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Screen Australia announces $700,000 of story development funding for 20 projects

21/03/2023

21 03 2023 - Media release Screen Australia announces $700,000 of story development funding for 20 projects

Marcus Rivera in Vonne Patiag's short film Tomgirl

Screen Australia has announced 17 feature films, two television dramas and one online feature that will share in $700,000 of Story Development funding. The projects include Eggshell Skull from writer/director Mia Wasikowska based on the book of the same name by Bri Lee; animated family adventure film Laser Beak Man; TikTok mockumentary series CEEBS from two of the writers of ABC ME's Turn Up the Volume; and television dramedy Debatable, executive produced by AACTA award-winning producer Meg O'Connell.

This slate includes 11 projects supported through the Generate Fund and nine through the Premium Fund.

Also announced today are the three successful teams to receive additional development funding through SBS, NITV and Screen Australia's Digital Originals initiative.

Screen Australia's Head of Development Bobby Romia said, It's fantastic to support this exciting mix of projects including two stories for children and families, with Laser Beak Man being adapted from stage to screen, and the re-invigoration of the much-adored Walking with Dinosaurs - The Arena Spectacular' animatronics in The Great Dinosaur Rescue. These heart-warming stories will explore themes including the importance of chasing your dreams, taking care of the planet and the power of teamwork and community.

Providing career development and talent escalation opportunities for local screen practitioners is at the core of what we do and I'm delighted to support alumni from Screen Australia's Talent USA program including Rachele Wiggins with Method to Madness and Vonne Patiag with Tomgirl.

The projects funded for development include:

Anna Robi & the House of Dogs: Adapted from the stage play, this feature-length dramedy is about luminescent optimist Anna Robi, sole carer for her overbearing mother and their once-pedigree dogs, who dreams of romance and independence. But when Anna gets her first startling taste of life and love outside the home, she must choose between the familiar comfort of the whelping box or finally taking off the leash. Stef Smith, whose credits include It's Fine, I'm Fine and Joy Boy is writing and directing, with multiple AWGIE award-winning playwright Maxine Mellor also attached as writer.

CEEBS: A 15-part TikTok mockumentary about recent high-school graduates, Zion and Ruby, who join forces to run for Youth President at their local youth centre. As the PR stunts and presidential pressure intensifies, so do the flaws and insecurities within their friendship begging the question whether their bond will survive fulfilling their duties' as potential mouthpieces for their peers or if sociopolitical collapse is inevitable. The creative team features writers Betiel Beyin and Leigh Lule whose credits include Turn Up the Volume, and producers Nikki Tran (Fresh!) and Amie Batalibasi (Thalu).

Debatable: This eight-part dramedy series follows 15-year-old Hannah, a recently disgraced high-school debater who moves to a small coastal town with her Mum to recover from unspeakable humiliation. As rumours quickly follow, she must think, talk and act fast even if that means joining the new school's motley debating team and learning to speak truth to power. The writers are Jessica Tuckwell (Bump), Enoch Mailangi (Crazy Fun Park), Maddie Nixon and one of the stars of Netflix's Heartbreak High, Thomas Weatherall. Sanja Simi and Diya Eid are attached as development producers, with AACTA award-winning producer Meg O'Connell (Retrograde), Kurt Royan (Retrograde, Lindy Chamberlain: The True Story) and Dan Lake executive producing.

Eggshell Skull: This drama feature film from writer/director Mia Wasikowska (Blueback, Tim Winton's The Turning) is a coming of rage story based on the acclaimed book of the same name by Bri Lee. The film will chart 23-year-old Bri's journey through the Australian legal system as a judge's associate and complainant - seeking justice for a crime that has haunted her since childhood. The story follows Bri as she witnesses confronting cases in the courtroom and tries to manage her own trauma that rises to the surface along the way. Eggshell Skull will be produced by Justin Kurzel (True History of the Kelly Gang), Shaun Grant (Penguin Bloom) and Nicole O Donohue (The Daughter).

Flip: An action-adventure feature film that follows gutsy Aussie teen skateboarder Danni who joins the world's top female skaters in the inaugural Women's World Cup tour. Having never skated in a professional competition before, along the way Danni must fight against ingrained prejudice in her quest to become the first Women's Number One. Directing and producing is Cancelled creator Luke Eve, with Adam Alcabes (Relativity Avengerables) also producing. Attached as writers are Alli Parker (Secret Bridesmaids' Business) and Warwick Holt (Bruce).

The Great Dinosaur Rescue: For 12 years, Creature Technology's pack of animatronic dinosaurs toured the world with Walking with Dinosaurs The Arena Spectacular' - bringing joy to millions of people while celebrating their ancestors. Now retired and gathering dust, waiting to be destroyed, this family feature film will follow brave 10-year-old Spike, who is determined to save the dinosaurs from destruction and find them a new home. Reviving the actual animatronic dinosaurs from the worldwide arena phenomenon, The Great Dinosaur Rescue will be written and produced by Belinda Bradley and Franz Docherty, whose credits include Savage River.

Laser Beak Man: A feature-length family animation that follows superhero and champion of Power City, Laser Beak Man who has the responsibility of bringing colour to his world. But when
LINK: https://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/sa/media-centre/news/2023/03-21-sto...
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