ScreenACT fund rewards six projects

[press release from ScreenACT]

ScreenACT is pleased to announce the recipients for the 2008 Project Fund – Round Two. Six projects will each receive up to $10,000 to develop or complete film, TV, or digital media projects in the ACT.

The winners are once again a diverse collection. On the fiction side a strikingly original animated TV comedy series and a feature film script being developed for international co-production.

But this time around documentaries dominated the field with a film about the state of Australian cinema; the story of the Australian Plague Locust; a new perspective on the first WWII attack on Australia; and a look behind the scenes of the international comic book industry.

“I am delighted to see that the ScreenACT funding program continues to seek out and support professional and innovative screen projects that are being produced in the ACT,” Chief Minister Jon Stanhope said. “I congratulate the talented recipients, and look forward to seeing these exciting projects on the screen in the near future.”

ScreenACT manager Brendan Walsh said “we were once again overwhelmed by the number of submissions received. The independent assessment panel had the difficult job of picking a handful of projects from 24 high quality applications.”

He added that the selection panel “were particularly impressed by the creative energy and resourcefulness of the projects chosen.”

The six recipients of the ScreenACT 2008 Project Fund are:

1. Urf
An exciting and creative animated comedy series being developed in the ACT. It chronicles life on a planet called Urf – telling the tales of its people, animals and places. Urf is a parallel world to Earth that is strange, yet strangely familiar.

2. Into the Shadows
Motivated by the closure of their local independent cinema, Electric Shadows, Andrew Scarano and Phil Hignett have produced a feature length documentary that explores the past, present and future of Australian cinema. Into the Shadows is currently in post-production and is being prepared for submission for the Sydney International Film Festival in 2009.

3. Memoirs of a Plague
Highly acclaimed local documentary director Robert Nugent, is currently in production on this documentary that explores the collision between the extraordinary life of the Australian Plague Locust, and the individuals caught in the middle of the a plague.

4. Irini
A locally released feature film that will be an international co-production filmed in Canberra and Europe. The script has already received support from Screen Australia and has attracted significant interest from Australian distributors. ScreenACT funds will support the next critical draft of the script.

5. Witness 19.2.42 The Bombing of Darwin
A Canberra filmmaker explores the first attack on Australian soil by a foreign power and its effects on those who witnessed ‘war at home’. Using newly uncovered archive film material and recent interviews ‘Witness 19.2.42’ presents the dramatic events that occurred in northern Australia on February 19 1942 in a new light. With filming nearly complete, ScreenACT’s funds will assist this independent documentary to be developed for potential television sales in Australia and internationally.

6. A Comic Affair
A documentary that looks beyond the familiar page of the comic book to tell the story of the industry behind it, and the creators striving for commercial and artistic success. A Comic Affair was given ScreenACT development funding early last year, and has now received additional funds to assist in its completion.

ScreenACT operates under the auspices of The Canberra Business Council, and is supported by the ACT Government. With a taskforce of local industry representatives, it focuses on the development and promotion of the ACT screen industry as well as offering location advice and assistance to visiting productions.