Foster, Breslin aboard for 'Nim's Island'

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SYDNEY -- Jodie Foster and Abigail Breslin ("Little Miss Sunshine") have signed up for Walden Media's next family-oriented feature, "Nim's Island," which is set to begin shooting in the Australian state of Queensland in early July, according to Queensland Arts Minister Rod Welford.

Produced by Paula Mazer, with husband and wife team Mark Levin and Jennifer Flackett writing and directing, "Nim's Island" is based on Wendy Orr's award winning book, which tells the story of a young girl who inhabits an isolated island with her scientist father and communicates with a reclusive author of the novel she's reading.

"Nim's Island" will be shot on tropical and island locations in Far North Queensland as well as the Warner Studios on the Gold Coast.

"Film and television production in Queensland is booming at the moment and it's great our state has been chosen as the backdrop for this fantasy/adventure movie," Welford said in announcing details of the project Friday.

The "Nim's Island" shoot follows the announcement earlier this month that the Australian government had upped its incentives for foreign production in Australia to a 15% tax rebate as of June 30. That's in addition to state-based incentives which are attracting more footloose production.

As a result, Queensland and the southern state of Victoria are currently experiencing something of production boom -- filming on Baz Luhrmann's epic "Australia" started in the Queensland town of Bowen last week, while HBO's big-budget miniseries "The Pacific" is in pre-production in Melbourne and will use some Queensland locations later in the year. In addition the thriller "Daybreakers," to star Ethan Hawke, will begin shooting in Queensland in July.
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