20 feature films, 10 online series, and one television drama have received development financial investment in the latest Screen Australia funding round, it was announced today.
“This slate encompasses a wide range of genres, from comedy to family drama, featuring both adaptations and originals. It’s great to see popular Australian children’s and fiction novels being adapted for the screen and some excellent comedies emerging from online creatives including Bin Chickens, centered on Sydney’s ibis community, and The Racka from renowned YouTubers Danny and Michael Philippou,” said Nerida Moore, Senior Development Manager at Screen Australia.
Among the projects funded for development are:
Agaat, an adaptation of Marlene van Niekerk’s acclaimed novel, from Bronte Pictures, with Jocelyn Moorhouse (The Dressmaker, Proof) on board to write and direct. Based on the international award-winning novel by Marlene van Niekerk, this soaring drama spanning across 50 years, follows a young black girl adopted into a white apartheid era family in South Africa. Cast aside into the servant’s quarters by the woman she considered her mother, Agaat fights to forge an identity not defined by her skin colour.
Bin Chickens, a satirical online series set in the tourist heart of Sydney, Darling Harbour created by Dave Carter and Nikos Andronicos (Fish with Legs), which follows three ibises as they are forced to take on a daily and never-ending parade of imbecile humans and their ludicrous civilisation.
The Drover’s Wife – The Legend of Molly Johnson, a cinematic adaptation of Leah Purcell’s award-winning Belvoir St Theatre play and Henry Lawson’s classic short story. Bain Stewart of Tahlee Productions, David Jowsey and Greer Simpkin (Mystery Road, Sweet Country) and Alison Owen (Elizabeth, Suffragette) will produce this Australian revenge Western “…with love, family, survival, misogyny and racism at its heart.”
Empty Empire, the projected first feature from Corrie Chen (Homecoming Queens, Mustangs FC), co-written with Penelope Chai (Other People’s Problems). The film follows a biracial Australian woman as she travels to a mysterious city in China to track down her long-absent father.
Highway, a high concept action thriller from Vanessa Gazy, based on her short film of the same name, is in development with Goalpost Pictures (Upgrade, Holding The Man, The Sapphires). The film follows a young woman who wakes up on the side of a highway with no memory, and soon finds herself fighting for her life in a dangerous world of looping time and fatal prophesies.
Alison Lester’s Australian children’s book Magic Beach will be adapted as a mix of live action and animation 10 leading Australian animators. Robert Connolly and Liz Kearney will produce.
Described as “an action packed family adventure romp”, Monster Nanny, based on the Finnish book by Tuutikki Tolonen, is being adapted by Ridley Scott (Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator) of Scott Free Productions and Sylvia Wilczynski (The Rocket) of Red Lamp Films, with Kim Mordaunt (The Rocket) on board to write and direct.
Nude Tuesday, written by Jackie van Beek (The Breaker Upperers) and directed by Armagan Ballantyne (The Strength of Water), an absurdist comedy about a couple that spends a week at a new-age retreat in a bid to save their marriage.
Adapted from Charlotte Wood’s critically acclaimed feminist novel by Katia Nizic and Emma Dockery of Generator Pictures (Homecoming Queens, Paper Trails), The Natural Way of Things tells the story of 10 women who wake up in a makeshift prison in the bush; their crime: being involved in sex scandals with high-powered men. Sue Maslin (The Dressmaker) is on board as executive producer.
In addition, four talent development placements have been issued: Candice Bowers with Arenamedia (The Slap, The Warriors, Paper Planes); Bali Padda at Jungle Entertainment; Fatima Mawas will shadow producer Sheila Jayadev (Ali’s Wedding) of Matchbox Pictures; and Ana Tiwary at See-Saw Films.