Geelong’s Back to Back Theatre will leap from stage to screen and an Australian-made video game and graphic novel will become an animated feature as part of Film Victoria’s latest round of production funding.
The Andrews Labor Government will invest $3.85 million to support 17 Victorian film and television projects ranging from feature films, to telemovies, television dramas, documentaries and web series.
“This diverse round showcases why Victoria is the creative state – and we’ll continue to strengthen our creative sector by backing creative talent,” said Martin Foley, Minister for Creative Industries. “Alongside acclaimed practitioners and emerging talent, it’s wonderful to see a diverse range of creative artists like Back to Back Theatre and Matthew Sleeth bring their talents to the screen.”
Among the projects, Oscar-winning Melbourne production company Passion Pictures Australia and Luma will team up for the animated feature Arkie based on the hit Australian graphic novel and Victorian-made game Scarygirl. Arkie has also received funding through Screen Australia.
Back to Back Theatre will make its television debut with Bunghole, a collaboration with Matchbox Pictures. The telemovie project – which will involve a cast and crew members with intellectual disabilities – aims to bring greater diversity to the screen sector.
In features, Victorian director Jonathan auf der Heide will deliver his second feature film while director Miranda Nation’s debut feature Undertow, filmed largely in Geelong and the Surf Coast, will tell a story of grief and a woman’s dangerous obsession.
In the online space, three fiction web series received support including Other People’s Problems, a dramedy about two ghost-writers, flawed family comedy The Edge of the Bush,and Maybe Today, which looks back on the life of Indigenous author, activist and master storyteller Boori Monty Pryor.
Five television drama projects also received funding, including popular Foxtel series Wentworth and new animated series Kitty is Not a Cat, which follows the story of a little girl raised by a household of felines.
Five documentaries have been supported, each shining a light on diverse social issues. Becoming Lumumba will trace Heritier Lumumba’s journey from immigrant to AFL star. Guilty will see Victorian artist Matthew Sleeth make his directorial debut in an exploration of the final days of the Bali Nine’s Myuran Sukumaran.
Funding will also see new projects produced in Victoria by Contact Films, Hoodlum Active and Screentime, with details to be announced shortly. In total, the supported projects will provide up to 2,740 jobs in the Victorian screen industry and contribute more than $61 million to the state’s economy.
“From a multi-million dollar animation project to a short form feature by a contemporary theatre group, we’re very pleased to support this diverse range of projects which are sure to delight audiences,” said Jenni Tosi, Film Victoria CEO.
For more information, visit: www.film.vic.gov.au for details.
Image: Back to Back Theatre – photo by Rhian Hinkley