Screen NSW invests $4.2 million across 20 film and TV projects

Screen NSW has invested $4.2 million in 20 film and TV productions in a move that is expected to generate $66 million in expenditure for the state.

The announcement was made by Minister for the Arts George Souris at the opening of the Sydney Film Festival last night.

Of the projects selected, there are seven feature films, two television series, two children’s animated television series and eight documentary programs.

“The Screen NSW Production Investment program is great value, with every dollar invested by the NSW Government generating around $15 in direct production expenditure into the State,” said Mr Souris in a statement.

Production company See-Saw's upcoming TV drama series Top of the Lake received $500,000 in financing. Produced by Emile Sherman, the series will be directed and co-written by Jane Campion.

Goalpost Picture's Sapphires, the feature based on the stage show of the same name, received $800,000. The film is expected to start shooting later this year.

Screen Australia has also announced $2.3 million in financing for seven National Documentary Program projects.

The documentaries include two websites as well as a project from Rachel Perkins about the Australian Black Panther Movement.

For a full list of productions, see below:

Projects to receive Production Investment from Screen NSW:


Production Company: See-Saw Films
Finance: $400,000
Writer: Louise Fox
Producer: Emile Sherman, Libby Sharpe, Iain Canning
Director: Tony Krawitz
Synopsis: Isaac, a late twenties Greek Australian, spirals out of control when he's forced to confront his own family's cursed legacy on his first trip to Europe – with the continent's haunted past and troubled present pressing in on him.

Production Company: Goalpost Pictures
Finance: $800,000
Writer: Tony Briggs, Keith Thompson
Producer: Rosemary Blight, Kylie du Fresne
Director: Wayne Blair
Synopsis:They're sexy, black, young and talented – and they've never set foot outside Australia. Until, in the chaos of 1968, they're plucked from the obscurity of a remote Aboriginal mission, branded as Australia's answer to The Supremes, and – grasping the chance of a lifetime – dropped into the jungles of Vietnam to entertain the troops.

Production Company: Dragonet Films
Finance: $145,000
Writer/Director: Miro Bilbrough
Producer: Karen Radzyner, Michael Wrenn
Executive Producer: Tony Ayres
Synopsis: When Venice's ex-hippy dad comes to stay in her tiny Sydney apartment primal emotions are stirred. At forty, the pain of childhood rejection is rekindled. How old is too old to be your father's daughter? Until Venice asks the right person the right question, she is condemned to ask it of all who cross her path.

Production Company: Eddie Wong Films
Finance: $375,000
Writer: Michael Lucas
Producer: Jodi Matterson
Director: Peter Templeman
Synopsis: A freewheeling guy learns that he will be infertile in a month, so he has to find someone to conceive with before it is too late.

Production Company: World-Wide-Mind Films
Finance: $350,000
Writer: Morgan O'Neill
Producers: Tim Duffy, Myles Pollard, Michele Bennett
Director: Ben Nott, Margaret O'Neill
Synopsis:In the early 70s two brothers take on huge waves, a conservative community and a violent biker gang to carve out a successful surf wear business empire.

Production Company: Satellite Films
Finance: $225,000
Writer: Catriona McKenzie
Producer: David Jowsey
Director: Catriona McKenzie
Synopsis:Satellite Boy is a film about how courage and friendship can overcome even the greatest odds. It reveals how powerful a dream can be if you don't understand it's meant to be impossible.

STORM SURFERS 3D (Feature and TV series)
Production Company: Storm Surfers 3D
Finance: $50,000
Writer: Chris Nelius
Producer: Marcus Gillezeau, Ellenor Cox
Director: Chris Nelius, Justin McMillan
Synopsis: Storm Surfers 3D follows the story of big wave Australian surfers Ross Clarke Jones and two time surfing world champion Tom Carroll, as they work with surf forecaster Ben Matson to track massive Australian weather systems, hunt down big waves and surf the most dangerous breaks of their careers.



Production Company: See-Saw (TOTL) Holdings
Finance: $500,000
Writer: Jane Campion, Gerard Lee
Producer: Emile Sherman
Director: Jane Campion
Broadcaster: ABC, BBC and TV3
Synopsis: A twelve-year-old girl is found chest deep in the freezing waters of a South Island lake in New Zealand. She's five months pregnant and when asked who the father is, she insists: 'No one'. Then she disappears. Detective Robin Griffin's obsessive search for Tui unravels both Robin and the compromised town of Laketop.

Production Company: Southern Star Entertainment
Finance: $350,000
Writer: Jeff Truman
Producer: Julie McGauran, Sarah Smith
Broadcaster: Seven Network
Synopsis: Wild Boys follows a gang of bushrangers as they stage hold-ups, evade the police and sometimes even fall in love – all set against the backdrop of 1850s gold rush Australia.


Production Company: The Woodlies
Finance: $275,000
Writer: Gina Roncoli, David Evans, Kym Goldsworthy, Philip Dalkin, Peter Neale, Sam Carroll, Rob George, Alexa Moses, Cleon Prineas, John Armstrong, Suzie Wicks, Lisa Hoppe, Robert Greenberg, Maureen Sherlock
Producer: Avrill Stark
Executive Producer: Robert James Ballantine
Director: Alexis Stadermann, Animation director: Alex Weight
Broadcaster: Seven Network and Wavery/Studio 100
Synopsis: The Woodlies are furry forest creatures not much bigger than a possum. They are mischievous yet have always managed to live right under human noses without ever being seen. But when their forest home is destroyed to make room for a high-speed motorway, NineEyes, Firehead and SevenPoints are forced to flee to nearby woods.

Production Company: The Chocolate Liberation Front
Finance: $230,000
Producer: Dan Fill, Michael Boughen, Frank Verheggen
Director: Luke Jurevicius, Animation Director: David Webster
Broadcaster: ABC
Synopsis: Figaro Pho is a warm-hearted, adorable, quirky, mischievous character… who just happens to be afflicted with a multitude of debilitating phobias. Based on the AFI and Kidscreen award winning series of shorts by Luke Jurevicius, the long form series offers an intimate experience with the loveable tragic character of Figaro Pho.



Production Company: Ultramarine Films
Finance: $20,000
Writer/Director: Michael Lynch
Producer: Edward Radford, Michael Lynch
Broadcaster: ABC and National Geographic US
Synopsis:The world's leading marine biologists seek to answer why sharks attack humans by undertaking the biggest ever shark research project in Sydney Harbour.


Production Company: Looking Glass Pictures
Finance: $25,000
Writer: Mitzi Goldman
Producer: Mitzi Goldman
Director: Mitzi Goldman
Broadcaster: YLE (Finland), SABC (South Africa)
Synopsis: In a landmark trial in South Africa that convicted 26 people collectively of the murder of one man, and sentenced 14 of them to death, two white lawyers fight for justice in the most violent era of apartheid's history. A Common Purpose tells this story of law, justice and human rights.

Production Company: Nirvana Films
Finance: $14,000
Writer/Director: James Bradley
Producer: James Bradley, Rachel Clements
Broadcaster: ABC
Synopsis: An extraordinary 20-year collaboration between a Chinese artist and Aboriginal artists culminates in a remarkable and inspiring exhibition in Beijing.


Production Company: Beyond Screen Productions
Finance: $95,000
Writer: Chris Masters
Producer: Renee Kennedy
Executive Producer: Mark Hamlyn
Director: Stuart Goodman
Broadcaster: ABC
Synopsis:The dramatic story of how Australia rebuilt after the devastation of World War One, only to be changed again by the great depression and a new war more terrible than the last.

Production Company: Zapruder's Other Films
Finance: $130,000
Writer: Debbie Cuell
Producer: Anita Jacoby
Director: Debbie Cuell
Broadcaster: ABC
Synopsis:Country Town Rescue documents the inspiring story of the people of Trundle, a small community of 485 in Central Western NSW, who plan to save their town from dying by giving families Australia wide, the chance to build a new life in the country by living in an abandoned local farm house for just One Dollar A Week! It’s a story about how these newcomers will build new lives and friendships in this small community and how the old traditional country community will come to accept these new families into their town.

Production Company: Matchbox Pictures Pty Ltd
Finance: $60,000
Producer: Cecilia Ritchie, Michael NcMahon
Director: Gary Doust
Broadcaster: ABC
Synopsis: Aussiewood is a behind-the-scenes look at Tinsel town told through the eyes of a group of young actors. It's about the making of dreams, the breaking of hearts and the opportunity of a lifetime.

Production Company: Fredbird CDK Pty Ltd trading as Fredbird Entertainment
Finance: $55,000
Producer: Craig Graham, Sue Clothier
Director: Mike Bluett
Broadcaster: SBS
Synopsis: Once Upon a Time in Cabramatta is the inside story of a critical period in the Vietnamese community's history: the epic tale of how crime, political dysfunctional social breakdown threatened to destroy the community and how they fought back to build successful lives for themselves in modern Australia.

Production Company: Wild Fury
Finance: $80,000
Writer: Stefan Moore
Producer: Bettina Dalton
Director: Rory McGuinness
Broadcaster: National Geographic Australia, ZDF, NDR
Synopsis: A celebration of Australia's wild places and its unique wildlife in an epic four-part journey through its most spectacular national parks.


Production Company: Wild Fury
Finance: $35,000
Writer: Susan Lambert
Producer: Veronica Fury
Director: Susan Lambert, Phoebe Hart, Britt Arthur
Broadcaster: ABC
Synopsis: A journey through the colourful and competitive world of Irish Dancing in Australia.