Screen Australia invest $1.78m in multi-platform drama

Screen Australia has announced $1.78m in funding for eight new interactive, multi-platform productions including the six-episode multimedia series Wastelander Panda, supported by the ABC.

The announcement:

Screen Australia today announced $1.78 million investment in eight diverse new productions spanning interactive drama, multi-platform TV and web series through its Multi-platform Drama program.

Screen Australia’s Chief Executive, Graeme Mason, said, “From Australia’s first Asian Prime Minister, to time-travelling Bondi hipsters, to a ‘film noir’ household living in contemporary Australia, these projects are fresh, unconventional and boundary pushing.”

Two multi-platform television series were approved for investment including Soul Mates, a toxic bromance from the creators of the successful YouTube comedy Bondi Hipsters. The series follows the story of two friends drawn together across the course of human history, from the time of the first cavemen to the year 2145, when they find themselves working in a time travel agency. It will be produced, written and directed by Connor Van Vuuren, Christiaan Van Vuuren, Nick Boshier and Chloe Rickard for ABC2.

The post-apocalyptic action adventure Wastelander Panda is a new multi-platform series developed from the groundbreaking web series. It’s produced by Nick Batzias and Kirsty Stark for both ABC TV and iView, along with a planned graphic novel. The series is directed by Victoria Cocks and co-written by Cocks, Mike Jones and Matt Vesely.

AUTHENTIC IN ALL CAPS is an innovative interactive comedy drama for tablet devices from producer/writer/director Christy Dena, about an autopsy pathologist who has a hidden life as a philosopher.

Dayne’s World is a mind-bending web series about successful Australian comedian Dayne Rathbone. It’s produced by Michael Horrocks and Mike Nayna and is written by both Dayne Rathbone and Nayna.

MyChonny Moves In is a web-series from writer/director John Luc, which follows YouTube sensation MyChonny and his family, who move in with a relative after being evicted from their home and pursued by police. Their new relative just happens to be Australia’s first Asian Prime Minister! The series is produced by Robyn Kershaw (Bran Nue Dae) and Amanda Morrison.

Noirhouse is a web series that follows three film-noir archetypes who live in a share house of flying bullets, steamy looks and split bills, from writer Tim Logan, director Shaun Wilson, producer Fiona McConaghy and associate producer Nathan Spencer.

Following their debut feature film 100 Bloody Acres, directors Colin and Cameron Cairnes bring us WHAM: Warren and Hal Media, a multi-platform comedy web series about the marketing misadventures of two deluded ‘ideas’ men, Warren and Hal. The series is produced by Jessica Beirne, and is written by and stars Jason Marion and Nick Maxwell

Altruman, a web series supported with post-production funding, is about a selfless superhero who starts to question his life choices after he’s diagnosed with cancer. It’s produced by Robin Geradts-Gil with online producer Ben McEwing, directed by Hannah Moon and Geradts-Gill and written by Stephen Sholl.

Interactive, narrative-driven app
Universe Creation 101
Producer/Writer/Director Christy Dena
Synopsis AUTHENTIC IN ALL CAPS is a comedy drama set in a world split in two. You travel with an autopsy pathologist who has a hidden life as a philosopher. With her part-time time travelling assistant, she decides to take on a bet to find the meaning of death. In doing so, she attracts the wrath of ticket officers, her gambling philosopher ex, artist assassins, and a quantum theorist crime boss. She finds it’s dangerously unpopular to be AUTHENTIC IN ALL CAPS.

Web series
Endemol Australia
Producers Michael Horrocks, Mike Nayna
Writers Dayne Rathbone, Mike Nayna
Synopsis Dayne Rathbone has the comedy world at his feet. The winner of Triple J Raw Comedy, with sold out tours and invitations to festivals around the world, he’s the next big thing. But there’s something strange about Dayne. He’s an enigma. Fellow comedian, fan, and career-driven young filmmaker Mike Nayna is intrigued, and sees an opportunity to create a mind-bendingly unique documentary.

Web series
Producers Robyn Kershaw, Amanda Morrison
Writer/Director John Luc
Synopsis Australia has a new Prime Minister – and he is Asian. So when Chonny and his family are evicted from their home and on the run from the police, they head straight for their relative’s place – The Lodge! The PM reluctantly welcomes them in as mayhem and mischief take-over. And yet, as lacking as he is at school and as recalcitrant as he is as a son, Chonny steps up to ensure his family don’t get into too much strife, destroy their new home or risk the security of Australia.

Web series
Sky Machine
Producer Fiona McConaghy
Associate Producer Nathan Spencer
Writer Tim Logan
Director Shaun Wilson
Synopsis Three film-noir archetypes – a detective, a femme-fatale, and a Russian thug – live in a share house together in modern Australian suburbia. They’ve got enemies lining up outside, like a crazed Pentecostal church leader and a manipulative town matriarch. But that’s nothing compared to what’s happening at home – this is a share house of flying bullets, steamy looks and split bills.

TV series, multi-platform
Soul Mates TV Pty Ltd
Producers/Writers/Directors Connor Van Vuuren, Christiaan Van Vuuren, Nick Boshier, Chloe Rickard
Broadcaster ABC2
Synopsis Soul Mates is a toxic bromance that follows the story of a couple of buddies who are continually drawn together across the course of human history, past and future. In the beginning of time these two mates are experiencing all of life’s firsts as a couple of cavemen. In 1979 they’re two New Zealanders killing it as Kiwi assassins. By 2013 they’re a pair of fashion-obsessed Bondi hipsters, and in the year 2145 they are tackling time travel conundrums, working nine to five in a time travel agency.

Online series, broadcast hour, graphic novel, interactive website
Madman Production Company & Epic Films
Producers Nick Batzias, Kirsty Stark
Writers Victoria Cocks, Mike Jones, Matt Vesely
Director Victoria Cocks
Broadcaster ABC2, ABC iView
Synopsis Held responsible for the violent death of a young girl, Isaac is banished from the safety of the Tribe of Legion, along with his mother Hannah and brother Arcayus. Realising they cannot survive in the desperate and savage world of the Wasteland, a guilt-ridden Isaac seeks to reinstate the family to Legion – by seeking a replacement for the child whose life was lost. This new TV/online series and graphic novel extension have been developed from the existing Wastelander Panda project, which can be viewed at wastelanderpanda.com

Web series
Major International Pictures
Producer Jessica Beirne
Writers/Performers Jason Marion, Nick Maxwell
Directors Colin Cairnes, Cameron Cairnes
Synopsis WHAM is an entertaining, multi-platform YouTube comedy series about the marketing misadventures of two deluded ‘ideas’ men, Warren and Hal. While some may describe the brothers’ approach to marketing as “completely offensive”, they remain alarmingly confident about their views on how to sell a product. As self-proclaimed pioneers of new media, their enthusiasm for innovation and technology is matched only by their utter misuse of it.

ALTRUMAN (in post-production)
Web series
Boomgate Films
Producer Robin Geradts-Gill
Online Producer Ben McEwing
Directors Hannah Moon, Robin Geradts-Gill
Writer Stephen Sholl
Synopsis A selfless superhero begins to question his life choices after he’s diagnosed with cancer.

Source: Screen Australia press release.


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