Taking advantage of the 40 percent Australian producer tax offset, Cathy Overett's Brisbane-based Cathartic Pictures will produce two to three local low budget films a year as part of a new joint venture with UK sales agent Stealth Media Group, who will sell the films internationally.
“Stealth was our sales agent on Iron Sky and I had a good relationship with them through that process,” says Overett (pictured). “From a sales point of view, Michael Cowan [Stealth's joint CEO] has always been interested in Australia so I took on joint ventures with him to set up Stealth Australia.”
The first of these projects will be zombie western Bullets for the Dead, a $2 million feature shooting in South East Queensland in July. The film will mark the debut of former Griffith Film School students Joshua C. Birch and Michael Du-Shane, who developed it from their 2011 short, 26 Bullets Dead.
The feature concerns a bounty hunter played by Christopher Sommers (Unfinished Sky, Predestination) who escorts a feisty young woman played by Kathryn Beck (Burning Man, Not Suitable For Children) and her band of misfits to the sheriff. During the journey, he discovers the aftermath of a massacre and rescues a preacher played by Hugh Parker (Crooked Business). Local actors Troy MacKinder (Daybreakers) and Renaud Jadin (My Mistress) will play gang members.
“Because it's low budget, the goal is to do as much in and around Queensland as we can,” says Overett.
Also on the horizon is vampire flick Bite, which is due to shoot in October by Spanish writer-director Alberto Sciamma, who previously directed James Caan in the thriller Jericho Mansions and Lena Headley (Game of Thrones, Dredd) in the mystery Anazapta. Bite will centre on criminals who ultimately meet their match during a kidnapping of a billionaire's daughter.
“We'll also be looking at films that Stealth have onboard internationally that need finance closing and if there are ways we can do these as co-productions nationally,” continues Overett. “The first of those we're discussing is The Originals, a $15 million action adventure based on the birth of the SAS, which we're looking to shoot locally next year.”
Overett is also developing a TV series prequel to her 2012 Finnish-German sci-fi comedy co-production, Iron Sky. “The film did quite well around the world and has developed a good fanbase,” she says. “We've been talking for a while about a prequel and a sequel and we recently did some serious brainstorming with original writer Michael Kalesniko.”
[ Related: Iron Sky sequel launches crowdfunding campaign ]