Dev Patel has partnered with his Hotel Mumbai co-star Tilda Cobham-Hervey and Happy Feet writer John Collee to pen an animated short about a murderous hamster.
The Lion star has co-written Roborovski with the pair and it has received funding from Screen Australia.
Roborovski is a 12-minute animated short and virtual reality project. It follows the eponymous thimble sized hamster, who spends his days in Marvin’s Pet Shop, hoping to find a family. However, when he is constantly overlooked by the people and animals around him his seething resentment and intense jealousy soon takes hold and a murderous side of little Roborovski is released.
Patel and Cobham-Hervey will also co-direct and produce alongside Jomon Thomas (Hotel Mumbai) and co-produced by Mark Grentell (The Merger), and Elaine Beckett. Spectre Studios are working on the VR side and it has been co-funded by Create NSW.
It is the latest project to be funded by the Australian funding agency, which has put A$4M into one feature film, two TV series and three online projects in its latest financing round.
The feature film is Penguim Bloom, which is produced by Bruna Papandrea, Naomi Watts and Emma Cooper. Written by Shaun Grant (True History of the Kelly Gang) and Harry Cripps (The Dry) and directed by Glendyn Ivin (The Cry), the film is based on the best-selling book about a family’s extraordinary friendship with a unique little bird. Watts also stars.
Head of Content at Screen Australia Sally Caplan said, “Screen Australia is committed to funding projects that tell uniquely Australian stories and it’s fantastic to see such a diversity of projects being green lit.”
“We’re particularly pleased to support our content creators to take on new challenges. Tilda Cobham-Hervey, off the back of her directorial debut A Field Guide To Being a 12-Year-Old winning the Crystal Bear for Best Short Film at Berlinale, is now taking creative risks in the VR space,” she added.