Screen Australia to invest in 23 projects

Foxtel Picnic at Hanging RockSix films, ten television series and seven online productions have received production investment from Screen Australia, totalling well over $17 million. Collectively the projects represent over $142 million in production across the country.

The slate includes a movie adaption of Jane Harper’s international hit novel The Dry to be directed by veteran filmmaker Robert Connolly and produced by Bruna Papandrea’s (Big Little Lies) Made Up Stories. Plus fan-favourite Wyrmwood is set to terrify audiences anew with a virtual reality short film.

Aquarius Films (LionBerlin Syndrome) will make the move into children’s television with the ABC tween series The Unlisted, and the team behind international award winning film 52 Tuesdays will create a new four-part SBS drama titled The Hunt.

Also for SBSQueensland’s Ludo Studio has received funding to create online Indigenous-led comedy series Robbie Hood with Dylan River (Black Chook, Finke) attached to direct. 10 year Beached Aziversary, the third series of the online sensation Beached Az will go into production for the ABC from the creative team behind Bondi Hipsters.

“This slate represents the most money we have ever invested in adult TV drama in a single round. Indeed in the ten years Screen Australia has been operating, the near $20m we have invested in adult TV drama in the 2017/18 financial year is an all-time record,” said Graeme Mason, CEO of Screen Australia.

“It truly is a remarkable time for Australian television, and it is clear local broadcasters and streaming services see our local stories as their point of difference in an incredibly crowded marketplace. Many of the titles in this round have the makings of returnable series, representing potentially years of work for not only the creative teams, but for the hundreds of cast and crew that it takes to get these stories to screens.”

“We don’t have to look far for a case study of what Australian drama can deliver, with the critically acclaimed Mystery Road TV series having the highest video play measurement* on ABC iview for any drama since data capture began. What’s more, Foxtel’s Picnic at Hanging Rock is case in point that it’s not just Australians that want our stories, with the global marketplace hungry for quality content. The cultural, creative and commercial dividends are clear.”

“Also in this slate we’re thrilled to see Maziar Lahooti (Below) and Natalie Erika James (Relic) making their directorial debuts on new features. Interest in producing premium online content continues to increase, and it’s certainly a space we’re looking to support emerging talent to take creative risks.”

For more information and list of funded projects, visit: for details.

Image: Foxtel’s Picnic at Hanging Rock

Note: *Data courtesy of the ABC. Since the inception of VPM data in 2016 Mystery Road has the highest VPM rating for any ABC iview non-kids program. Source: OzTAM VPM Average.