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26 07 2012 - Media release

Screen Australia investment triggers $100 million in production

Screen Australia has announced almost $20 million investment in a diverse slate of feature films, adult television drama projects and children’s television series. The investment in 12 projects will trigger $100 million in production.

Features approved include The Rover, a futuristic Western from the producer and writer/director of Animal Kingdom, Liz Watts and David Michôd. Michôd will join Watts and David Linde (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) as a producer. The film’s cast includes world-class acting talents Robert Pattinson and Guy Pearce.

Felony is a contemporary drama from producer Rosemary Blight (The Sapphires), producer/writer/actor Joel Edgerton and director Matthew Saville (Noise). Aim High in Creation is a hybrid documentary drama celebrating ‘the cinematic genius’ of the late Kim Jong-il from writer/director Anna Broinowski (Forbidden Lie$) and producer Lizzette Atkins.

Healing, a redemptive prison drama from producer/writer/director Craig Monahan with producer Tait Brady and writer Alison Nisselle, will also receive production investment. The cast includes Don Hany (East West 101) and Hugo Weaving.

Screen Australia’s Chief Executive Ruth Harley said, “These four highly engaging and diverse Australian stories have huge potential. The Rover is a powerful well-crafted script from a talented team with an impressive cast. Anna Broinowski’s Aim High in Creation is a distinctive, ambitious film with a humorous and entertaining story. Felony has international breakout potential and Healing promises to be a highly emotional and moving story on screen.”

Adult television drama investments include Wentworth (p: Amanda Crittenden, ep: Jo Porter, sp: Lara Radulovich, d: Kevin Carlin) for FOXTEL, a modern re-imagination of the popular Prisoner series, and Gallipoli (p: John Edwards, Imogen Banks, Robert Connelly, w: Christopher Lee), a four-part Nine Network mini-series based on the book by Les Carlyon.

Better Man (p: Stephen Corvini, ep: Jason Stephens, w/d: Khoa Do) is a four-part true-crime drama for SBS about the devastating consequences of Van Nguyen’s attempt to traffic heroin from Cambodia to Australia. Parer’s War (p: Andrew Wiseman, w: Alison Nisselle, d: Matthew Saville) is an ABC telemovie biopic about World War II frontline cameraman Damien Parer and his efforts to reveal the truth.

A second series of the ABC’s successful Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (p: Fiona Eagger, Deb Cox, w: Deb Cox, John Banas, Kristen Dunphy, d: Tony Tilse) was also approved for investment.

Children’s television investments include three live-action series: the Network Ten adventure series Sam Fox: Extreme Adventures (p/ep: Suzanne Ryan, w: Keith Thompson) based on the thrilling action adventure books by popular children’s author Justin D’Ath; The Lost Boys (p: Michael McMahon, Tony Ayres, w: Craig Irvin, Rhys Graham, Roger Monk, Elise McCredie, Polly Staniford, Shanti Gudgeon, d: Peter Carstairs, Robert Connelly), a drama series with an online extension for the ABC; and The Worst Year of My Life – Again! (p: Ross Allsop, Bernadette O’Mahony, w: Mark Brotherhood, Brendan Luno, Sam Carroll and others, d: Pino Amenta and others), a comedy-drama series for the ABC.

Dr Harley said, “It’s great to support such a substantial slate of distinctive and compelling adult drama and children’s programs, delivering unique Australian storytelling at its best. Across both adult and children’s television, Screen Australia’s investment commitment will produce 66 hours of television and generate budgets of $73.6 million.”

“Screen Australia is committed to investing in a production slate that encourages new talent, develops successful screen practitioners and promotes ongoing achievement,” concluded Dr Harley.


Unicorn Films
Producer Lizzette Atkins
Writer/Director Anna Broinowski
International Sales High Point Media Group
Australian Distributor Antidote Films
Synopsis A revolutionary film about the cinematic genius of Kim Jong-il with a groundbreaking experiment at its heart: the making of a film-within-a-film, based on the rules of his manifesto The Cinema and Directing. No Western filmmaker has ever done this before – for good reason!

Goalpost Pictures Australia and Blue Tongue Films
Producers Rosemary Blight, Joel Edgerton
Writer Joel Edgerton
Director Matthew Saville
International Sales The Solution
Australian Distributor Roadshow Films
Synopsis Three male detectives become embroiled in a tense struggle after a tragic accident which leaves a small child in a coma. One is guilty; one will try to cover it, and the other attempt to expose it. The crime sends the three men on a thrilling ride where they discover that the road to forgiveness is longer and more complex than that of a simple social justice.

Pointblank Pictures Pty Ltd
Producers Craig Monahan, Tait Brady
Writers Craig Monahan, Alison Nisselle
Director Craig Monahan
International Sales Lightning/Richard Guardian
Australian Distributor Pinnacle
Synopsis Healing is a moving story of redemption, the discovery of hope and its healing of the spirit – in the most unlikely place, for the most unique men, through the most unusual catalyst. 

Porchlight Films Pty Ltd in association with Lava Bear Films LLC
Producers Liz Watts, David Linde, David Michôd
Writer/Director David Michôd
International Sales FilmNation
Australian Distributor Village Roadshow
Synopsis The Australian desert in a dangerous and damaged near future. Eric has left everything, everyone and every semblance of human kindness behind him. And then he has his last possession stolen by a gang of dangerous criminals. Eric sets off on a ruthless mission to track them down, forced along the way to enlist the help of Rey, the naïve and injured junior member of the gang, who was left behind in the bloody chaos of the gang’s most recent robbery. 


FremantleMedia Australia in association with Bravado Productions
Producer Stephen Corvini
Executive Producer Jason Stephens
Writer/Director Khoa Do
Broadcaster SBS
International Sales SBS International 
Synopsis Exactly how much risk would you take to save your brother? For Van Nguyen the answer was whatever it takes, and the devastating consequence of his attempt to traffic heroin from Cambodia to Australia via a change of planes in Singapore was that the 396 grams of drugs that he was discovered carrying was enough to incur the death penalty – 26 times over.

Southern Star Entertainment Pty Ltd
Producers John Edwards, Imogen Banks, Robert Connolly
Writer Christopher Lee (based on the book by Les Carlyon)
Director TBC
Broadcaster Nine Network
International Sales Endemol Worldwide
Synopsis The greatest invasion in the history of warfare was to become a diabolical failure – an eight-month siege where the bravery of Anzac troops was squandered. But in doing so a legend, and a nation, were born.

Every Cloud Productions
Fiona Eagger, Deb Cox
Head Writers Deb Cox, John Banas, Kristen Dunphy
Director Tony Tilse
Broadcaster ABC
International Sales All3Media International
Domestic Sales ABC Commercial
Synopsis Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries series 2 is a 13 x 1-hour murder mystery series based on the novels of Australian author Kerry Greenwood.

Pericles Film Productions Pty Ltd
Producer Andrew Wiseman
Writer Alison Nisselle
Director Matthew Saville
Broadcaster ABC
Domestic Sales Transmission
Synopsis Parer’s War is the story of World War II frontline cameraman Damien Parer and his desperate efforts to reveal the savage truth of battle and the brutal truth of the heart.

FremantleMedia Australia Pty Ltd
Executive Producer Jo Porter
Producer Amanda Crittenden
Script Producer Lara Radulovich
Director Kevin Carlin
International Sales FremantleMedia
Broadcaster FOXTEL
Synopsis We all know Bea Smith ruled Wentworth Detention Centre. She was gutsy and fearless. But who was Bea Smith before prison? How did a wife and mother from the suburbs become a top dog without rival? Where did the confidence and fortitude come from that enabled her to get there, and what injustices and misadventures fuelled her determination to do it? Wentworth is a dynamic, often confronting, drama series that begins with Bea’s early days in prison. Set in the present day, it’s a modern re-imagination of Prisoner.


Matchbox Productions Pty Ltd
Producers Michael McMahon, Tony Ayres
Writers Craig Irvin, Rhys Graham, Roger Monk, Elise McCredie, Polly Staniford, Shanti Gudgeon
Directors Peter Carstairs, Robert Connolly
Broadcaster ABC
International Sales NBCUniversal
Domestic Sales ACTF
Synopsis Four boys get lost in the forest, and discover, when they return home, that they have returned to an alternate world identical to theirs except for one startling difference – they were never born.

SLR Productions Pty Ltd
Producer/Executive Producer Suzanne Ryan
Writer Keith Thompson
Broadcaster Network Ten
International Sales ZDFE
Synopsis Sam Fox: Extreme Adventures is an action-packed adventure series about teenage ‘danger magnet’ Sam Fox as he braves the wilds from open ocean to deepest jungle, coming face to face with killer sharks, man-eating leopards, raging tornadoes, erupting volcanoes, deadly scorpions, giant anacondas and much, much more.

Worst Year Productions Pty Ltd
Producers Ross Allsop, Bernadette O’Mahony
Writers Mark Brotherhood, Brendan Luno, Sam Carroll (and others)
Directors Pino Amenta (and others)
Broadcasters ABC, CBBC (UK)
International Sales ACTF
Synopsis When Alex King goes to bed on the eve of his 15th birthday, he’s relieved that the last disastrous year is finally over. But when he wakes up, time has reset itself and he’s going to have to relive the worst year of his life all over again.

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