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Screen Australia announces over $17 million to be invested in 23 projects

18/07/2018

18 07 2018 - Media release Screen Australia announces over $17 million to be invested in 23 projects

New Network 10 drama series Playing For Keeps

Six films, ten television series and seven online productions have received production investment from Screen Australia, totalling well over $17 million. Collectively the projects represent over $142 million in production across the country. The slate includes a movie adaption of Jane Harper's international hit novel The Dry to be directed by veteran filmmaker Robert Connolly and produced by Bruna Papandrea's (Big Little Lies) Made Up Stories. Plus fan-favourite Wyrmwood is set to terrify audiences anew with a virtual reality short film.

Aquarius Films (Lion, Berlin Syndrome) will make the move into children's television with the ABC tween series The Unlisted, and the team behind international award winning film 52 Tuesdays will create a new four-part SBS drama titled The Hunt. Also for SBS, Since 1788 Productions and Queensland's Ludo Studio have received funding to create online Indigenous-led comedy series Robbie Hood with Dylan River (Black Chook, Finke) attached to direct. 10 year Beached Aziversary, the third series of the online sensation Beached Az will go into production for the ABC from the creative team behind Bondi Hipsters.

This slate represents the most money we have ever invested in adult TV drama in a single round. Indeed in the ten years Screen Australia has been operating, the near $20m we have invested in adult TV drama in the 2017/18 financial year is an all-time record, said Graeme Mason, CEO of Screen Australia.

It truly is a remarkable time for Australian television, and it is clear local broadcasters and streaming services see our local stories as their point of difference in an incredibly crowded marketplace. Many of the titles in this round have the makings of returnable series, representing potentially years of work for not only the creative teams, but for the hundreds of cast and crew that it takes to get these stories to screens.

We don't have to look far for a case study of what Australian drama can deliver, with the critically acclaimed Mystery Road TV series having the highest video play measurement* on ABC iview for any drama since data capture began. What's more, Foxtel's Picnic at Hanging Rock is case in point that it's not just Australians that want our stories, with the global marketplace hungry for quality content. The cultural, creative and commercial dividends are clear.

Also in this slate we're thrilled to see Maziar Lahooti (Below) and Natalie Erika James (Relic) making their directorial debuts on new features. Interest in producing premium online content continues to increase, and it's certainly a space we're looking to support emerging talent to take creative risks.

Funded television drama projects include:

Streaming service Stan has commissioned its next original series titled Bloom. This supernatural 6 x 60 minute drama will be produced alongside Playmaker Media and written by Glen Dolman (High Life) with John Curran (Chappaquiddick, Tracks) directing. The series will centre on a small Victorian country town recently devastated by flood. When a strange plant appears that has the power to restore youth, the rejuvenated townsfolk must face the consequences of their new found youth and amend their deepest life regret. Film Victoria are invested in the production.

The Kates' (McCartney and McLennan) will return to the ABC with a second season of their satirical morning television show Get Krack!n. Produced by Tamasin Simpkin and Antje Kulpe, and executive produced by Token's Kevin Whyte (Please Like Me, Rosehaven, The Katering Show), season two of the series will be 8 x 25 minutes and continue to build on its commitment to encourage diversity in the writers room. Film Victoria are also on board to support the second season.

Rebecca Summerton and Sophie Hyde, the producer and directing duo behind Closer Productions have teamed up with a new drama series for SBS, The Hunt. The series will be Closer Productions' first long form television drama project with Sophie Hyde directing and Matthew Cormack (52 Tuesdays) and Niki Aken (The Secret Daughter) on board to write. The 4 x 54 minute female-centric drama centres on two high school teachers who discover students are sharing explicit photos of their underage friends and peers a revelation that puts unbearable stress on the tightly woven lives of four teenagers and their families. South Australian Film Corporation has also invested in the series.

Network Ten alongside the experienced television production company Screentime are set to bring audiences the juicy new 8 x 46 minute drama series Playing for Keeps. The plot is set to follow the male-dominated world of a football club where the real power is with the women. The creative team including writers Claire Phillips and Christine Bartlett are experienced in creating strong female-led dramas having worked on successful series Offspring and The Wrong Girl. Film Victoria have also invested in the production.

Aquarius Films (Lion, Berlin Syndrome) will make their foray into children's television with the highly anticipated tween series, The Unlisted. This 15 x 26 minute series, created by Justine Flynn, has a team of nine writers including Mithila Gupta, Timothy Lee, Tristram Baumber, Jane Allen and Greg Waters. Confirmed directors include Rhys Graham and Corrie Chen. This highly experienced team aim to create a smart action series for children.

A further four television projects were also approved and will be announced later this month.

An additional children's program Spongo, Fuzz and Jalape a also received completion funding.

Approved television drama blocklines can be found here

Approved children's television
LINK: https://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/sa/media-centre/news/2018/07-18-scr...
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