Screen Australia funds 16 new projects, including Sleeping Beauty director’s film Disquiet

Some of Australia’s biggest names in film-making have received funding for new projects in the latest round of Screen Australia’s single-project feature development.

The funding round for script development has supported 16 projects totalling $400,000, ten new projects and six which receive continued support.

Martha Coleman, Screen Australia’s head of development said: “The calibre of feature projects coming to the Development Department is outstanding. There’s a general acknowledgement from the marketplace that our film-makers have raised the bar and I think the next wave of films in the coming years will be really interesting.”

Film-makers include Julia Leigh, the Edgerton brothers, Abe Forsythe and Kriv Stenders.

Julia Leigh is to direct her second film, Disquiet following on from Sleeping Beauty, which won best direction in a feature film at the Australian Director’s Guild Awards on Friday night. The psychological horror will be adapted by Leigh from her book of the same name.

Written by Marissa Goodhill and directed by Red Dog’s Kriv Stenders, with producers Catriona Hughes and Leesa Kahn, Synchronicity is a musical about a 17-year old girl aiming to be a synchronised swimming champion, and using the musical catalogue of Kylie Minogue.

Ned’s Abe Forsythe with write and direct a yet to-be-titled dark comedy set against the Cronulla riots, with Wolf Creek’s Greg McLean executive producing.

Wish You Were Here’s producer Angie Fielder with producing partner Polly Staniford have secured development funding for their writers Emma Vuletic and Justine Flynn to develop romantic comedy, The Post Office.

Also out of the Blue Tongue Collective camp is an untitled feature from the Edgerton brothers, with Nash taking producer/director/writer credits and Joel also taking writing credits. The “Untitled Lucky Project” may refer to Nash Edgerton’s previous short film Lucky.

Writer director Cris Jones and Melanie Coombs will develop the drama Byzantium about a young man who finds himself trapped in a strange remote town after a road accident.

The new project announcements come as previously announced projects Banjo and Matilda, A Murder of Crows and Choir of Hard Knocks receive receive ongoing funding.

Full list of projects

Genre Romantic Comedy
Producer Murray Fahey
Executive Producer Bill Kritharas
Writer Alex Lykos
Co-writer Geoffrey Atherden
Director Peter Andrikidis
Synopsis A Greek Orthodox boy falls in love with a Lebanese Muslim girl creating a mismatch made in heaven. Based on the hugely crowd-pleasing play of the same name.


Genre Thriller
Producer Jamie Hilton
Writer/Director Michael Petroni
Synopsis Senior clinical psychologist Peter Bower’s life is in turmoil when he reluctantly accepts that all his patients are ghosts. Upon further investigation he discovers they all died on the same day. In a spine-tingling, supernatural thriller, Peter travels back to his past to confront a secret he has kept for 20 years.


Genre Action Romance
Producer Bill Leimbach
Writer David Roach
Director Bruce Beresford
Synopsis It’s 1895 in Central Queensland and, with the country in turmoil, a young city poet and journalist travels to a remote sheep station to track down a political agitator. When the clashes between union shearers and landowners turn to violence, a man is found dead in a billabong. Was it suicide or murder? Based on the extraordinary true story of Banjo Paterson, Samuel Hoffmeister and Waltzing Matilda.


Genre Drama
Producer Melanie Coombs
Writer/Director Cris Jones
Synopsis After a road accident on the highway, a young man finds himself trapped in a strange, remote town where nothing – and no one – is as it seems.


Genre Drama
Producer Marian Macgowan
Executive Producer Jason Stephens
Writer Pip Karmel
Director Jonathan Teplitzky
Synopsis A disparate and desperate group of people transcend their hopelessness and band together to find their voice, rediscovering, under the baton of their choirmaster, a dignity and purpose that their ravaged lives had threatened to destroy.


Genre Science Fiction
Producer Lisa Shaunessy
Executive Producer Michael Rymer
Co-producer James Whitlam
Writer/Director Seth Larney
Synopsis The son of a scientist is called to the future to solve the world’s oxygen crisis and save the woman he loves.


Genre Psychological Horror
Writer/Director Julia Leigh
Synopsis A haunting tale of a family in extremis, based on her own novel.


Genre Drama
Producer Paul Sullivan
Writer/Director Denie Pentecost
Synopsis Twenty-year-old Nicole is a cleaner at a prestigious art college but dreams of becoming a glass blower. When a new teacher, Kiera, discovers her talent Nicole accepts her help and they form an unconventional relationship leading Nicole to a buried secret that has been kept from her since she was a child.


Genre Crime Drama
Producer Sue Murray
Writers Matt Rubinstein, Sotiris Dounoukos
Director Sotiris Dounoukos
Synopsis In early 1997, Anu Singh, a young law student at the Australian National University, began to tell many people she was planning to kill herself. As her mental and emotional state disintegrated, her plans grew more bizarre and macabre, concerning her boyfriend Joe Cinque. In October she knocked Joe out with Rohypnol and then injected him with a lethal dose of heroin. Nobody tried to stop her.


Genre Comedy
Writer Duncan Kennedy


Genre Crime
Producers Murray Pope, Michael Robertson
Writers Shayne Armstrong, Shane Krause
Director Nick Robertson


Genre Family
Producers Chris Brown, Tom Hoffie
Writer Ray Boseley
Director Brendan Maher
Synopsis A sequel to the hugely popular family film Nim’s Island.


Genre Romantic Comedy
Producers Angie Fielder, Polly Staniford
Writers Emma Vuletic, Justine Flynn


Genre Musical
Producers Leesa Kahn, Catriona Hughes
Executive Producer Greg Coote
Writer Marissa Goodhill
Director Kriv Stenders
Synopsis Set to the hit music of pop star Kylie Minogue, this musical spectacular follows 17-year-old Kylie Power, who, upon moving to her father’s hometown of Sydney, is given one last chance to pursue her dream of becoming a synchronised swimming champion.


Genre Black Comedy
Producer Matthew Reeder
Executive Producer Greg McLean
Writer/Director Abe Forsythe
Synopsis A dark comedy about racism set during the Cronulla riots.


Genre Drama
Producer Nash Edgerton
Writers Nash Edgerton, Joel Edgerton
Director Nash Edgerton


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