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Screen Australia has announced over $1 million of development funding for 15 television dramas, 11 feature films and five online projects.
These include science fiction drama Immersion from Lion director Garth Davis; a queer family drama from writer/director Sophie Hyde called Jimpa; plus successful online series Girl, Interpreted expanding into television, and a unique comedy from the Northern Territory, The Hairy Marys.
Louise Gough, Screen Australia’s Head of Development said, “Screen Australia is delighted to be able to support such a fantastic mix of originals and adaptations from established and new talent. We’re pleased to see a diversity of themes and genres, from coming of age, to gripping thrillers, queer quests and absurdist comedy, that have the potential to connect with a wide range of audiences.”
“Now five months into the job as the new Head of Development, it’s thrilling to see the stories that are being developed, the hands they are in, the formats being written for, and the audiences these stories seek to connect with. We look forward to continued engagement with talent and the content they are developing,” Gough continued.
Of the 31 projects, 22 have been funded through the Generate stream and nine have been funded through the Premium stream.
Aquarius Films Pty Ltd
Directors Phoenix Raei, Rhys Graham
Writers Abdul Karim Hekmat, Roger Monk
Producers Angie Fielder, Polly Staniford, Osamah Sami
Synopsis Paradise is the powerful true story of two men who meet and fall in love in an Australian offshore detention centre. Their relationship becomes a life-affirming source of strength as they take on institutional indifference and overcome hopelessness, finally making their way to freedom.
Closer Screens Pty Ltd
Director Sophie Hyde
Writers Sophie Hyde, Matthew Cormack
Producers Liam Heyen, Sophie Hyde
Executive Producer Audrey Mason-Hyde
Synopsis A straight woman, her Queer family, and a life changing visit. Acclaimed director Sophie Hyde’s most personal film yet – JIMPA – is a celebration of LGBTQI+ culture and considers, with nuance, the conflict and connection of a multigenerational Queer family on screen.
BLUEY (WORKING TITLE)
Genre Drama, Coming of Age
Writer Director Darlene Johnson
Producers Darlene Johnson, Tania Chambers
Synopsis Bluey, an angry young woman trapped in a life of violence, meets a mystery mentor who could change everything. Bluey is a story of courage, transformation and survival.
Blackfella Films Pty Ltd
Writer/Director Amanda Blue
Producers Darren Dale, Erin Bretherton
Synopsis A curious teenage girl escapes the restrictive confines of her migrant suburban community to discover love, her sexuality and acceptance in 1980s queer Sydney.
Everyone We Know
Director Jessica Barclay Lawton
Writers Jessica Barclay Lawton, Zef Aster
Producer Lizzie Cater, Zef Aster
Executive Producer Kate Laurie
Synopsis A genderqueer 21-year-old is propelled into a complicated sexual awakening, while they wrestle the angst and restlessness of a young life in crisis.
Triptych Pictures Pty Ltd
Genre Drama, Science Fiction, Psychological
Director Hannah Hilliard
Writers Hannah Hilliard, Ian Shadwell
Producer Kristian Moliere
Synopsis When gifted computer scientist Beth Francis resurrects her dead sister Ivy as an Artificial Consciousness, she hopes to heal her grief and revolutionise science. But as Virtual Ivy struggles with her new identity, she shines the light on Beth’s fractured relationship with their mother, drawing them into a re-examination of the circumstances leading up to her unexplained death. As Virtual Ivy’s intelligence grows, Beth confronts the possibility that she may become more powerful than the women who made her.
DOWN THE HUME
Azure Productions Pty Ltd
Genre Drama, Neo-noir
Director Craig Boreham
Writers Craig Boreham, Peter Polites, Adrian Chiarella
Producers Annmaree J Bell, Paul Struthers
Synopsis When Bux, a young gay Greek man, suspects his Anglo boyfriend, Nice Arms Pete, is stepping out on him he decides to stalk him amongst the gay beats of the western suburbs. But he soon discovers that the web of betrayal goes far deeper than he could ever have imagined.
SWEET MILK LAKE
Writer Harvey Zielinski
Producers Rosie Lourde, Harvey Zielinski
Synopsis After being mistaken for his alpha-cis twin brother by his estranged and dying dad, a soft-spoken trans-man relishes the opportunity to be “one of the boys”; until the weight of the lie becomes heavier than his need for the truth.
Carolyn Johnson Films Pty Ltd
Writers/Directors Amin Palangi, Eve Spence
Producer Carolyn Johnson
Synopsis Kayla, a couch-surfing young woman in need of a home, sets out to find her estranged cousin who can support her. Then she meets a refugee with nothing to offer but love. Will Kayla risk her newfound security for him?
Simpatico Films Pty Ltd
Genre Drama, Crime
Writer/Director Charles Williams
Producer Marian Macgowan
Synopsis When a soon-to-be-paroled inmate manipulates a juvenile into murdering Australia’s most infamous never-to-be released prisoner, a strange paternal love triangle forms, with transformative and shocking consequences for all.
TAKE ME HOME
Sweetshop & Green
Genre Comedy, Drama
Director Sameh Zoabi
Writers Sarah Bassiuoni, Sameh Zoabi
Script Editor Matthew Dabner
Producer Gal Greenspan, Amir Harel
Synopsis When Sara Mustafa (20s) is contacted by her estranged father, she reluctantly agrees to fulfil his dying wish – repatriate his remains to his birthplace of East Jerusalem, for burial. Travelling from Sydney, to Amman, to Jerusalem, and into the house of her embattled grandmother, Sara discovers the family she’s never known, and understands the bitter legacy of a childish decision that kept her Palestinian father from his homeland until his death.