Sapphires writer and Rachel Griffiths feature among productions getting Screen Australia grants

A writer of last year’s hit musical The Sapphires is among ten who have received development grants totalling $276,000 from Screen Australia.

Tony Briggs was given the funding to support his new venture called The Grip – a comedy drama about five young Australian men who discover the key to winning the pokies and develop Robin Hood-like reputations.

Also among the recipients are Michael Lloyd Green, Felicity Price, David Hely, Amiel Courtin-Wilson, Michael Cody, and Simon Portus who are developing a variety of projects including comedy, drama, thriller, romance and more experimental fare.

A stage work is being adapted for the screen while another work, B Model, marks the feature directorial debut of Rachel Griffiths, which has been in development since early 2011.

The list of projects include:

Genre: Drama
Producer: Louise Smith
Writers: Rachel Griffiths, Samantha Strauss
Director: Rachel Griffiths

Genre: Psychological Thriller
Producer: David Elfick
Writers: Kristine Wyld
Synopsis: Scientist Susan Wang disguises herself to gain prison access to her sister’s killer and dispense her own form of justice.

Genre: Thriller
Producer: Sue Taylor
Executive Producer: Edward Saxon
Writer: Michael Lloyd Green
Director: Grant Sputore
Synopsis: In the early 20th century, a plague that targets middle-aged adults ravages the Australian countryside, cutting human life expectancy in half. Some of those infected cling to governmental promises of a cure – a vaccine divvied out by lottery; others resort to less savoury methods of survival – transfusing the ‘clean’ blood of children. Enter Doyle, a plague-stricken war vet whose winning lottery ticket is stolen, placing him in the middle of a dilemma.

Genre: Psychological Thriller
Producer: David Curzon
Executive Producer: Ashley Luke
Writer/Director: Simon Portus
Synopsis: Sam Person’s ideals of family life in the country are torn apart by a series of wild dog attacks. When the local authorities prove ineffective, moral boundaries begin to blur and Sam takes the law into his own hands. As the situation spirals out of control paranoia takes hold and Sam finds himself forced to question everything he has previously taken for granted.

Genre: Comedy Drama
Writer: Tony Briggs
Director: David Field
Synopsis: In 1965, five young Australian businessmen from New South Wales discover the secret to winning with the pokies. Reaping huge rewards they generously spread their wealth to other poor punters receiving Robin Hood reputations and the wrath of the gaming world.

Genre: Romance
Producer/Writer/Directors: Amiel Courtin-Wilson, Michael Cody
Synopsis: A brutal and beautiful portrait of trauma and transcendent love – a metaphysical road movie through the cities and jungles of modern-day Asia.

Genre: Comedy Romance
Producer: Mark Forstmann
Writer: David Hely
Director: Rowan Woods
Synopsis: A workaholic female executive, vying for a promotion, hires a male escort for much needed stress relief and passes him off at work as her boyfriend to demonstrate she has a life.

Genre: Biopic
Producer: Nicole O’Donohue
Writer: Kate Mulvany
Synopsis: Based on a real-life story, a young Australian woman accompanies her Vietnam veteran father on an overseas trip to meet her grandfather, only to discover a garden of long-buried familial secrets. Based on the stage play by Kate Mulvany.

Genre: Psychological Thriller
Writer: Felicity Price
Director: Kieran Darcy-Smith
Synopsis: Social misfit Vincent holds a flame for sweetly charming 17-year-old Amber. But when his fragile hopes are crushed he acts impulsively, kidnapping her and locking her in his basement. The schoolgirl embarks on a dangerous game of seduction in a desperate attempt to flee, but what she doesn’t reckon on is Vincent’s strange sister and the dark past they share.


Genre: Drama
Producers: Julie Baines, Ray Quint
Writer: Steve Wright
Director: Ray Quint
Synopsis: When three old friends – all in their fifties – set out on a voyage of self-discovery they are reminded of who they were and what might have been and find themselves reigniting long-held passions.



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