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Screen Australia announces production funding for 7 projects

03/02/2021

03 02 2021 - Media release Screen Australia announces production funding for 7 projects

Gemma Bird Matheson, Ren e Webster, Kala Ellis

Two feature films, three television dramas, one children's series and one online project share in $5.9 million of production funding from Screen Australia.

The projects include feature film How To Please A Woman about a woman s choice to take her all-male housecleaning business to a more intimate level; anthology drama series Fires set during last summer's devastating bushfires for the ABC; and a comedy about a single woman and her database of potential sexual partners in Spreadsheet for Viacom CBS.

Screen Australia's Head of Content Sally Caplan said, It's fantastic to kick off 2021 with such a great sample of the premium dramas that have been greenlit across the country. It's testament to the resilience of the screen industry to have so many projects move into production during such a challenging period.

We're so pleased to have supported writer/director Ren e Webster's debut feature How To Please A Woman through Gender Matters and now into production. Webster has created an authentic, moving and funny story exploring female desire and sexuality, and I can't wait to see it brought to life. I'm also looking forward to bold new comedy Spreadsheet, from emerging creator Kala Ellis teaming up with talented writers Romina Accurso, Rhys Nicholson, Darren Ashton, Matilda Brown and Michelle Law.

The feature film projects are:

How To Please A Woman: The debut feature film from Western Australian writer/director Ren e Webster (The Heights). This comedy/drama follows 50-something Gina who has an inspired business idea to launch an all-male house-cleaning business that also provides intimate experiences for the customers. The uptake is instant, and the challenges of the business help Gina realise she must embrace her own desires to have the life she wants. This film is produced by Tania Chambers (Kill Me Three Times) and Judi Levine (Falling for Figaro), and executive produced by Deanne Weir (Babyteeth), Roxana McMallan (Hildegarde), Olivia Humphrey, Adrian and Michela Fini, and Pam and Julius Colman. How To Please A Woman is supported in association with Screenwest and Lotterywest, and was also supported through Screen Australia's Gender Matters initiative.

Gold: A feature film from writer/director/producer Anthony Hayes (Ten Empty), which follows two drifters (played by Hayes and Zac Efron) travelling through the outback who stumble across the biggest gold nugget ever found. They hatch a plan to protect and excavate their bounty but, when one man leaves to get equipment, the other remains and must endure the harsh desert climate, while battling the creeping doubt that he has been abandoned to his own fate. The creative team also features writer Polly Smyth and producers John Schwarz and Michael Schwarz of Deeper Water Films (Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan). The executive producers are Andrew Mann (Buckley's Chance), Peter Touche, Simon Williams, Paul Wiegard, Will Clarke, Andy Mayson, Nick Forward and Mike Runagall. Gold will premiere as a Stan Original following a national theatrical release through Madman in 2021. It is financed in association with Stan, Altitude films, Ingenious Media and with support from the South Australian Film Corporation.

The blocklines for feature film production funding are available here

Gold (Photo credit: Matt Nettheim)

The television projects are:

Fires: A six-part drama for the ABC inspired by extraordinary accounts from people who survived the catastrophic fire season of 2019/20. A serialised anthology, Fires weaves character studies based on true stories into a narrative about the biggest fires of this century. Each episode is based around reports from ordinary people caught in the unimaginable and the impossible choices they were forced to make. From volunteer firefighters risking everything, to families who lost homes and loved ones; from people who had to make agonising decisions about whether to stay or flee, to those who found themselves responsible for the lives of friends and strangers - Fires tells the story of how one summer changed us forever. The writing team, led by showrunner/writer Belinda Chayko (Safe Harbour) includes Jacquelin Perske (The Cry), Mirrah Foulkes (Judy and Punch), Steven McGregor (Mystery Road) and Anya Beyersdorf (Eden). Fires is produced by Elisa Argenzio (Lambs of God) and executive produced by Tony Ayres (Stateless), Andrea Denholm (How To Stay Married) and Liz Watts (The King). This project is financed with support from the ABC and supported by Film Victoria through the Victorian Screen Incentive and Regional Location Assistance Fund.

Frayed Season 2: A six-part second season for the ABC and Sky Studios from Merman and Guesswork Television. Season two picks up back in London, where the lives and secrets of the Cooper family unravel further as they deal with the ramifications of season one's explosive finale and their Australian past insists on catching up with them. Returning for the second season is series creator, writer and BAFTA-nominated actor Sarah Kendall, director Shaun Wilson, producer Nicole O Donohue and executive producers Kevin Whyte, Clelia Mountford and Sharon Horgan. The series is financed with support from Screen NSW and international sales will be managed by NBCUniversal Global Distribution on behalf of Sky Studios.

Spreadsheet: An eight-part comedy series for Viacom CBS about recently divorced, hectically busy mother-of-two Lauren who is looking for sex without commitment. With the help of her best friend Alex, the Spreadsheet' is born: a database of options to sleep with. Lauren is determined to prove women can play men at their own game, from mastering casual sex, to a career, her family and he
LINK: https://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/sa/media-centre/news/2021/02-03-scr...
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