Screen Australia takes 'Bait'

Shark movie, TV dramas, docus all get funding

HONG KONG -- Russell Mulcahey’s big-budget 3-D shark movie “Bait 3D” was named as one of four new movies to be granted state funding by Screen Australia.
 
The funding body said Wednesday that it is also backing four TV dramas and 14 documentaries with a total funding commitment of A$13 million ($11.8 million). This in turn will trigger A$65 million ($59.2 million) of production.
 
“The 22 projects announced today reflect the diversity of Australian storytelling and build on the success enjoyed by Australia’s talented practitioners this year,” said Ruth Harley, Screen Australia’s CEO.
        
“Bait 3D,” which sees tiger sharks threaten survivors trapped inside a flooded supermarket after a massive tsunami, is Australia’s first 3-D action film is being filmed on Queensland’s Gold Coast. Production is by Todd Fellman, Gary Hamilton and Ian Maycock for Arclight Films, Pictures in Paradise and Story Bridge Films in association with Black Magic Design Films. Distribution is shared between Paramount and Hamilton’s Arclight sales company.
        
Also receiving funding is “Better Than Sex” director Jonathan Teplitzky’s “Burning Man,” a father and son’ story of their struggle to deal with the unimaginable. Teplitzky will co-produce along with Andy Paterson.
        
Arclight is also involved with “Red Hill,” a modern-day take on the revenge Western produced by Al Clark and written, directed and produced by Patrick Hughes.
        
“2009 has been a strong year for the Australian screen industry. A record number of films have achieved theatrical release, the Australian share of the boxoffice looks set to exceed the five-year average, and television drama and documentary continue to draw strong audiences,” said Harley.
 
Television dramas to be approved includes a third season of the award-winning SBS series East West 101, directed by Peter Andrikidis, and “Like a Virgin,” a mini-series about a woman whose sexual history catches up with her in the most unusual of ways.
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