Screen Australia announces big investment

Posted Monday 08 Jul 2013

Screen Australia has announced close to $15.5 million investment in three feature projects, and looking to continue the recent quality slate of locally produce d television drama, has also invested in five drama series, a telemovie and three children series.

Feature projects include Balibo director Robert Connolly's Paper Planes, a children's drama penned by Steve Worland about a young boy from a small outback town who dreams of competing in the World Paper Plane Championships in Japan.

Also included in this trio of features is a new film from co-writers and directors Amiel Courtin-Wilson (pictured) and Michael Cody, who most recently teamed up for the hard-hitting but compelling Hail. Their new project, Ruin, is a low-budget drama set in modern-day Cambodia.

Promising emerging director Ariel Kleiman has also been given support to make his debut feature, Partisan, a confronting tale he co-wrote with Sarah Cyngler about a young boy who is starting to break out on his own.

In the first of two television funding rounds for 2013/14, adult television drama investments include ANZAC Girls, a six-part period drama series produced for the ABC, based on the extraordinary young Australian and New Zealander women who served as nurses in World War I.

Also to receive backing is The Gallipoli Story, a new four-part mini-series produced for Foxtel about three journalists sent with the troops to Gallipoli in 1915, and how their quest for the truth helped change the war's course. The mini-series has a wealth of writing talent on board including Jacquelin Perske (Little Fish), Shaun Grant (Snowtown, Killing Time), Cate Shortland (Somersault, Lore) and Stuart Beattie (Australia, Tomorrow, When The War Began, I, Frankenstein).

Other funding recipients in the television drama stakes is the eight-part series for Channel Nine,Love Child, a character drama set in 1969 in Kings Cross, a time and place in which Australia is deemed to have "come of age".

Producers John Edwards and Imogen Banks (Offspring, Puberty Blues) are championing a new six-part series for Network Ten, to be penned by Michael Lucas (Offspring, Not Suitable For Children), about a woman's campaign to be the next State Premier and the complications that arise when her ex-lover is announced as the new leader of the opposition.

The SBS cult comedy series, Danger 5, will receive investment for a second season and will see writer/director Dario Russo and writer David Ashby again returning for more Hitler-related satire.

The two-part telemovie to receive funding is Catching Milat, a production for Channel Seven to be directed by Peter Andrikidis based on the true story of the investigation that led to the arrest of serial killer Ivan Milat.

Children's drama investments include the live-action adventure In Your Dreams for Seven Network, the ABC3 mockumentary comedy series about what happens at snack time in the primary school playground, Little Lunch, and the second series of Mako Island of Secrets.

More on Screen Australia here.