A diverse range of local films from both recognised and emerging filmmakers have recently received the green light, thanks in part to Screen Australia funding.
Jonathan Teplitzky, the director behind The Railway Man (released nationally on Boxing Day), will tackle another true story with Choir of Hard Knocks, concerning a wayward group of individuals who find new purpose after joining a choir. Me Myself I writer-director Pip Karmel is attached as scribe, while Marian Macgowan (South Solitary) is set to produce.
Having just began pre-production on an adaptation of Macbeth with Michael Fassbender (due for a London shoot in January), Justin Kurzel (Snowtown; pictured) is now attached to direct a western with an adaptation of Peter Carey's highly praised novel True History of the Kelly Gang. The screenplay is by Joe Penhall (The Road) while Liz Watts (Animal Kingdom) is the producer. Kurzel was set to direct an adaptation of the John Le Carre thriller Our Kind of Traitor, but recently dropped out. That film will now be directed by Susanna White (Parade's End).
The writer behind Kurzel's Snowtown, Shaun Grant, has penned the thriller Berlin Syndrome for acclaimed filmmaker Cate Shortland (Lore) to direct. The story finds a holiday romance turn obsessive when a photojournalist is locked inside a Berlin apartment by her new lover.
Also delivering thrills will be The End of Everything, based on the bestseller by Megan Abbott. Produced and written by Kristian Moliere and Andy Cox (both of whom collaborated on Kriv Stenders' early western Lucky Country aka Dark Frontier), the narrative follows two inseparable teens whose relationship is suddenly torn apart when one of them mysteriously disappears.
Comedy drama Seriously Red follows a clown who decides to reinvent herself as a Dolly Parton impersonator. Matt Reeder, who worked on Josh Lawson's recently wrapped The Little Death, will produce from a script by debut writer Krew Boylan.
Rom-com EM will offer an Australian perspective to Jane Austen's Emma, courtesy of first-time director Kate Riedl. Co-screenwriters are Emma Jensen and Matthew Dabner (Cedar Boys). Dabner will also produce with Karen Radzyner (Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo) and Anna Vincent.
Antony I. Ginnane, the veteran producer behind both Patrick horror incarnations, will develop another re-imagining of one of his infamous 'Ozploitation' entries – this time the notorious 1982 thriller Turkey Shoot, re-titled Turkey Shoot Resurrected. Jon Hewitt (Acolytes, X) is in line to direct from a script by actress turned screenwriter Belinda McClory, who previously wrote Hewitt's 2006 drama Darklovestory.
Greg Mclean, a director primarily known for his menacing Wolf Creek horror films, will switch tactics with World War II drama The Rats of Tobruk. The title comes from the name given to the four comrades who held the Libyan port of Tobruk and the story will be written by writer-director Max Mannix (Rain Fall). Pioneering Australian director Charles Chauvel previously made a film on the soldiers in 1944.
Aussie auteur Bruce Beresford is attached to Zebras, a true life drama set in South Africa in 1983 where a man coaches a mixed race team to the championship despite racist Apartheid laws. David Williamson, the veteran screenwriter behind Gallipoli who also adapted his own play Don's Party for Beresford in 1976, is the writer, while the equally esteemed Jim McElroy (Picnic at Hanging Rock) is one of the producers.
Beresford is one of numerous talking heads in the already completed Masterminds: State of the Union, a feature documentary that explores the evolving producer/director partnership in a rapidly changing industry. Debut feature documentarian Corey Baudinette is the producing director behind this doco which also includes commentary from Robert Connolly, Jan Chapman and the 87-year-old producer of The Graduate, Lawrence Turman, amongst others.
See below for the complete list of Screen Australia funded projects.
Genre Drama, Comedy
Producers Helen Panckhurst, Michael McMahon
Executive Producer Tony Ayres
Writers Andrew Knight, Osamah Sami
Producer/Writer/Director Rachel Griffiths
Producer Louise Smith
Writer Samantha Strauss
Producers Polly Staniford
Executive Producer Angie Fielder
Writer Shaun Grant
Director Cate Shortland
Synopsis: A passionate holiday romance leads to an obsessive relationship, when an Australian photojournalist wakes one morning in a Berlin apartment and is unable to leave.
Boys in the Trees
Producer John Molloy
Executive Producer Michael Gudinski
Writer/Director Nicholas Verso
Synopsis: Two estranged teens begrudgingly find themselves walking home together on Halloween, 1997, embarking on a surreal journey through their memories, dreams and fears.
Choir of Hard Knocks
Genre Comedy, Drama
Producer Marian Macgowan
Writer Pip Karmel
Director Jonathan Teplitzky
Synopsis: A disparate and desperate group of people transcend their hopelessness and band together to find their voice, rediscovering, under the baton of their choirmaster, a dignity and purpose that their ravaged lives had threatened to destroy.
Genre Romantic comedy
Producers Matthew Dabner, Karen Radzyner, Anna Vincent
Writers Matthew Dabner, Emma Jensen
Director Kate Riedl
Synopsis: Jane Austen's Emma down under.
The End of Everything
Genre Thriller, Crime
Producer Kristian Moliere
Writer Andy Cox
Synopsis: When Lizzie's best friend, Evie, disappears, Lizzie takes up her own pursuit of the truth, pushing herself into the dark centre of Evie's teenage world until she begins to wonder whether she really knew her friend at all.
Producer Tara Morice
Executive Producer Martin Fabinyi
Writer Isobelle Carmody
Director Luke Doolan
Synopsis: Struggling to cope with his mother's death, Jack enters a strange, grey world and begins to write a story for his little sister.
Genre Animated feature
Producer Jessica Brentnall
Executive Producer Timothy White
Writers Ari Gibson, Eddie White
Palm Beach (Those Were the Days)
Genre Dramatic Comedy
Producers Bryan Brown, Deb Balderstone
Writer Joanna Murray-Smith
The Rats of Tobruk
Genre Action Adventure
Writer Max Mannix
Director Greg Mclean
Synopsis: North Africa, 1941. Four young mates fighting in World War II make history by stopping Erwin Rommel's dreaded Panzer Divisions at Tobruk.
Producers Heather Ogilvie, Sarah Radclyffe
Executive Producer Bruce Davey
Writer Jan Sardi
Synopsis: On a windswept English beach, what two women discover will challenge the way we see the world and ultimately test their friendship. Based on the acclaimed novel by Tracy Chevalier.
Producer Heather Ogilvie
Writer Ross Grayson Bell
Director Megan Simpson Huberman
Synopsis: A high-flying magazine editor turns her back on her career after the sudden death of her husband and brother. Sometimes salvation turns out to be a place of unexpected beauty.
Producer Matt Reeder
Writer Krew Boylan
Synopsis: A self-confessed clown decides to take herself seriously by becoming a Dolly Parton impersonator. To find who she really is she first has to become someone else.
This Year's Ashes
Writer Jane Bodie
Synopsis: A touching urban fable of connection and redemption, adapted from the 2011 stage play of the same name.
True History of the Kelly Gang
Genre Thriller, Western
Producer Liz Watts
Writer Joe Penhall
Director Justin Kurzel
Synopsis: Based on Peter Carey's award-winning novel, Justin Kurzel's True History of the Kelly Gang is a fresh and startling take on this familiar tale.
Turkey Shoot Resurrected
Genre Action Adventure, Thriller
Producer Antony I. Ginnane
Writers Belinda McClory, Jon Hewitt
Director Jon Hewitt
Synopsis: Disgraced ex-Navy SEAL Rich Tyler is the next contestant – number #777 – in the kill-or-be-killed smash hit TV reality show, Turkey Shoot.
Producers Jim McElroy, Marta McElroy
Co- Producer Michael S Murphey
Writer David Williamson
Director Bruce Beresford
Synopsis: In South Africa in 1983, one man defies racist Apartheid laws when he coaches a multi-racial team to a championship. Based on a true story.