More support to bring new Victorian stories to the screen

Faraway Productions Jill Bilcock Dancing the InvisibleA documentary exploring the life of artist Michael Leunig and a big screen 3D journey to the Great Barrier Reef are among 16 local film and television projects heading to the screen thanks to more than $3.2 million from the Victorian Government.

Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley announced the funding boost today, which will inject more than $44 million into the Victorian economy and generate more than 1,800 jobs for local screen practitioners.

“Victoria is the creative state and our film and television sector not only works to bring to life the stories of our state, it provides thousands of jobs for our talented local screen practitioners,” said Minister Foley. “This round will provide support for our diverse slate of projects that will go on to reach audiences of all ages – and from all corners of the globe. We are experiencing a boom in production and these latest projects will ensure that there is plenty more in the pipeline up ahead.”

The list includes five features, 10 television projects and one Video on Demand project – spanning biographical tributes, iconic Australians in the arts, the thriving underwater metropolis of one of the seven wonders of the natural world, animated content for kids and successful returning TV series. The latest funding is also a nod to Victoria’s specialist animators and creative talent.

The life of one of Australia’s most renowned artists will be explored through Leunig: A Tale in 16 Parts. The feature celebrates self-expression and the power of the imagination, with intimate access to Michael Leunig. The project is also supported by federal funding agency Screen Australia.

Victoria’s longest running animation studio Viskatoons received funding to bring their second season of Jar Dwellers SOS to life. In a further boost, Film Victoria will also provide a traineeship support package which will assist five trainees employed on the series to build their skills using the world’s best practice software.

Chocolate Liberation Front (Figaro Pho) will get tails wagging with their new series Larry the Wonderpug. In partnership with WTFN the show explores the real and imaginary worlds with a delightful pug Larry and his six-year-old owner Sasha.

Iconic characters Nina Proudman and Lily Woodward continue to resonate with audiences with Offspring Season seven underway and a further series of The Wrong Girl. Both series picked up recent Logies nominations including star Jessica Marais who was the only female nominee in the Gold Logie category.

In documentaries, WTFN’s Ask The Doctor for the ABC addresses the state of the nation’s health, the latest in medical treatments and the future of health care as we know it. Madman will produce 2040 – a high-concept hybrid documentary set in the future. It was funded by Screen Australia with significant philanthropic support via Good Pitch² Australia.

Australia’s amazing and enduring marine sanctuary will be explored on the giant screen in December Media’s Great Barrier Reef 3D while the life of Australian writer, broadcaster, filmmaker and social commentator, Anne Deveson is unpacked in Paper Trails.

A captivating insight into the artistry of film editing is explored in the feature length Jill Bilcock: Dancing the Invisible. Jill is one of the world’s most daring and in-demand editors with work on beloved films such as Strictly Ballroom, Muriel’s Wedding and Elizabeth. Screen Australia also provided support.

“We’re continually delighted by the diversity of ideas Victorian creative teams are able to develop and finance, for the enjoyment of audiences of all ages,” said CEO Film Victoria, Jenni Tosi. “Victoria couldn’t be busier and this next line up of projects will add to that pipeline of production creating more than 1,800 employment opportunities for our talented local screen practitioners.”

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Image: Jill Bilcock Dancing the Invisible – courtesy of Faraway Productions