StudioCanal Australia and New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Trotman.

StudioCanal Australia has set up a script development fund, established to nurture local stories. The fund will develop both Australian and New Zealand stories across both film and television.

StudioCanal entered the local market in 2012 and has released homegrown titles such as Down Under, A Few Less Men and the upcoming Pork Pie.

StudioCanal Australia and New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Trotman said the distrib was “thrilled to announce this investment to start fostering the fantastic talent in Australia and New Zealand."

Trotman, a NZ native who assumed the CEO role last year, noted that StudioCanal AU-NZ was already developing a family film, two biopics, a prestige drama and a romantic comedy. 

“A key focus for us is to include stories by and for women, taking important steps towards gender equality and female representation in the industry,” she said.

The fund is thought to be worth around $300,000 annually. At last year’s Australian International Movie Convention, Trotman told IF the plan was to fund the development of around eight features a year.

Screen Australia Head of Production Sally Caplan said that Screen Australia was “delighted to see StudioCanal taking such an active financial interest in finding and developing Australian stories and talent.” 

“As a French company, the creation of StudioCanal’s development fund demonstrates the company believes screen works developed in Australia have a market both locally and abroad.”

StudioCanal Head of Sales and Acquisitions and Development Manager Greg Denning, formerly of Icon, has begun discussions with local producers. 

“It’s an exciting time to be working in the Australian film industry and this new development fund will allow us to further our existing relationships with the incredible filmmaking talent this country has to offer,” he said. 

“I’ve been enjoying getting out there and talking to producers to start working on the great new stories we can bring to audiences.”

Submissions to the fund will be available by invitation only. Submissions of a logline and 300-word summary will be open (via invitation) through 

Submissions must be entered by a producer with at least one feature credit and at least one producer must be a citizen or permanent resident of Australia or New Zealand. 

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