West Coast Visions backs The Children

ScreenWest is to invest $750,000 in The Children, writer/director Claire McCarthy’s follow-up to the debut film The Waiting City.

The drama is adapted from a novel of the same by Charlotte Wood and it’s focus is a character called Mandy Connelly, a war correspondent who returns from Afghanistan to a small country town to join her siblings at their father’s bedside.

Dark family secrets are uncovered but the tone is light heartedly similar to that of The Descendants says Melissa Kelly, who is producing alongside McCarthy and cinematographer Denson Baker.

“It is about the love, joy and friction that occurs in all families,” says Kelly.

The film is the fifth to have received an injection of money from the West Coast Visions scheme, which aims to develop distinctive, creative projects by Western Australians.

The producers Robyn Kershaw (Bran Nue Dae) and Nelson Woss (Red Dog), and ScreenWest’s Rikki Lea Bestall chose The Children from a shortlist of four. Eight applications were received in all.

The producers will now be going to the marketplace to raise the rest of the money. It is hoped that the film will go into production next year. It is principally set in Australia and Western Australia will stand in for Afghanistan for the scenes which are flashbacks.

Baker is from WA, met McCarthy at the Australian Film, Television & Radio School in Sydney, and they subsequently married and moved west.

The Children will be made under their production company, Denaire Motion Pictures, and Factor 30 Films, which is the banner under which Kelly works. Kelly was in the US doing an internship with Magnolia, when Baker started working with her husband Ryan Hodgson on television commercials and corporate projects.

Hodgson joined ScreenWest a month ago as an investment manager. He has had nothing to do with this round of West Coast Visions.

The scheme has supported Last Train To Freo, Wasted on the Young, Blame, which was produced by Hodgson and Kelly, and These Final Hours, which goes into production in the next few months.