Freelance journalist Don Groves is a Deadline contributor based in Sydney
Continuing a mini-boom in Australian films tackling indigenous themes, Around the Block starts shooting in Sydney on Monday. Christina Ricci stars as an American drama teacher who reaches out to a troubled Aboriginal teenager. In the vein of Dangerous Minds, the film marks the feature debut of writer-director Sarah Spillane and is set in an inner-city during rioting by the Aboriginal residents. Hunter Page-Lochard, whose credits include The Sapphires (which The Weinstein Co acquired in Cannes), plays the teen who is pressured to take part in a revenge killing. Exec producer Jack Thompson also stars along with Damian Walshe-Howling. Producers are Spillane’s Kick Pictures and Brian Rosen and Su Armstrong’s Tree Films. Arclight has worldwide sales and Rosen tells Deadline the producers will apply for funding from the agencies Screen Australia and Screen NSW as well as using the 40% producer offset. Ricci is repped by ICM Partners.