Peter Andrikidis, director of The Kings of Mykonos: Wog Boy 2 and the television series East West 101, is planning to direct a romantic comedy titled Alex & Eve about a Greek man and a Lebanese Muslim woman whose parents set out to destroy their miss-match made in heaven.
Underneath the humour, the script explores the themes of love, race and religion. It is based on a stage play seen by more than 20,000 people throughout Australia and written by Alex Lykos. Veteran television writer Geoffrey Atherden has worked with the playwright on the screen adaptation.
Alex & Eve will be the subject of many meetings this week between the filmmaking team and local distributors, financiers, international sales agents whose job it is to sell films to territories throughout the world, often before filming begins, and other players.
“It's funny, topical and relevant,” says producer Murray Fahey when asked how he will be trying to convince potential partners that the cross-cultural romcom is worth making. Fahey also works as a Sydney solicitor.
Fahey will be one of seven producers trying to get their projects noticed by local and overseas guests at the 9th annual SPAAmart, a financing market which is being held today and tomorrow under the auspices of the annual conference Screen Producers Association of Australia (SPAA), which started last night and runs at the Hilton Hotel until Wednesday.
Financing markets are held regularly throughout the world, often in conjunction with film festivals, and are one way that film buyers can meet filmmakers, learn about projects they might be interested in associating themselves with and better understand the filmmaking framework that operates in host countries. But, in particular, it is about the projects being pitched.
“We have seven projects here that represent the quality and diversity of Australian projects in development,” said SPAAmart director Julie Marlow. “All are extremely distinctive and cinematic, and genres represented include science fiction, broad comedy, noir thriller, techno horror and relationships drama.”
Other projects chosen from the 40 submitted include: The Room, a contained science fiction thriller, about a girl isolated since the age of four because of the deadly virus she carries; Boys Club, a comedy of manners featuring four middle-class 40-something men who form a self help group, and Uno, billed as a European noir which is likely to be made as an Italian/Australian co-production.
The full list of projects is as follows:
Producer Matt Carroll, directors Ian Watson and Andrew Hellen
Producer Leanne Tonkes, director Stephen Lance
Producer Stuart Scowcroft, director Giotto Barbieri
Wake Up Dead
Producers Joel Cohn and Josh Butt, director Joel Cohen
Producer Tony Leach, director Paul Elliott
Producers Karin Altmann and Sue Maslin, director Marcus Cole
Alex & Eve
Producer Murray Fahey, director Peter Andrikidis