Screen Australia has announced $10m funding for six feature films, two television dramas and one children’s project.
They include a third season of The Newsreader from Werner Productions, a six part ABC drama series Ladies in Black based on the novel of the same name by Madeleine St John, and a third season for Ginger and the Vegesaurs.
Screen Australia’s CEO Graeme Mason said, “This latest slate announcement presents an exceptional line-up of feature films and television series that have the ingredients to surprise, entertain and translate on a global scale. These high calibre projects speak to the remarkable talent within the Australian film industry, and the international appeal that Australian stories hold.
“This funding underscores Screen Australia’s commitment to nurturing local talent, showcasing their creativity with audiences worldwide, and supporting innovative stories that resonate. Whether you love crime drama, comedy or period dramas there really is something for everyone in this unique mix of projects.”
Minister for the Arts, Tony Burke said, “These projects speak to the incredible breadth, quality and relatability of Australian stories. Australia’s screen sector is something we should all be proud of. Australian stories allow us to learn more about ourselves, come to understand each other and let the world get to know us. The Australian Government is proud to support an empowered and innovative Australian screen industry.”
Ladies in Black:
A six-part drama for the ABC about a group of women who fling open their shop doors to the fabulous 60s. Directing all six episodes is Gracie Otto, whose credits include The Clearing, Heartbreak High and Artful Dodger. The writing team includes script producer Greg Waters (Riot, The Twelve), Joan Sauers (The Principal, Rake), Sarah Bassiuoni (The Heights) and Randa Sayed (Halal Girls). The series is produced by Sophia Zachariou (The Office Australia, The Moth Effect), Angela Littlejohn (Cleverman, In Limbo), Greer Simpkin and David Jowsey, whose credits also include Mystery Road: Origin, True Colours. Sue Milliken and Allanah Zitserman, who produced the Ladies in Black feature film, are attached as executive producers with Louise Smith executive producing for the ABC. It has received major production investment from the ABC and is financed with support from the South Australian Film Corporation and Screen NSW. ABC Commercial manages worldwide distribution.
The Newsreader season 3:
A six-part third instalment of the ABC series that digs behind the indelible images of the 1980s for a compelling, intimate, vital look at an era of great change. From The Newsreader season 2 is returning team, director/executive producer Emma Freeman, writer/producer Michael Lucas, writers Niki Aken and Adrian Russell Wills, producer/executive producer Joanna Werner and executive producer Stuart Menzies. Season 3 is also written by Christine Bartlett (Five Bedrooms). It has received major production investment from the ABC in association with VicScreen. International sales are managed by eOne.
Ginger and the Vegesaurs season 3:
Following on from the popular first two series’, Ginger and the Vegesaurs season 3 continues the adventures of young Tricarrotops, Ginger in this 20-part adventure comedy series for the ABC. Season 3 sees Ginger and her trio of baby Pea-Rexes meet the giant but timid Pumpkinsaurus during the Spooky Forest’s honeysuckle harvest, and revisit familiar friends they have met in their travels. They will also witness natural phenomenons like thermal-air geysers and even a crazy snowstorm, which all the Vegesaurs must brave together. Ginger and the Vegesaurs season 3 is created by Gary Eck and Nick O’Sullivan. Eck, Sylvie van Dijk, Rebekka Schafferius, Bruce Griffiths and Angus Woodiwiss are writing, with Celine Goetz and Amanda Spagnolo attached as producers and Patrick Egerton and David Webster as executive producers. It is funded in association with and developed with the assistance of the ABC. It is financed with the support from Studio100 who are also managing international sales. Post, digital and visual effects are supported by Screen NSW.
Funding is also approved for a feature film which is supported by the Australian Children’s Television Foundation:
Set in the country town of Upson Downs, this family feature film tells the story of ten-year-old Annie Shearer and her best friend, an adopted stray dog called Runt. The film follows Annie and Runt as they try to save their family’s farm from drought and hardship by winning the Agility Course Championship at the Krumpets Dog Show in London. Runt is directed by John Sheedy (H is For Happiness), written by Craig Silvey (Jasper Jones) and produced by Jamie Hilton (Sting) and Jessy Rolleston Palmer. It is financed in association with Screenwest, Lotterywest and the WA Regional Screen Fund, with support from the Australian Children’s Television Foundation (ACTF) and Screen NSW. Studiocanal are distributing locally and handling international sales.