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Screen Australia said it will provide production financing for a previously announced Australian feature film project, The Rover, from Animal Kingdom writer-director David Michod. The Twilight star and Guy Pearce are both attached.
Set in the Australian desert, the futuristic western tells the story of Eric, who has left everything, everyone and every semblance of human kindness behind him, as he’s forced to join an injured gang member, Rey, to hunt down Rey’s gang after they steal the last of Eric’s possessions.
The Rover is produced by Porchlight Films in association with Los Angeles-based Lava Bear Films, with Liz Watts, David Linde and Michod producing. Film Nation will handle international sales, and Roadshow Films will be the Australian distributor.
The Rover is one of four features, four adult TV dramas and four kids TV series to receive $20 million of production funding from agency Screen Australia, triggering more than $100 million worth of production here.
Also getting the greenlight is the contemporary drama Felony, written by Joel Edgerton, with Matthew Saville directing. Rosemary Blight of Goalpost Pictures Australia is producing with Edgerton.
Hugo Weaving and Don Hany will star in Healing, a redemptive prison drama from producer-writer-director Craig Monahan with producer Tait Brady and writer Alison Nisselle. Anna Broinowski (Forbidden Lies) has written and will direct a hybrid drama-documentary, Aim High in Creation, celebrating “the cinematic genius” of the late Kim Jong-il, with Lizette Atkins producing.
Screen Australia’s CEO Ruth Harley said: “These four highly engaging and diverse Australian stories have huge potential. The Rover is a powerful well-crafted script from a talented team with an impressive cast. Anna Broinowski’s Aim High in Creation is a distinctive, ambitious film with a humorous and entertaining story. Felony has international breakout potential, and Healing promises to be a highly emotional and moving story on screen.”
On the TV side, Foxtel’s contemporary take on cult ’70s Australian TV series Prisoner has received production financing, as have Southern Star Entertainment’s miniseries for the Nine Network, Gallipoli; a four-part true crime drama for SBS, A Better Man, about the fatal consequences of Van Nguyen’s attempt to traffic heroin from Cambodia to Australia; and Parer’s War, an Australian Broadcasting Corp. telemovie about World War II frontline cameraman Damien Parer. Matchbox Pictures’ Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries has been greenlit for a second season.
Three children’s live-action TV dramas also received funding.
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