Local productions get $54m


FILM Finance Corporation Australia has given the go-ahead for $54 million worth of local productions, including a film starring Toni Collette. (and) the dark teenage thriller ‘Acolytes’…

The FFC board met this week and approved funding for five feature films, three children’s TV drama programs, and nine documentaries.

“Australian filmmakers are rising to the challenge of creating a diverse line-up of stories to engage and entertain all audience demographics,” said FFC chief executive Brian Rosen.

Included in the funding approvals is The Black Balloon, which will star Collette opposite Australian model Gemma Ward and will be directed by Elissa Down.

Queensland twins Michael and Peter Spierig will write and direct Daybreakers while Roger Spottiswoode’s The Children of Huang Shi is an Australian, Chinese and German co-production.

John Polson will produce the first film as part of his Tropfest Features Program, with Peter Carstairs’ September, and the dark teenage thriller Acolytes will be directed by Jon Hewitt.

Children’s TV dramas given the go ahead include Pixel Pinkie, a 13-part animated mini-series, Gumnutz, an animated telemovie, and Wormwood, based on Paul Jennings’ popular series of books.

Documentary projects funded include projects looking at subjects such as humanity, colours, World War II, religion, and teachers.

Another documentary, Billion Dollar Man, will focus on former cricketer icon Greg Chappell.

Comedian Wendy Harmer has written and will present Stuff, a documentary exploring attitudes to the accumulation of material possessions.