Underbelly telemovies funded by Screen Australia

Underbelly: The Golden MileThree telemovies from the Underbelly franchise have received funding from Screen Australia, along with almost $8m in new features, TV drama and documentaries.

Under the Underbelly brand, the telemovies will tell the story of armed robber Russell ‘Mad Dog’ Cox, the Silk & Miller murders and the Lorimer Taskforce, and policeman Colin McLaren’s infiltration of the Calabrian Mafia.

The Screentime projects will be produced by Peter Gawler and Elisa Argenzio, written by Peter Gawler, Graeme Koetsveld and Kris Mrksa, and directed by Shawn Seet, Grant Brown and Cherie Nowlan.The McLaren story might see the franchise return to Melbourne after two Sydney-based series.

The latest funding round saw Stephan Elliott’s Hangover-style outback comedy A Few Best Men (prod. Todd Fellman, Gary Hamilton, Share Stallings, Laurence Malkin) receive financial support.

Ben C. Lucas’ high school drama Wasted on the Young (prod. Janelle Landers, Aidan O’Bryan) received post-production/completion funding.

Television projects receiving Screen Australia funds include the crime drama The Straits (prod. Helen Panckhurst, Penny Chapman; dir. Peter Andrikidis (and others, yet to be announced), written by Blake Ayshford, Nick Parsons, Jaime Brown and Louis Nowra – based on an idea by Aaron Fa’aoso).

These are the projects that will be supported in this round:



A Few Best Men Pty Ltd

Producers Todd Fellman, Gary Hamilton, Share Stallings, Laurence Malkin

Writer Dean Craig

Director Stephan Elliott

Sales & Distribution Arclight, Icon

Synopsis When an English groom travels to the outback to marry his Australian bride, the combination of his three outrageous best men and his fiancée’s bourgeois family make for a wedding that is as funny as it is disastrous.


Party Upstairs Pty Ltd

Producers Janelle Landers, Aidan O’Bryan

Writer/Director Ben C Lucas

Sales & Distribution Fortissimo

Synopsis An incident at a high school party sets off a chain of events and two brothers must place their lives at the mercy of popular opinion.

TV series


Princess Pictures

Producers Andrea Denholm, Laura Waters

Writers Adam Richard, John Richards

Director Kevin Carlin

Broadcaster & Sales ABC TV, ABC Commercial, Princess Publishing and Distribution

Synopsis Outland is a comedy about a gay science fiction fan club, and the lives, loves and never-ending dramas of its members.


Goalpost Pictures

Producers Rosemary Blight, Dave Gibson

Writer Matt Ford

Director/Co-producer Tony Tilse

Broadcaster & Sales ITV Global, Nine Network

Synopsis An island on spectacular Sydney Harbour. Summer sun. Top international artists. Tens of thousands of music fans from across the world. Idyllic… until unimaginable disaster strikes.


Pixa House Limited

Producers Helen Panckhurst, Penny Chapman

Writers Blake Ayshford, Nick Parsons, Jaime Browne and Louis Nowra (based on an idea by Aaron Fa’aoso)

Directors Peter Andrikidis, TBC

Broadcaster & Sales ABC TV, ABC Commercial, DCD Rights

Synopsis Set in the wild frontier of the Torres Strait and Far North Queensland, The Straits is an exotic, darkly humorous crime drama that follows the fortunes of a family who run a smuggling operation.



Producers Peter Gawler, Elisa Argenzio

Writers Peter Gawler, Graeme Koetsveld, Kris Mrksa

Directors Shawn Seet, Grant Brown, Cherie Nowlan

Broadcaster & Sales Nine Network, Portmans

Synopsis Three telemovies: Russell ‘Mad Dog’ Cox, Australia’s most successful armed robber; the Silk & Miller murders and the Lorimer Taskforce; and Victorian policeman Colin McLaren’s infiltration of the Calabrian Mafia.


Charles Bean’s Great War

360 Degree Films Pty Ltd

Producers John Moore, Lisa Horler

Director Wain Fimeri

Sales & Distribution NGTI & SBS

Synopsis In this dramatised documentary, Charles Bean, war correspondent, obsessive historian and reluctant mythmaker, tells us all about his remarkable life. From the playing fields of England via the Australian outback, to the maelstrom of the Great War. Charles Bean wrote the truth yet everyone thought he created a myth. He loved Australia the way most people love another person and, as so often happens in love, Australia let him down.

Second Australians

Renegade Films Pty Ltd

Producers Alex West, Lucy Maclaren

Series Producer Jacob Hickey

Series Director Ben Shackleford

Sales & Distribution SBS Content Sales

Synopsis This major new series tells the story of the birth of modern ‘migrant Australia’ and uncovers the secret history of who we are – the end result of a remarkable and unique ‘social experiment’. This is the story of how the world came to Australia – and helped Australia reshape what was humanly possible in the world

Ballad of a Locust Hunting Man

Looking Glass Pictures

Producer Mitzi Goldman

Director Robert Nugent

Sales & Distribution NGTI

Synopsis A personal journey into the myth of the locust and a portrait of a war that can never be won.

Then the Wind Changed

Rebel Films Pty Ltd

Producer Jeni McMahon

Writer/Director Celeste Geer

Sales & Distribution Rebel Films

Synopsis The small rural hamlet of Strathewen was devastated by Victoria’s Black Saturday fires in February 2009. But after the shock of survival, just as the adrenalin is finally depleted, the real work starts. How will the community of Strathewen reclaim their bush paradise?

Triangle Wars

Circe Films

Executive Producer Guillaume Catala

Producers Lizzette Atkins, Peter George

Director Rosie Jones

Sales & Distribution Melimedias Asia Pacific

Synopsis The battle being waged between local government, big business and the community over the development of Melbourne’s beachfront ‘St Kilda Triangle’ site – and the story of how far one man is prepared to go to stop it.


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