Top End Wedding, Sapphires, Shakespeare Now in development for TV

Screen Australia development funding includes new TV adaptations, sci-fi, comedy, thriller and animation.

New TV drama projects including the Margot Robbie-produced Shakespeare Now for ABC, an adaptation of Top End Wedding, an animated series of The Sapphires have received story development funding from Screen Australia.

There are also new projects from Richard Roxburgh with Rake producers, Asher Keddie with Offspring producers (it isn’t clear if they will star) as well as from Lingo, producers behind Lambs of God and The Secrets She Keeps.

$1.6 million of Story Development funding includes 14 feature films, eight online projects and 20 television projects.

Screen Australia’s Head of Development Nerida Moore said, “While this has been a turbulent, challenging time for many in the industry, it hasn’t stopped the drive, passion and imagination of Australian creative teams. In fact we have continued to see applications coming through with really strong and distinctive content, with the application numbers across March-June this year up 76% on the same period last year.”

In the last 12 months, Screen Australia has provided funds to a total of 110 projects out of a pool of 508 projects that were creatively assessed. This included 50 through the Generate Fund for lower budget projects and 60 through the Premium Fund for higher budget projects from established creators.

“We are really pleased to see more ambitious television projects in the pipeline, with 32 television projects funded through the Premium stream in the past 12 months, up from 12 projects last year.”


DNA Dad (Working Title)
Northern Pictures Pty Ltd
Genre Comedy
Director Darren Ashton
Writers Darren Ashton, Ben Miller
Creative Consultant Cian O’Clery
Producers Ben Miller, Joanne Weatherstone
Executive Producer Catherine Nebauer
Synopsis When a neurologically diverse young man discovers his biological father is UK actor Ben Miller, he heads to London to meet him. But Ben barely has time for his young family, let alone a grown-up son.

Find Me
Closer Screens Pty Ltd
Genre Drama, Science fiction
Writer Matthew Cormack
Producer Rebecca Summerton
Executive Producer Matthew Cormack
Synopsis Based on the novel by Laura van den Berg, Find Me is a science-fiction drama series about a young woman, Joy – an unreliable narrator who’s repressed her traumatic past – who finds herself immune to a sickness sweeping the country which causes sufferers to forget (everything) and decides that she is key to finding the cure to the pandemic.

Princess Pictures Holdings Pty Ltd
Genre Drama, Thriller, Crime
Director Anna Dokoza
Writer David Chidlow
Producer Laura Waters
Executive Producer Emma Fitzsimons
Synopsis Based on true events, 40 years after the fact, a young woman battles to clear the name of a relative wrongfully convicted of an attempted terrorism attack. Along the way she uncovers systematic abuse and violence, espionage and some really, really dodgy cops.

Gold Diggers
Kojo Productions Pty Ltd
Genre Comedy
Director Shannon Murphy
Writer Jack Yabsley
Script Producer Trudi-Ann Tierney
Co-Producer Kate Butler
Producer Muffy Potter
Executive Producers Linda Ujuk, JP Sarni, Greg Silverman, Michael Horrocks
Synopsis Desperate for money, love and freedom, sisters Gert and Marigold Brewer move to the gold rush to hustle their way to success.

Magic Beach
Arenamedia Pty Ltd
Genre Family, Animation
Creator Robert Connolly
Writers/Directors Susan Danta, Pierce Davison, Jake Duczynski, Emma Kelly, Anthony Lucas, Simon Rippingale, Marieka Walsh, Eddie White, Lee Whitmore, Kathy Sarpi
Producers Robert Connolly, Liz Kearney
Synopsis Based on Alison Lester’s much-loved illustrated children’s book, Magic Beach is reimagined as an innovative screen production (episodic short-form and companion feature film), with a unique mix of live action entwined with extraordinary animated stories from 10 leading Australian animators.

Easy Tiger Productions Pty Ltd
Genre YA Drama
Writer/Director Hannah Lehmann
Producer Rob Gibson, Ian Collie
Synopsis Following a freak accident, Cyd (17) is diagnosed with retrograde amnesia and hallucinates a counter reality in the future. Convinced she is dreaming, Cyd focuses on recovery and returning to her highschool life – until she is confronted with the possibility that her counter reality might be the real one.

New Animal
Lingo Pictures Pty Ltd
Genre Drama
Writer Marieke Hardy
Producers Jason Stephens, Helen Bowden
Synopsis After the sudden death of her mother, a 28-year-old woman who works as a cosmetician at a family funeral parlour is drawn into the local BDSM community to process her grief.

Over And Out
Midwinter Films, Easy Tiger, 33 Films
Genre Comedy
Writers Adele Vuko, Christiaan Van Vuuren
Producers Bridget Callow-Wright, Rob Gibson
Executive Producer Ian Collie
Synopsis Two parents, Lewis and Freya, are struggling to survive the trials and tribulations of raising toddlers… Whilst being smack bang in the middle of the post-apocalypse.

The Stranger (Working Title)
Werner Film Productions Pty Ltd
Genre Drama
Creator Angela Betzien
Writers Angela Betzien, Jada Alberts and Kylie Needham
Producer Joanna Werner
Synopsis A television adaptation of a classic Australian novel.

A Top End Wedding Story
Goalpost Television Pty Ltd
Genre Drama, Romantic comedy
Writers Miranda Tapsell, Joshua Tyler
Producers Rosemary Blight, Kylie du Fresne
Co-Producers Miranda Tapsell, Joshua Tyler
Synopsis A one-hour comedy drama based on the Australian hit film Top End Wedding.

Shakespeare Now
Hoodlum Entertainment, LuckyChap Entertainment
Genre Drama
Creative teams Anya Beyersdorf, Corrie Chen, Lucy Coleman, Elissa Down, Anchuli Felicia King, Michelle Law, Claire McCarthy, Elise McCredie, Leah Purcell, Amelia Roper, Sarah Scheller, Nadine von Cohen, Vivienne Walshe, Rachel Ward
Executive Producers Sally Riley, Margot Robbie, Brett Hedblom, Tom Ackerley, Josey McNamara, Tracey Robertson, Nathan Mayfield, Kerrin McNeil
Synopsis Shakespeare Now is a bold anthology series led by all-female creative teams. Adaptations of Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest, MacBeth, Love’s Labour’s Lost, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Richard III, The Merchant of Venice and Twelfth Night, will be re-imagined, afresh, for television.

Werner Film Productions Pty Ltd
Genre Action adventure, Comedy, Mystery, Science fiction
Creator Keir Wilkins
Writers Keir Wilkins, Mithila Gupta, Michele Lee
Producer Joanna Werner
Synopsis When six chronically ill teens discover they are the only people immune to the alien virus sweeping across Australia, they must bust out of the Undiagnosable Diseases Unit they call home and kick some serious alien patootie in a battle to save humanity.

The Lost Flowers Of Alice Hart (Working Title)
Made Up Stories
Genre Drama, Mystery
Writers Sarah Lambert, Kirsty Fisher, Kim Wilson
Producers Bruna Papandrea, Jodi Matterson, Steve Hutensky
Executive Producers Bruna Papandrea, Jodi Matterson, Steve Hutensky, Sarah Lambert
Synopsis The Lost Flowers Of Alice Hart is about a girl whose violent childhood casts a dark shadow over her adult life.

The Mayor Of Nothing
Easy Tiger Productions Pty Ltd
Genre Comedy, Drama, Family
Directors David Michod, Mirrah Foulkes
Writers Andrew Knight, Mirrah Foulkes
Producers Rob Gibson, Ian Collie, Richard Roxburgh
Synopsis Carl, a usually cautious and sensible insurance broker, does something truly unexpected: in a grief-induced act of insanity, he buys a rundown village in rural Italy and drags his three daughters on an ill-conceived restoration mission.

The Sapphires Animation
Goalpost Television Pty Ltd
Genre Comedy, Musical, Family
Writer Kodie Bedford
Producers Rosemary Blight, Tony Briggs, Kylie du Fresne
Synopsis A celebration of sisterhood, sass and sweet, sweet grooves. Inspired by the much-loved film The Sapphires animated series reimagines the four girls growing up in today’s world, as they follow their musical dreams, and in the process learn about life, love, and who they are.

Lingo Pictures Pty Ltd
Genre Drama
Writers Sarah Walker
Producer Helen Bowden
Executive Producer Jason Stephens
Synopsis A mysterious young woman will upend the lives of two women in a story about infidelity, forced adoption, and many, many secrets.

The Sisters Antipodes
Endemol Shine Banks
Genre Drama
Writers Fiona Seres, Rebecca Rigg
Producers Imogen Banks, Asher Keddie
Synopsis In 1965, two families collide. Affairs ignite, couples switch and the scandal pushes the realigned families to opposite sides of the world. Reeling, two little girls are given each other’s fathers. The Sisters Antipodes is the ensuing story of the lifelong competition between them and the tragedy that ends it.

The White Room
Goalpost Television Pty Ltd
Genre Thriller, Crime
Writer Josh Whiteman
Story Consultant Dr Jane Park
Script Editor Jane Allen
Producers Kylie du Fresne, Rosemary Blight, Les Hill
Synopsis After undergoing illegal stem cell surgery in Korea, a brilliant Australian Paediatric Surgeon experiences horrific visions of a mysterious young girl and becomes convinced that her donor was murdered. Meanwhile in Seoul, Detective Park Young uncovers a crime scene with links to a fabled organ-trafficking organisation known as ‘The Dosan’.

My Friend Anxiety
Robot Army Productions Pty Ltd
Genre Comedy, Drama
Writer/Director Ryan Chamley
Producers Madison Chamley, Stu Ross, Mario Bancacci
Synopsis My Friend Anxiety is a comedy about a man’s attempt to reason and live with his mental health, which he has manifested into pyhisial characters he can see and interact with.

The C Word
Continuance Pictures
Genre Comedy, Drama
Writers Sian Laycock, Joel Stephen Fleming
Producers Julie Eckersley, Tristan Barr, Sian Laycock, Joel Stephen Fleming
Synopsis Siobhan is a 20-something, single, aspiring poet, who is searching for her place in the world. In her desperate quest for transformation she tells a terrible lie that will change her life forever.

Online project approvals are here.

5 Responses

  1. I’m not sure Top End Wedding and Sapphires in TV format will work, but I hope I’m wrong. TEW may work if it focuses on the entire family, love the title Top End Family J Bar.

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