New drama projects in development funding

Screen Australia has announced over $730,000 of development funding for six feature films, 12 television dramas and three online projects.

The television projects include Foxtel jury drama The Twelve, an adaptation from Bunya Productions of the 2018 film Ladies In Black; Unfathered, a new drama project from Rachel Griffiths, and The Family Doctor, a television drama from Debra Oswald, co-creator of Offspring.

There is also a project between Mark Fennessy and director Richard Lowenstein; plus director Nicholas Verso, Beck Cole and writer Mithila Gupta.

Screen Australia’s Head of Content Sally Caplan said, “We are impressed by the rigorous creativity of Australian creators and are thrilled to support so many novel ideas coming through the pipeline as the industry continues to rebound from COVID-19. It’s great to see a number of engaging stories set around iconic milestones in Australian history, from the building of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, to the social change that took place in the 60s or the recession in the 80s, and I look forward to seeing these projects develop further.”

The Generate Fund is for lower budget projects with an emphasis on new and emerging talent, or experienced talent wanting to take creative risks. The Premium Fund is for higher budget projects of ambition and scale from successful screen content makers.

Premium

Blood in the Sky
Beyond Entertainment Pty Ltd
Genre Drama
Creators Alexa Wyatt, Karl Zwicky
Directors Jocelyn Moorhouse, Karl Zwicky
Writers Alexa Wyatt, Andrew Anastasios, Larissa Behrendt, Michelle Law, Jess Paine
Producers Karl Zwicky, Alexa Wyatt
Executive Producer David Ogilvy
Script Editor Andrew Anastasios
Synopsis A sweeping drama of crime and family, the untold story of building the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge, the migrants it brought and the lives it changed. UK company man Alex Rendell’s wilful daughter Rose helps riveter Tom Rourke uncover a web of intrigue and corruption after a fatal fall from the arches in a world devastated by the Depression.

Ladies in Black
Bunya Entertainment
Genre Drama
Writers Sarah Bassiuoni, Joan Sauers, Greg Waters, Randa Sayed
Producers Greer Simpkin, Sophia Zachariou
Executive Producers Sue Milliken, Allanah Zitserman
Synopsis The series takes place in Sydney in 1961, six months after the events of the novel/film and in a time of great change and upheaval. Set inside Goodes department store, Sydney University and the homes of Magda, Fay, Angela and the Miles Family, Ladies in Black is an optimistic dramatisation of ordinary women facing extraordinary challenges at a time of surprising social and cultural change.

Sex & Thugs & Rock’N’Roll
Ghost Pictures Pty Ltd
Genre Drama, Musical, Crime
Writer/Directors Richard Lowenstein, Lynn-Maree Milburn
Producers Mark Fennessy, Richard Lowenstein, Lynn-Maree Milburn, Andrew De Groot
Synopsis At the rise of the youth and civil rights movements in the early sixties, three young lives collide in Kings Cross, Sydney, where they enter a world of free love, romance, rock ‘n’ roll music, vice and crime.

The Family Doctor
Werner Film Productions Pty Ltd
Genre Drama, Thriller
Writers Debra Oswald, Michael Lucas
Producer Joanna Werner
Executive Producer Debra Oswald
Synopsis Based on the upcoming novel by Debra Oswald – a dedicated GP, desperate to protect women and their children from violent partners, is driven to use her medical skills to commit murder.

The Twelve
Warner Bros. International Television Production Australia Pty Ltd
Genre Drama, Thriller, Crime
Writers Sarah Walker, Brad Winters, Leah Purcell, Anchuli Felicia King, Tommy Murphy
Executive Producers Liz Watts, Hamish Lewis, Michael Brooks
Synopsis Twelve ordinary people are selected for jury duty in a murder trial, in which a woman stands accused of killing her sister’s child. Behind the façade of their anonymity, these twelve ordinary people bring with them their own histories. Lives that are as complex as the trial. Through the multiple lenses of these jurors, we see the fragility and imbalances of the law, and the chaotic and flawed way we attempt to determine justice in our society.

Unfathered
Blackfella Films Pty Ltd
Genre Drama, Thriller
Creator Rachel Griffiths
Writers TBA
Producer Darren Dale
Synopsis Two women’s lives are torn apart when a university student discovers that her adoption was based on a lie.

Generate

Avenge My Death
unko Pty Ltd
Genre Comedy, Crime, Mystery
Director Claudia Pickering
Writers Nicole Conway, Michaeley O’Brien, Mark Bonanno
Producers Belinda Dean, Ellen Fraser
Synopsis Wild 20-somethings Erin, Jax and Sara are inseparable. That is, until Erin goes on a date with a guy she met online and winds up dead. With the police bungling the investigation, Jax and Sara vow to hunt down her killer using the only piece of evidence they have: a d*** pic.

Bending Spoons
Simone Nicholson
Genre Comedy, Drama
Director Alyssa McClelland
Writer Emme Hoy
Producer Simone Nicholson
Synopsis An undervalued magician’s assistant kidnaps a drug dealer’s telekinetic dog in order to win a national magic competition that will pay for her dad’s cancer treatment.

Confidence
Invisible Republic Pty Ltd
Genre Drama, Crime
Writer Lou Sanz
Producer Michael Wrenn
Synopsis Melbourne. 1988. Bicentennial celebrations grip the country. When career con woman Connie Valdez inherits the family’s famed Lygon St restaurant following the suspicious death of her father, she thinks he has left her a second chance.  But after closing up one night, Connie discovers her father didn’t leave her a second chance. He left her a criminal enterprise.

Invisible Boys
Asphodel Films / Feisty Dame Productions
Genre Drama, Romance, GLBTIQ+
Writer/Director Nicholas Verso
Producers Nicholas Verso, Tania Chambers
Synopsis Based on the book by Holden Sheppard – Charlie is a fiery teen outcast living in the remote coastal town of Geraldton, Western Australia – a world where homosexuality is invisible, and so is he. But when a one-off encounter with a married man is exposed, Charlie is outed and suddenly everyone in his conservative town knows his secret. And then Charlie discovers he’s not alone…

Minority Report
Arcadia
Genre Comedy, Drama
Creators Sleena Wilson, Mithila Gupta
Writers Mithila Gupta, Kodie Bedford, Michelle Law, Miranda Aguilar
Producers Lisa Shaunessy, Sleena Wilson, Mithila Gupta
Synopsis Maya has blown up her entire life and her only hope of redemption: her new crew of misfit ethnic chicks from IT call centre, GeekGirls4U. Not ideal.

Rainbow Girls
The Fiction Bureau Pty Ltd
Genre Drama, Comedy
Creators Willoh Weiland, Tam Nguyen
Directors Beck Cole, Willoh Weiland
Writers Willoh Weiland, Jada Alberts, Beck Cole, Jane Allen
Script Producer Jane Allen
Producers Tam Nguyen, Elisa Argenzio
Executive Producer Mat King
Synopsis In 2045, the Australian Republic’s first President Rachel Radford – a Ngunnawal woman – is sworn in. Elsewhere, 24 year old Abigail Bread is sworn into the Freemasons – the first woman in 2000 years to enter the organisation. Her mother, Marsha, stands beside her, looking on with loathing. Feminism, white nationalism and the preservation of a two billion dollar real estate empire collide in this dark comedic drama about the spectacular ways women negotiate power.

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