Final 22 drama projects to receive development support in 2014

Final 22 drama projects to receive development support in 2014

Tuesday 23 December 2014

Screen Australia today announced the final development round for 2014 with $434,600 in feature film, high-end television and talent development funding for 22 projects.

Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason said, “It has been a fantastic year with a total of 92 stories going through the development program in 2014. We are delighted to support these 22 projects that have broad appeal – from the incredible life story of Australia’s female aviation pioneer to the comedic reshaping of the classic Romeo and Juliet to an exciting TV series based on an epic Chinese fable. We expect most of these projects will make their way to production in a few years – to eventually charm, shock, and amuse a variety of audiences on screen.

Screen Australia Creative Director, Veronica Gleeson said, “It gives me the greatest pleasure to end the year with this announcement of support for projects with such imaginative reach, artistic courage and the capacity to entertain and compel. The volume and range of truly strong stories about and by women is particularly encouraging.”

Screen Australia will fund thirteen new and six previously funded features, one new high-end TV project, and two new placements.

The team behind the multi-award winning team 52 Tuesdays (writer/producer Sophie Hyde, producer Rebecca Summerton, and writers Matthew Cormack and Sophie Hyde) will commence development on Modern Romance, a dual narrative drama that explores love, work and commitment across two very different realms. Sophie is also on board to direct the drama romance film.

In a story inspired by true events, producer Jodi Matterson, director Darren Ashton and writer Harry Cripps will bring aspects of trailblazing female aviator Nancy Bird’s travails to imaginative life in Little Bird.

Writer Chris Nyst returns to comedic crime with Mr Cranky, the tale of an angry debt collector whose life is transformed when he takes responsibility for his estranged daughter. Fresh off Broadchurch 2, director of The Railway Man Jonathan Teplitzky will direct with Chris Brown set to produce.

Director Gemma Lee, producer Raquelle David and writer Charlie Clausen will tackle a sci-fi coming-of-age story with Blackwood. The film is about a teenage girl who in the aftermath of a natural disaster must decide if she will search for her father or seek shelter with a young man she has just met.

Writer Mira Robertson and producer Jane Liscombe will develop the teen runaway caper Cherry Bomb with Gallipoli’s Glendyn Ivin set to direct.

Sleeping Beauty producer Jessica Brentnall will work with writer Joel Anderson on the provocative and unsettling drama Female Pleasure. The film is about a woman whose world is turned upside down when her fiancé makes a bizarre request.

Writer Sarah Lambert will adapt psychological thriller Mice with the support of producers Anna Vincent and Tim White. Based on the best-selling novel by Gordon Reece, Mice tells the story of a teenager and her mother, victims of bullying who snap when an intruder threatens to shatter their newfound tranquil home.

Writer Beatrix Christian continues development work on Rosa with producers Su Armstrong, Emma Slade, Barrie Osborne, and Dan Hennah with renowned director Ray Lawrence at the helm.

On-the-rise directing talent Isabel Peppard will receive support to write her original horror monster movie Silk with producer Lizzette Atkins.

Director Kay Pavlou will collaborate with writer Geoffrey Atherden on a Greek comedy/drama Trapeze with producer Rosemary Blight. The film tells the story of a woman struck by a family curse to never find love.

Writer/director Elissa Down and producer Tristram Miall will develop Mr and Mrs Montague. A romantic comedy which reimagines the classic tale of Romeo and Juliet as if they never died – ten years on their passion has soured, jeopardising Verona’s cult industry thriving on their memory

Finally, director Jennifer Kent, the rising talent who brought us 2014’s breakout international award-winning indie hit, The Babadook, will commence development on her intergenerational drama Whoever Brought Me Here.

Previously funded projects Berlin Syndrome, Jamaica, Julian Corkle Is A Filthy Liar, Madams, A Man With No Enemies and The Wiggles – Pandamonium! will receive further support through the Development program.

See-Saw Productions are expanding their television slate and international broadcaster relationships with an audacious re-imagining of an epic Chinese story. Writer/show runner Louise Fox will helm the pilot with the producers of The King’s Speech, Emile Sherman, and Iain Canning, plus Jamie Laurenson and Rachel Gardner.

Screen Australia will support two industry placements for directors. Neil Triffett will spend 6 months in Los Angeles working in the development department of Lin Pictures (The Lego Movie, Sherlock Holmes). Erin Good will work with director Kriv Stenders (Red Dog, Kill Me Three Times) on the television production of The Principal with Essential Media and Entertainment.


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 Thriller
Producer Raquelle David
Executive Producer Tait Brady
Director Gemma Lee
Writer Charlie Clausen
Synopsis In the aftermath of a natural disaster, a teenage girl sets out to find her estranged father. When she meets a young man who’s convinced the world is coming to an end, she must decide what the real dangers are, or risk never seeing her father again.

Genre Drama
Producer Jane Liscombe
Director Glendyn Ivin
Writer Mira Robertson

Genre Drama, Comedy
Producer Jessica Brentnall
Writer Joel Anderson
Synopsis A woman’s world is turned upside down when her fiancé makes a bizarre request.

Genre Comedy
Producer Rachel Connors
Director Robert Connolly
Writer Melissa Bubnic
Synopsis Lifelong friends converge on the fabled island of Jamaica to compete in a marathon relay swimming across treacherous waters. As a catastrophic secret left behind in Sydney reveals itself, wealthy businessman Hut’s life falls apart, and the ties that bind the group quickly unravel.

Genre Comedy, Drama
Producers Marian Macgowan, Sarah Radclyffe
Director Jonathan Entwistle
Writers Mark Herman, Jonathan Entwistle
Synopsis Set in Tasmania in the 1980s, this is a comic, coming-of-age story in which our mendacious hero seeks fame and fortune in unlikely places, only to discover the truth far closer to home.

Genre Romantic Comedy
Producer Jodi Matterson
Director Darren Ashton
Writer Harry Cripps
Synopsis A plucky girl from nowhere overcomes hardship and prejudice to become the first female commercial pilot in Australia. Inspired by true events.

Genre Comedy, Crime
Producers Gary Hamilton, Stephan Elliot, Mike Gabrawy, Julie Ryan
Director Stephan Elliot
Writers Stephan Elliot, Sheridan Jobbins
Synopsis Aussie con-women Evelyn Burton and Laila Andre are an unlikely pair of dirty rotten scoundrels.

Genre Thriller
Producers Emile Sherman, Iain Canning, Rachel Gardner
Writer Shaun Grant
Synopsis A public relations officer joins America’s top meat production corporation only to discover it has a sinister dark side which puts his life, and the lives of others, in jeopardy.

MICE (working title)
Genre Thriller
Producers Anna Vincent, Timothy White
Writer Sarah Lambert
Synopsis From best-selling UK author Gordon Reece, Mice is a taut psychological thriller that tells the story of teenager Shelley and her heart-broken mother; two women who have tolerated bullying and infidelity for long enough. When a break-and-enter thug shatters their newfound tranquillity in an isolated country cottage, they finally snap.

Genre Drama, Romance
Producers Rebecca Summerton, Sophie Hyde
Director Sophie Hyde
Writers Matthew Cormack (screenplay & story), Sophie Hyde (story)
Synopsis In 1894, scientist Marya Sklodowska visits her homeland of Poland and her first love, Kazimierz, before committing to her famed partnership with Pierre Curie. In 2015, Claire, an actor cast as Marie Curie, begins a romance with her co-star and puts her long-term relationship at risk. Modern Romance is two distinct feature films made with the same actors: one historical, one modern, which together consider the place of love, work and commitment in our lives.

Genre Comedy, Crime
Producer Chris Brown
Director Jonathan Teplitzky
Writer Chris Nyst
Synopsis Gang land debt collector Kevin Darcy has a reputation as Australia’s angriest man. A former boxer with 14 knockouts from 16 pro bouts – he sorted out the other two in the car park afterwards. When Kevin is saddled with the care of his estranged 7-year-old daughter Angel, he has to make some radical adjustments in style.

Genre Drama
Producers Su Armstrong, Emma Slade, Barrie Osborne, Dan Hennah
Director Ray Lawrence
Writer Beatrix Christian
Synopsis Three intertwined stories of love, passion, loss and gain.

Genre Horror, Drama
Producer Lizzette Atkins
Writer Isabel Peppard
Synopsis Stripped of humanity, transformed by trauma, a monster is unleashed!

Genre Comedy, Drama
Producer Rosemary Blight
Director Kay Pavlou
Writer Geoffrey Atherden
Synopsis Stella thinks she has been struck by the family curse to never find love. Trapeze is about family, laughter, love and loss and touches a deep sense of humanity as it explores universal questions about connections to the past and identity.

Genre Drama
Writer Jennifer Kent
Synopsis Three generations face the passing of a family patriarch through their dreams as well as their waking reality.

Genre Family
Producers Michael Wrenn, Paul Field, Julie Ryan
Executive Producers Anthony Field, Gary Hamilton
Writer/Director Ben Elton
Synopsis The Wiggles race against time and must employ all their unique talents to overcome mysterious challenges in order to safely return a lost baby panda to his family. Based on the characters from the highly-acclaimed children’s television show The Wiggles.


Genre Romantic Comedy
Producer Tristram Miall
Writer/Director Elissa Down
Synopsis Imagine Romeo and Juliet never died; and ten years on their passion has soured, jeopardising Verona’s cult industry thriving on their memory.

Genre Action adventure
Producer Beth Frey
Executive Producers Tony Ayres, Michael McMahon
Writers Tony Ayres, Rhys Graham, Craig Irvin
Synopsis The Nowhere Boys are called upon to help avert a magical catastrophe, and in doing so, they unwittingly transport a powerful teenage witch into their world which unleashes the full wrath of the Restoring Demon. Will they return the unwilling Tegan back to her universe in time to stop the Restoring Demon from destroying everything and everyone they love? Based on the characters from the successful television series Nowhere Boys.


Genre Drama
Producers Emile Sherman, Iain Canning, Jamie Laurenson and Rachel Gardner
Writer Louise Fox


Director Neil Triffett will spend six months in Los Angeles working in the Development Department of Lin Pictures (The Lego Movie, Sherlock Holmes).
Director Erin Good will be attached to director Kriv Stenders (Red Dog, Kill Me Three Times) on the television production of The Principal with Essential Media and Entertainment.

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