The Post Lounge launches development and production arm

The Post Lounge management team (L-R): Brock Smith, Bronwyn Ketels, MD and owner Kurt Royan, Dan Lake and founder Steve Cooper.

After 40 years as a post-production house, The Post Lounge is expanding into development and production, launching new arm Orange Entertainment Co.

The Post Lounge MD Kurt Royan, who became sole owner of the business earlier this year, announced the new side of the Brisbane and Melbourne-based company today at the Asia Pacific Screen Forum in Brisbane.

Orange Entertainment Co will handle both The Post Lounge’s investment in the projects it posts, as well as investing in development and production of projects across film, episodic and short-form, covering both narrative and factual.

Following on from The Post Lounge’s investment in Screen Queensland’s diversity-focused R.I.D.E. Feature Film initiative, a key of focus of Orange Entertainment Co will been on storytelling from new talent with different backgrounds, identities and points of view.

Royan told forum delegates the aim was to “create a production company that not only invests in and strengthens the relationships with the talent we’re already working with, but also gives new talent the backing it needs. To borrow from a much-loved storytelling device, we wanted to be part of the origin story of the industry’s next generation.”

Orange has also committed to developing a minimum of one project per year from the greater Asia-Pacific region.

To that end, it is co-developing Pacific Islander filmmaker Vilsoni Hereniko’s feature Until The Dolphins Fly from writer Joseph Grogan and producers Trish Lake, Catherine Fitzgerald and Jeannette Paulson. The project has previously received the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund Grant and gone through the Asia Pacific Screen Lab with Griffith Film School.

Orange is also developing ob doc series Blue Water Rescue with Flickchicks, various projects with Kiss & Go Productions, a feature with Adam Farrington-Williams, as well as Freshwater Pictures’ feature doc Alick & Albert.

Royan will also be MD of Orange Entertainment Co, while overseeing the slate will be head of content Dan Lake, who has previously worked as a producer, Screen Queensland SVP development and production and is The Post Lounge’s partnerships and investment manager.

“We’re really looking forward to finding ways to champion new stories from the amazing pool of next generation talent, as well as partnering with other production companies to find ways to get more content on screen,” Lake said.

The decision to call the company ‘Orange’ was because of the association of the colour with the freedom of ideas, encouragement of mutual respect, meaningful conversation and gut instinct. It’s these qualities, Royan said, he wants to exist in both the people and stories the company backs.

On the company’s commitment to diversity, Royan told forum delegates: “I know that diversity is a bit of buzzword at the moment –  and as it should be – but only if the people saying it are genuine and it means that more diverse stories are making it to the screen. Diversity is a broad word that covers a lot of territory. But it does have a lot of personal meaning to me. As a queer kid who grew up in a small, rural town, I know firsthand the impact… of not seeing representation on screen. Not only representation in and of itself but genuine representation; characters that are true and real, that showcase the fabric of our society – not just minority characters playing the bad guy or being the butt of the jokes.

“Growing up gay in a country town means hiding a part of yourself. It often means depression and suicidal thoughts. That is the power of what we do as storytellers and filmmakers. The power to change minds, to influence society and occasionally, to let people know that they are seen, that they are accepted and that they are not alone.”