Screen Australia backs ‘international’ features slate

Screen Australia backs ‘international’ features slate

Screen Australia is pleased to announce just under $535,000 in development funding for 18 feature projects with an international flavour over the last four months – as part of its support for an Australian film industry with a global outlook.

From the Canadian ski slopes, edgy inner-city Berlin, Mexico City and medieval England to stories that draw inspiration from places closer to home, these funded projects are set across a diverse range of backdrops.

The development investment will support eight new projects, as well as providing further support to 10 titles. The supported features cover a variety of genres including family, musical, comedy, drama, thriller, sci-fi and action.

In addition, Screen Australia will offer support to emerging professionals through its Talent Escalator programs, placing three producers in professional posts to improve their direct industry experience and supporting one award-winning short film director in the next stage of professional development.

Screen Australia’s Head of Production Sally Caplan said, “In this round it is encouraging to see such a great range of Australian stories receive support from filmmakers at different levels, some with international creative partners and several with international focus. We are also pleased to be able to support emerging local talent with international placements that will increase our industry’s experience in the marketplace and further reinforce the great reputation of Australian talent on a global stage.”

B Model is a comedy drama by writer/producer/director Rachel Griffiths and producerLouise Smith, now to be developed as an official Australia/UK co-production with British producer Kevin Loader (In the Loop, Hyde Park on Hudson, Le Week-End).

Thriller Berlin Syndrome is about an Australian photojournalist who embarks on a passionate holiday romance that turns into an obsessive relationship and wakes one morning trapped in an apartment in Berlin. The film is written by Shaun Grant, produced by Polly Staniford and will be directed by Cate Shortland.

Written by Sofya Gollan, produced by Melanie Coombs, Mish Armstrong and Alicia Brown, The Bunyip of Berkeley’s Creekis a family film about a Bunyip on a journey to find out who he is, what he is and how he came to be.

From writer/producer Lisa Hoppe, producer Julie Ryan and director Martha Goddard isThe Enamorados, a comedy drama about a conservative couple, married for 40 years and struggling to renegotiate the terms of their love in Mexico.

From writer/producer/director Serhat Caradee and producers Tim Maddocks and Liz Burton is drama My Country, about a group of Middle Eastern men who kidnap the daughter of a wealthy family, intent on using her as a bargaining tool in a global political game.

Writer Andy Cox, producers Todd Fellman and Lance Kelleher and director Kim Mordauntwill be supported for Vietnam-set biopic One Crowded Hour.

In Putney Grail, four 14th century knights are resurrected in the present day to protect the Holy Grail from international criminals led by a medieval enchantress. The action/adventure is written and produced by Michael Harvey and produced by David Taft.

Season’s Pass is a comedy from writer Heath Davis and producer Matthew Dabner about a carefree party-going Australian ski-instructor who arrives in Canada to start a new ski season, only to be confronted by a son he never knew he had.

In the musical genre, Emo (The Musical) comes from writer Neil Triffett and producerLee Matthews. Based on the stage play, it is about an Emo kid who hates almost everything, till he falls for a devout Christian school girl with a passion for life and religion.

The End of Everything is about the disappearance of a young girl, Evie, and her best friend, Lizzie, who unravels the dark world of her teenage friend in pursuing the truth behind her vanishing. The thriller is written by Andy Cox and produced by Kristian Moliere.

Written by Glen Dolman, produced by Linda Micsko and directed by Hannah Hilliard,Golden People tells the story of a teenage competitive swimmer, Paris, and his attempt to distance himself from his competition-driven mother in the lead up to finals.

Jasper Jones is a coming-of-age tale based on the best-selling novel by Craig Silvey, adapted for screen by Shaun Grant, produced by Vincent Sheehan and David Jowsey, and directed by Rachel Perkins.

In Lucid, a dream programmer inadvertently gets trapped in a client’s dream and must find a way out to save the woman he secretly loves. The film is written by Philip Tarl Denson and produced by Raquelle David.

Palm Beach is a dramatic comedy by writer Joanna Murray-Smith and producers Bryan Brown and Deb Balderstone.

Writer Ross Grayson Bell, producer Heather Ogilvie and director Megan Simpson-Huberman will finalise work on Salvation Creek, a drama about a high-flying magazine editor who believes she is coping well with grief until one day she cannot get out of bed, and discovers at times salvation can be a place of beauty.

Based on the stage play and developed for screen by Kate Mulvany with producer Nicole O’Donohue, The Seed is a biopic about a young Australian woman who accompanies her Vietnam veteran father overseas to meet her grandfather, only to discover a garden of buried family secrets.

In Snot and Bob’s Holiday, through a series of comic adventures, two criminal brothers set out to rescue the kidnapped child of the girl of their dreams, by writer John Doyle and producer Jodi Matterson.

From writer Tom Holloway, producer Kristina Ceyton and director Jonathan auf der Heide, comes This Dark Wood, about a young couple, recovering from losing their child, who move to Tasmania only to find the Tasmanian Devil facial tumour disease has progressed to affect the humans species.


Genre Comedy, Drama
Producers Louise Smith, Kevin Loader, Rachel Griffiths
Writer/Director Rachel Griffiths

Genre Thriller
Producer Polly Staniford
Executive Producer Angie Fielder
Director Cate Shortland
Writer Shaun Grant
Synopsis A passionate holiday romance leads to an obsessive relationship when an Australian photojournalist wakes one morning in a Berlin apartment and is unable to leave.

Genre Family
Producers Melanie Coombs, Mish Armstrong, Alicia Brown
Executive Producer Jonathan Page
Writer Sofya Gollan
Synopsis The Bunyip emerges from a waterhole not knowing who he is, what he is or how he came to be. “Who am I?” he asks the Platypus, Kangaroo and Emu. Only little Spinifex Hopping Mouse Poppy is brave enough to journey with him to find out. Based on the classic children’s book.

Genre Comedy, Musical
Producer Lee Matthews
Executive Producer Shaun Miller
Writer Neil Triffett
Synopsis Ethan, an Emo kid who hates almost everything, falls in love with Trinity, a good Christian girl with a passion for life and her Lord Jesus Christ.

Genre Comedy, Drama
Producers Julie Ryan, Lisa Hoppe
Director Martha Goddard
Writer Lisa Hoppe
Synopsis Married for 40 years, conservative Mary and Ray Podger find themselves in Mexico on the biggest adventure of their lives, struggling to renegotiate the terms of their love in a distant land.

Genre Thriller
Producer Kristian Moliere
Writer Andy Cox
Synopsis When Lizzie’s best friend, Evie, disappears, Lizzie takes up her own pursuit of the truth pushing herself into the dark centre of Evie’s teenage world, uncovering secret after secret until she begins to wonder whether she really knew her friend at all.

Genre Comedy, Drama
Producer Linda Micsko
Director Hannah Hilliard
Writer Glen Dolman
Synopsis Sixteen-year-old competitive swimmer, Paris, attempts to break away from the all-consuming control of his winning-obsessed mother, Laura, in the lead up to the national championships.

Genre Coming of Age
Producers Vincent Sheehan, David Jowsey
Executive Producers Liz Watts, Rebecca O’Brien
Director Rachel Perkins
Writer Shaun Grant
Synopsis Based on the best-selling novel by Craig Silvey.

Genre Comedy, Science Fiction
Producer Raquelle David
Executive Producer Su Armstrong
Writer Philip Tarl Denson
Synopsis When an introverted dream programmer discovers he is trapped in a client’s dream, he must find a way out and save the woman he secretly loves.

Genre Drama
Producers Tim Maddocks, Liz Burton, Serhat Caradee
Executive Producer David Jowsey
Writer/Director Serhat Caradee
Synopsis A group of young Middle Eastern men kidnap the daughter of a wealthy Sydney family, intent on using her as a bargaining tool in a global political game.

Genre Biopic
Producers Todd Fellman, Lance Kelleher
Director Kim Mordaunt
Writer Andy Cox

Genre Dramatic Comedy
Producers Bryan Brown, Deb Balderstone
Writer Joanna Murray-Smith

Genre Action Adventure
Producers David Taft, Michael Harvey
Writer Michael Harvey
Synopsis Four C14th knights are resurrected in C21st UK, on a quest to protect the Holy Grail from international criminals led by a medieval enchantress.

Genre Drama
Producer Heather Ogilvie
Director Megan Simpson-Huberman
Writer Ross Grayson Bell
Synopsis A high-flying magazine editor thinks she’s coping brilliantly with grief until the day she can’t get out of bed. Sometimes salvation turns out to be a place of unexpected beauty.

Genre Comedy
Producer Matthew Dabner
Writer Heath Davis
Synopsis The carefree lifestyle of a party-loving Aussie ski instructor is challenged when he arrives in Canada ready for the new snow season only to be confronted by the son he never knew he had.

Genre Biopic
Producer Nicole O’Donohue
Writer Kate Mulvany
Synopsis Based on a real-life story, a young Australian woman accompanies her Vietnam veteran father on an overseas trip to meet her grandfather, only to discover a garden of long-buried familial secrets. Based on the stage play by Kate Mulvany.

Genre Crime
Producer Jodi Matterson
Writer John Doyle
Synopsis Through a series of comic adventures, two orphaned criminal brothers rescue their dream girl’s kidnapped child.

Genre Horror, Thriller
Producer Kristina Ceyton
Director Jonathan auf der Heide
Writer Tom Holloway
Synopsis Recovering from the loss of their child, a young couple move to remote Tasmania to discover that the Tasmanian Devil Facial Tumour Disease has jumped species and threatens the survival of the human race.


Director Nicholas Verso (The Last Time I Saw Richard – 2014 AACTA Award winner for Best Short Film) will be supported for professional development through the Director’s Acclaim fund.

Producer Alexandra Blue will spend six months in London working with the development and acquisitions team at Element Pictures (The Guard, Shadow Dancer, Omagh).

Producer Leah James will spend six months in London at Working Title Films (Les Misérables, About a Boy, Senna) working across their development and production slate.

Producer Jennifer Jones will spend four months at Melbourne-based Matchbox Pictures (The Slap, Cut Snake, Underground: The Julian Assange Story) across their development and production slate.

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