Screen Australia Backs Film, TV Projects Budgeted At $64 Million

Don Groves is a Deadline contributor based in Sydney

New films from Red Dog director Kriv Stenders, Samson & Delilah helmer Warwick Thornton and first-time feature directors Wayne Hope and Kasimir Burgess are among 11 film and TV projects that secured funding Monday local time from Screen Australia. The agency is investing more than $A11.4 million ($12 million) in five features, five adult TV drama series and one children’s series, with combined budgets of more than $64 million. Stenders will direct Kill Me Three Times, a black comedic thriller set in an Australian coastal town written by James McFarland, starring Abbie Cornish, Alice Braga and Sullivan Stapleton; WME and Cargo Entertainment are handling international sales and Hopscotch eOne is the Australian distributor. Thornton’s The Darkside is a collection of ghost tales related by actors including The Sapphires’ Deborah Mailman and Sheri Sebbens, Bryan Brown, Brendan Cowell and Sacha Horler, which will give an indigenous perspective on the afterlife; Transmission will release locally. An experienced TV director, Hope will tackle Now Add Honey, a comedy about a suburban family whose life implodes when their pop star cousin comes to stay, written by his wife Robyn Butler; Lightning Entertainment has foreign and Roadshow will distribute in Australia. Burgess, whose short “Lily” won the 2011 Berlinale Crystal Bear, will make Fell, a fable of revenge, redemption and renewal scripted by Natasha Pincus; Maze Film Sales/The Yellow Affair are handling foreign sales and Footprint is the Oz distributor.

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