SCREEN AUSTRALIA ANNOUNCES $5.4 MILLION INVESTMENT IN SIX UPCOMING FEATURES

SCREEN AUSTRALIA announced on Friday the 18th Oct the recent investment of $5.4 million in six upcoming feature films which is expected to trigger a production expenditure of around $32 million.

Chief executive for SCREEN OZ, Ruth Harley is quoted as saying: “The feature slate announced today includes exciting projects from some of Australia’s most loved and acclaimed directors such as Gillian Armstrong and Paul Cox, as well as projects from rising directorial talents such as Mark Grentell, Alexs Stadermann and Kim Farrant.”

“Kim Farrant’s Strangerland has an incredible cast including Nicole Kidman, Guy Pearce and Hugo Weaving, a strong creative vision and massive A-list festival potential, and Last Cab to Darwin from director Jeremy Sims is an entertaining and distinctly Australian story.

“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to invest in Maya the Bee Movie, a 3D animation feature film for young children. Australian children will see a home-grown product, and given the global strength of the brand, the film also has huge international appeal,” said Dr Harley.

New directer Mark Grentell will make his feature film debut with the comedy/drama Backyard Ashes. The film is written by Mark Grentell, Peter Cox and produced by Anne Robinson.The story is about an Englishman and an Australian whose rivalry is fought out on a sacred backyard pitch; in the cricketing match of a lifetime. Casting includes Andrew S. Gilbert, John Wood, Rebecca Massey, Felix Williamson, and Damian Callinan.
Watch the trailer below.

Kim Farrant’s Strangerland is a drama/mystery about a couple whose lives come unstuck when their children mysteriously disappear in the Australia outback. The film is written by Fiona Seres and Michael Kinirons.

Women He’s Undressed, is a behind-the-scene theatrical documentary on legendary Australian costume designer Orry-Kelly whose prolific career took place in the golden age of Hollywood. Directed by Gillian Armstrong the film is written by Katherine Thomson.

Writer-director Paul Cox is bringing a semi-autobiographical film to the screen, partially based on his own experiences with liver cancer. Force of Destiny tells the story of an artist suffering from liver cancer who finds a new lease on life after a transplant operation; starring David Wenham in the lead.

 

Similarly, Last Cab to Darwin has a dying protagonist cab driver played by Michael Caton; who is determined to shake of the mortal coil on his own terms. Directed by Jeremy Sims, the film takes place on a final epic road-trip from Broken Hill to Darwin. The Northern Territory’s euthanasia laws come into play with Jackie Weaver slated to play doctor to Caton’s ill cabbie.

 

Finally, Maya the Bee Movie directed by Alexs Stadermann is a 3D animation for children; based on books and a tv series. The film is a German-Australian co-production and was written by Fin Edquist.

 

BACKYARD ASHES
Crow Crow Productions
Producers Anne Robinson, Mark Grentell, Peter Cox
Writers Mark Grentell, Peter Cox
Director Mark Grentell
International Sales Level K
Australian Distributor Umbrella Entertainment
Synopsis Aussie versus Pom rivalry peaks when Dougie and Edward fight it out in the cricketing challenge of the century… the ‘Backyard Ashes’.

FORCE OF DESTINY
Paul’s Next Feature Pty Ltd
Producers Mark Patterson, Maggie Miles, Paul Cox
Writer Paul Cox
Director Paul Cox
International Sales Arrow Entertainment
Australian Distributor CinemaPlus
Synopsis Established artist Robert is told he has cancer of the liver and limited time to live… And so begins a love story. Another screen gem from veteran director Paul Cox, invested with the poignancy of an almost-true story.

LAST CAB TO DARWIN
Hydra Hamlet Pty Ltd
Producers Greg Duffy, Lisa Duff, Jeremy Sims
Executive Producers Ned Lander, Edward Simpson, Ian Darling, Mark Nelson, Andrew Myer, Jon Adgemis
Writer Reg Cribb
Director Jeremy Sims
International Sales Films Boutique/Films Distribution
Australian Distributor Icon Film Distribution
Synopsis Rex is a loner, and when he’s told he doesn’t have long to live, he embarks on an epic drive from Broken Hill to Darwin to die on his own terms; but his journey reveals to him that before you can end your life you have to live it, and to live it, you’ve got to share it.

MAYA THE BEE MOVIE
Official Germany–Australia Co-production
Buzz Studios Pty Ltd in association with Flying Bark Productions
Producer Barbara Stephen
Executive Producer Jim Ballantine
Writer Fin Edquist
Director Alexs Stadermann
International Sales Wavery Productions BV
Australian Distributor Buzz Studios/Hoyts Jnr.
Synopsis Maya is a little bee with a big personality. But in a hive where fitting in is the most important thing, being different isn’t easy.

STRANGERLAND                                        
Dragonfly Pictures Pty Ltd and Fastnet Films
Gap funding Worldview Entertainment
Producers Naomi Wenck, Macdara Kelleher
Executive Producers Christopher Woodrow, Molly Conners, Maria Cestone, Sarah E. Johnson, Andrew Mackie, Richard Payten
Writers Fiona Seres, Michael Kinirons
Director Kim Farrant
Cast Nicole Kidman, Guy Pearce, Hugo Weaving
International Sales Wild Bunch
Australian Distributor Transmission
Synopsis When Catherine and Matthew Parker’s two teenage children disappear into the remote Australian desert, their relationship is pushed to the brink as they confront the mystery of their children’s fate.

WOMEN HE’S UNDRESSED
Damien Parer Productions Pty Ltd
Producer Damien Parer
Executive Producer Michael Wrenn
Director Gillian Armstrong
Writer Katherine Thomson
International Sales Hollywood Classics
Australian Distributor Rialto Films, Pay TV Rights – Foxtel Broadcasting
Synopsis Orry-Kelly designed costumes for Marilyn Monroe, Jane Fonda, Bette Davis and Ava Gardner during the boom years of Hollywood. His films included Some Like It Hot, Casablanca, Now Voyager and Oklahoma. This feature-length documentary celebrates the colourful life of Australia’s greatest Oscar® winner.

More information can be found at the Screen Australia website.

 

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