Screen Australia has announced 17 feature films, two television dramas and one online feature which will share in $700,000 of Story Development funding.
The slate of successful projects includes 11 which have been supported via the Generate Fund and nine through the Premium Fund.
Writer/director Mia Wasikowska’s “Eggshell Skull”, based on the book of the same name by Bri Lee, is one of the projects receiving funding.
The drama film will chart 23-year-old Bri’s journey through the Australian legal system as a judge’s associate and complainant where she is seeking justice for a crime that has haunted her since childhood. It will be produced by Justin Kurzel (“True History of the Kelly Gang”), Shaun Grant (“Penguin Bloom”) and Warwick Holt (“Bruce”).
A mockumentary which will run on TikTok, “CEEBS”, is also receiving funding. The 15-part series will follow Zion and Ruby as they join forces to run for Youth President at their local youth centre. The creative team features writers Betiel Beyin and Leigh Lule, who also worked on “Turn Up The Volume“, and producers Nikki Tran (“Fresh!) and Amie Batalibasi (“Thalu”).
“Method to Madness”, a feature-length psychological thriller, also made the list. Rachele Wiggins is the writer, director and producer. Last year, Wiggins was announced as one of eight Aussie creatives selected for the Talent USA New York program.
Fellow program recipient Vonne Patiag has also received funding for the drama film “Tomgirl”, which he is adapting from his acclaimed short film of the same name that starred Marcus Rivera (pictured above).
In addition, Screen Australia, SBS and NITV have announced three projects from this year’s Digital Originals initiative to receive further development funding.
These projects were selected from the seven teams who received initial development funding in 2022. From here, up to three projects will move into production for SBS platforms and NITV.
The Digital Originals initiative aims to develop exciting and innovative short-form drama projects to premiere as a single episode program on SBS On Demand and NITV, from screen creatives who are currently under-represented in the sector.
The successful projects announced in this round are “Moonbird”, “Moni” and “Warm Props” (working title).
Bobby Romia, Screen Australia’s head of development, said: “It’s fantastic to support this exciting mix of projects including four 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’.”