breaks out of the suburbs for one liberating night on the town with her girlfriends.
Nest Mushroom Studios Pty Ltd Genre: Horror, Thriller Writer/Director: Guy Edmonds Producers: Bethany Jones, Marie Maroun Executive Producer: Joe Weatherstone Synopsis: Isolated in a new suburban house with his newborn daughter, a reluctant stay-at-home dad unearths an equally protective parent – a massive, predatory spider. It’s kill or be killed as this father must do whatever it takes to protect his family and their home.
Tinglewood Lonely Astronaut Pty Ltd Genre: Action-adventure, Horror, Thriller Writer/Director: Antony Webb Producer: Jaclyn Hewer Executive Producer: Tim White Synopsis: When a PhD student with a traumatic past investigates the healing properties of the ancient Tinglewood forest, she finds herself embroiled in a horrific world that will test her moral fibres, forcing her to overcome her past or die trying.
The Last Days of Lee McQueen Harvey House Productions Australia Pty Ltd Genre: Drama, Thriller Writer/Directors: Spencer Harvey, Lloyd Harvey Synopsis: A chronicling of the tumultuous final days of celebrated fashion designer Alexander McQueen, as he tries to complete his last runway show.
Three Moon Hunt Photoplay Films Genre: Comedy, Supernatural, Crime, Mystery Director: Tony Rogers Co-Director: Maurial Spearim Writers: Anthony Vercoe, Nicole Dade, Gillian Moody Executive Producer: Oliver Lawrance Producers: Linda Micsko, Karen Radzyner, Gillian Moody Synopsis: Two female detectives hunt their escaped murder suspect, discovering the Outback town of Ruby’s End holds a monstrous secret – and they are at its heart. Some legends are born. Others bite!
Alice Cookie-wise Pty Ltd Genre: Drama Writer: Matthew Cormack Synopsis: While holidaying in a small rural town surrounded by vast farmland and wilderness, Sally and Henry, an older unmarried and childless couple of twenty years, lose their dog Alice. Over the next few months they tirelessly search for Alice, walking a thousand kilometres through a struggling rural community, quitting their jobs, spending their small savings, as the quiet crisis of their relationship and future is laid bare by the sacrifices they make and the encountered community’s capacity to help.
Eurovisionary Sestra Films Pty Ltd Genre: Comedy, Drama, Coming of age Writer/Director: Jeneffa Soldatić Producers: Jeneffa Soldatić, Petra Lovrenčić Synopsis: Sydney, 1983: 10-year-old Croatian-Australian Julie is ostracized by her schoolmates, who accuse her of being connected to the notorious “Croatian Six” terrorist scandal. When Julie travels to Yugoslavia for a family holiday and her namesake song “Džuli” is performed at Eurovision, the village kids welcome her unconditionally. Returning to Australia, she’s determined to introduce Eurovision to her school. Will Eurovision have the same power to unite her school, so that she can belong again?
Brilliant Monkey Confidante Pictures Genre: Comedy, Drama, Road Movie Director: Warwick Young Writers: Warwick Young, Alan Dukes Producer: Belinda Dean Executive Producers: Timothy White, Josh Pomeranz Synopsis: On the death of their mother, two estranged brothers; an ageing punk rocker and a brain injured soldier, begrudgingly hit the road together to meet the deadline for her funeral and lay claim to their share of the estate.
Panos, Pannos and George Damien Strouthos Genre: Comedy, Drama, Crime Director: Peter Andrikidis Writer: Damien Strouthos Producer: Indiana Kwong Creative Developer: Danielle Stamoulos Script Editor: Kris Wyld Synopsis: Max’s road-trip to Melbourne and reconciliation with his estranged father is hijacked by three peculiar Athenians who are secretly on the run from the law.
Counting Cards With My Father Lydia Rui Huang Genre: Drama, Crime Writer/Director: Lydia Rui Synopsis: Introverted Lisa (16, she/they) has just moved into residential care and befriends Morgan (21, she/they), aspiring DJ and nightclub hostess. However, Lisa knows they’re not staying long: they’re going to find their poker playing, Chinese cowboy of a father, Sammy (59, he/him), and get the hell out of there. But life is a gamble, and you’re not always going to like the hand you’re dealt — especially if you lose yourself in the process.
Umuzimu (Spirit) Arenamedia Pty ltd Genre: Drama, Comedy, Magic Realism Writer/Director: Santilla Chingaipe Producer: Robert Connolly Synopsis: A grieving mother learns to parent her daughter in the afterlife.
Deluge The Luscri-Surgenor Film Company Genre: Drama, Psychological Director: Melissa Anastasi Writers: Melissa Anastasi, Ayeshah Zakiya Rose Producers: Chris Luscri, Hayley Surgenor Synopsis: A Muslim contemporary dancer, on the cusp of a career breakthrough, is struck down by mysterious seizures that force her to face her past.
The Child Brooke Goldfinch Genre: Drama, Thriller, Mystery, Science fiction, Coming of Age Writer/Director: Brooke Goldfinch Synopsis: Shy teen, Rhea Reid, develops an intense relationship with a charismatic young mother who claims to be her daughter from the future.
Three Cows Sara Kern Genre Drama, Horror, Mystery Writer/Director: Sara Kern Script Editor: Angeli Macfarlane Synopsis: A 13-year-old with an uncanny resemblance to her immigrant grandmother becomes a conduit for the severed past.
Revelations Dark Before Dawn Productions Genre: Horror, Psychological Writer: Travis Akbar Producer: Travis Akbar Executive Producer: Silvio Salom Synopsis: After a brutal storm forces them to take shelter in a church, parents-to-be Matthew and Elizabeth must face the church’s archaic Priest, who believes Elizabeth’s soon-to-be born child is the anti-Christ and will stop at nothing to destroy it.
Unravel Michael Hudson (Third Impact Films) Genre: Horror, Thriller, Psychological Writer/Director: Michael Hudson Producer: Michael Hudson Synopsis: The lives of an Aboriginal family slowly start to unravel after a single father is involved in a serious accident. In the days following, his only child will learn that guilt isn’t the only thing Dad has brought home.
Baby Face AP Pobjoy Genre: Romantic comedy Writer/Director: AP Pobjoy Synopsis: After their estranged sister dies, Bly, a millennial mid gender transition, is suddenly responsible for their troubled fourteen-year-old nephew, Michael. But on the cusp of going through puberty for the second time, Bly must now become the most adult thing in the world: a parent.
Playtime Causeway Films Genre: Psychological Drama Writer/Director: Alex Wu Producers: Kristina Ceyton, Samantha Jennings Synopsis: Returning to China, a psychologist starts working at a treatment facility for internet-addicted teenagers. Her desire to help one young man sparks an unexpected yearning for connection inside them both.
Calm Golden Moss Films Genre: Psychological Thriller Writer/Directors: Michael Leonard, Jamie Helmer Producers: Michael Leonard, Justin Pechberty, Susan Schmidt Synopsis: Forced to move her family to the dilapidated farmhouse of her childhood, Helen is unsettled by a strange presence in the house, while her son grows dangerously out of control.
Thirteen Days 3 x 60 mins Curio Pictures Pty Ltd Genre: Drama, Thriller, Historical Writer: Andrew Bovell Executive Producers: Jo Porter, Rachel Gardner, Marian Macgowan, Andrew Bovell Synopsis: The revisionist history of a forgotten woman at the forefront of our political landscape.
The Housemate 6 x 60 mins Lingo Pictures Pty Ltd Genre: Thriller, Crime, Mystery Writer: Liz Doran Executive Producers: Helen Bowden, Jason Stephens Synopsis: Three Melbourne housemates. One dead, one missing and one accused of murder. It’s a mystery that has baffled Australians, including investigative reporter Oli Groves, for nearly a decade… Until the missing housemate returns. Together with millennial podcaster Cooper Ng, Oli uncovers a dangerous web of secrets that threatens to engulf her personal life too. How far will she go before she loses herself – or endangers the ones she loves?
Immersion 8 x 60 mins I Am That Pty Limited Genre: Crime, Science fiction 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.
Forget Me Not 8 x 30 mins Kacie Anning Genre: Comedy Writer/Director: Kacie Anning Producer: Kacie Anning Synopsis: Famous as a child for her parents’ notorious prank-filled online channel, Sally (27) is still reckoning with her unwanted fame when an unforgivable stunt by her parents sets Sally on a crusade to wipe her own existence from the internet. Together with two other internet-famous-kids and a documentarian hoping to expose ‘sharenting’ culture, Sally will take on internet giants, trolls and hackers, but most importantly, her parents, in a bid to have her Right to Be Forgotten granted.
House of Kwa 8 x 60 mins Wooden Horse Pty Ltd Genre: Drama Creator: Corrie Chen Writer/Director: Corrie Chen Writers’ Room Collaborators: Penelope Chai, Niki Aken, Liselle Mei, Kim Ho Producers: Jude Troy, Richard Finlayson Executive Producers: Jude Troy, Richard Finlayson, Elizabeth Bradley, Corrie Chen Synopsis: When high-profile journalist Mimi Kwa’s father sues her over his beloved sister’s will, she faces a battle with the ghosts and misdeeds of her family’s dynastic past.
Unsettled 8 x 60 mins Tilt Media & Entertainment Pty Ltd Genre: Family Drama, Mystery, Indigenous Realism Creators: Nicole Sullivan, Melissa Lucashenko Writers: Melissa Lucashenko, Stuart Page Producer: Diane Robertson Co-producer: Nicole Sullivan Executive Producers: Chris Hilton, Rhoda Roberts, Simonne Overend Synopsis: In an Australian seaside town newly arrived French teenager, Sasha, discovers the body of an Indigenous child which has been mysteriously preserved for 150 years forcing two prominent families to face unsettling secrets and triggers a battle over coveted ancestral land.
Undercurrent 6 x 60 mins Sweet Shop Green Pty Ltd Genre: Drama, Thriller, Crime, Mystery Creators: Rebecca Ingram, Stuart Page Writers: Stuart Page, Rebecca Ingram, Jock Serong Producer: Gal Greenspan Executive Producers: Ayelet Waldman, Sharlene George SSG Head of Scripted: Rachael Turk Synopsis: When a mainland police officer is murdered on idyllic Norfolk Island, an islander finds herself caught between the fiercely independent community she loves, the much-maligned Island Administrator tasked with investigating the crime, and her own desperate need for a smoke.
A Lonely Girl is a Dangerous Thing 6 x 60 mins Thumper Pictures Pty Ltd Genre: Drama Writer: Jessie Tu Script Editor: John Collee Producer: Morgan Hind Synopsis: Jena is a Taiwanese-Australian woman and former child prodigy who is re-entering the white, male-dominated and privileged world of classical musicianship after a lengthy period out of the spotlight; in doing so she must grapple with her own understanding of her identity and power, which has been tied to this world and those that put her in it for as long as she can remember.
Unqualified 6 x 30 mins Catherine Moore Genre: Comedy Director: Matthew Moore Writers: Catherine Moore, Genevieve Hegney Producers: Catherine Moore, Genevieve Hegney Synopsis: The story of two women who are not just living a lie but lying for a living. Uptight, ambitious, Joanne Truebody and eternally optimistic, Felicity Bacon are over 45 and virtually skill-less. This odd couple team up to open a Temporary Employment Agency — but they’ll do ALL the jobs themselves. Jobs for which they are well and truly unqualified. Unqualified is for everyone who’s ever felt like an imposter in the workplace and anyone who actually is one.
Good Eggs 6 x 30 mins 3rd Gen Productions Pty Ltd Genre: Comedy, Drama Writer: Melanie Tait Producer; Cecilia Ritchie Synopsis: Nicola is 39 and wants a family, Sarah is 40 and she’s losing her family, Zoya is 39 and she hasn’t got any family left. They haven’t seen the nuclear family work for anyone. Can a baby or two help these three friends make a family together?
My Sister Ellie Jessie Mangum 6 x 60 mins Genre: Mystery Thriller Director: Laura Scrivano Writers: Samantha Collins, Laura Scrivano Producer: Jessie Mangum Synopsis: Jen and her husband Paul land in wintery London determined to find Jen’s sister Ellie, the surrogate carrying their child, who has fled Australia and vanished. Desperate, they discover Ellie has lied about her former life in London, fuelling their fears and triggering Jen’s memories of the childhood death of Ellie’s twin Marianne. As their search continues Jen discovers how deep the lies run – are those closest to her hiding a terrible secret?
Honeymoon 8 x 30 mins Gina Song Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance Writers: Gina Song, Liên Ta Synopsis: In a near future with increasing global warming and decreasing fertility rates, a romantic optimist, Thea Lim, joins ‘The Honeymoon’ – a program designed to pair young people with their potential life partners. Her happily-ever-after is complicated when she begins to fall in love with her matched partner’s cynical sister, Haru.
Custodians 8 x 30 mins Natasha Henry Genre: Comedy Writer: Natasha Henry Synopsis: A Pasifika creative lucks her way into a high stakes public relations role at a public art museum, just as the state government threatens to close it down. To keep her job and the museum open, she must singlehandedly transform their eccentric director into a woke media darling and push her moral and cultural compass to its limits.
Adventuries of the Century 42 x 1 mins Molly Daniels Genre: Comedy Director: Molly Daniels Writers/Producers: Molly Daniels, Dylan Murphy Synopsis: Dylan and Molly are two cousins who are regularly thrust into high-stakes escapades by their Grandma Catherine. In Adventuries of the Century, her demands will see the duo get to the bottom of an adoption scandal, rob City Hall, go on trial for their crimes, break out of prison, salvage a doomed wedding, and save Christmas!
I’d Rather Eat Cake 6 x 8 mins Blackwood River Films Pty Ltd Genre: Comedy, Drama Director: Mimi Helm Writer: Tahlia Norrish Producer: Sophia Armstrong Synopsis: Twenty-three-year-old Cobie assumed her sexual awakening would eventually arrive. But upon discovering she’s potentially asexual, Cobie takes matters into her own hands… I’d Rather Eat Cake is a comedy/drama based on truth that chronicles a young female’s journey towards radical self-acceptance.
Let’s Break Up 6 x 5 mins Kiosk Film Genre: Comedy, Drama Creator: Anisa Nandaula Writers: Anisa Nandaula, Gemma Bird-Matheson Producers: Tilly Towler, Sara Taghaode Synopsis: When Anisa, a seemingly conservative young Muslim woman, is rushed to hospital with a mystery illness, she must make a decision – will she come clean about her secret life of dating and stand-up comedy, knowing that her confession will radically change her closest relationships? Time is running out and her honesty seems to be the only way to figure out what is going on with her body.
Scrunt Hunt 15 x 5 mins Jordan Raskopoulos Genre: Comedy, Mystery, Fantasy Writer/Director: Jordan Raskopoulos Producer: Jordan Raskopoulos Synopsis: It’s Blues Clues meets Twin Peaks as Jordan and her son Scrunt; a yellow lizard boy powered by A.I. character technology, embark on adventures and solve mysteries in their animated neighbourhood.
The Place I Carry Within 1 x 20 mins Enoet Râz Pty Ltd Genre: Action adventure, Family, Fantasy, Game Writer/Directors: Enoet Râz, Ahnat Râz Producer: Enoet Râz Synopsis: Mina has requested to see you; she needs your help. With the passage of time, her most cherished childhood memories have faded away, destined to vanish forever. There is only one way to stop this from happening; you must go back in time, to the land she had to flee as a child, and relive her memories all over again. Will you agree to embark on this journey?