Create NSW funds 12 new screen productions, 3,400 jobs to be created

The upcoming productions include three feature films and four TV dramas

The NSW Government’s new arts funding body Create NSW has announced 12 new screen productions including three feature films and four television dramas.

Create NSW CEO Michael Brealey said the screen productions, which include drama and factual programs, will receive investment through Create NSW’s Production Finance Program, Made in NSW and Regional Filming Fund initiatives.

“These productions will bring a total of $60.85 million in direct production expenditure to NSW and create over 3,400 highly-skilled jobs in the screen sector,” Brealey said.

The productions include Little Monsters, to be directed by actor-turned-director Abe Forsythe and produced by Jodi Matterson (both Down Under) with international producing partners Steve Hutensky (upcoming The Nightingale), Keith and Jess Calder (Blair Witch), and Big Little Lies producer Bruna Papandrea, who will return to local production as Executive Producer of the film.

The French-Australian co-production Slam brings acclaimed Sydney-based director Partho Sen-Gupta (Let the Wind Blow, Sunrise) to shoot in Western Sydney with an international cast that includes Adam Bakri (Omar), Rachael Blake (Cleverman, Lantana) and Abbey Aziz (Let It Be Love). Producers of the thriller are Michael Wrenn (Three Summers), Tenille Kennedy (Bad Girl) and Marc Irmer (Sunrise).

Also included is the new feature film from brothers Tristan Roache-Turner and Kiah Roache-Turner, the follow up to their worldwide hit Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead. The as yet untitled film will be produced by Andrew Mason (The Matrix) and eOne’s Troy Lum.

New television to be produced in NSW includes a new eight-part series from Playmaker, the producers of The Code and Love Child, and the new four-part series Dead Lucky, created by Ellie Beaumont and Drew Proffitt (the creative team who brought House Husbands to the screen), which will be directed by David Caesar (Dirty Deeds, The Nowhere Boys: The Book of Shadows). Also supported is the returning series of the much-loved Rake and series two of Doctor Doctor.

The feature documentary Beautiful Minds: The Agents of Change charts the journey of 76 female scientists on an epic journey to Antarctica, exposing the disturbing prevalence of gender inequality in STEM.

Making Muriel follows film director P.J. Hogan and his creative partners as they turn an Australian film classic into a world-first stage musical at the Sydney Theatre Company and Todd Sampson returns to television with Body Hack 2.0. Also funded is a production from Screentime, and the multiplatform The Queen and Zak Grieve, a ‘vodcast’ series which delves into the story of Zak Grieve, a young indigenous man sent to jail for life over a murder, despite the judge finding he wasn’t there when it took place.

“This is an incredibly diverse range of productions with some of the state’s most experienced screen creatives attached,” said Brealey.

“It’s exciting that they have chosen NSW as their production base and that several productions have also chosen to film in regional NSW or Western Sydney, where the production expenditure will have a significant positive impact on local economies.

“It is also pleasing to note that NSW’s diversity is represented both on screen and behind the camera in productions such as Slam and Beautiful Minds: The Agents of Change, which include opportunities for emerging practitioners to have attachment roles with some of our leading screen practitioners.”

Funding recipient details: 

Project: Little Monsters
Production Company: Eddie Wong Films
Director: Abe Forsythe
Producer: Jodi Matterson, Steve Hutensky, Keith Calder, Jess Calder
Executive Producer: Bruna Papandrea
Support: $200,000 production investment
Location: Sydney/Western Sydney
Synopsis: This movie is dedicated to all the Kindergarten teachers out there who motivate our children to learn, instil them with confidence and stop them from being devoured by Zombies.
Other investors: Australian distributor Universal Pictures and international sales agent Protagonist Pictures


Project: Slam
Production Company: Invisible Republic
Director/Writer: Partho Sen-Gupta
Producers: Michael Wrenn, Tenille Kennedy, Producer Marc Irmer
Support: $140,000 production investment
Location: Western Sydney/Northern Beaches
Synopsis: Ricky is a young Arab Australian whose peaceful suburban life is turned on its head when his hijab-wearing sister, Ameena, disappears without trace.
Other investors: Screen Australia, CNC’s Cinémas du Monde, ScreenWest, Australian distributor Bonsai Films and international sales agent Doc & Film International.


Project: Untitled Roache-Turner Film
Production Company: Roache-Turner Films Pty Ltd & Hopscotch Features Pty Ltd
Director/Writer: Kiah Roache-Turner
Producer/Writer: Tristan Roache-Turner
Producers: Andrew Mason, Troy Lum
Support: $250,000 production investment
Location: Sydney
Synopsis: Howard North discovers that he is part of a secret sect of magical beings who hunt down and destroy demons in the internet. He must learn to harness his newfound powers and battle evil so he can save the world and destroy the dark one who is trying to eat his immortal soul.
Other investors: Screen Australia, Australian distributor and international sales eOne


Project: ‘Dead Lucky’
Production Company: Dead Lucky Holdings
Director: David Caesar
Producer/Writer/Executive Producer: Ellie Beaumont
Producer/Writer/Executive Producer: Drew Proffitt
Producer: Diane Haddon
Executive Producers: Greg Sitch, Nina Stevenson
Support: $400,000 Made in NSW Fund
Location: Sydney/Western Sydney
Synopsis: On a perfect Sydney day, the lives of two feuding detectives, a share-house of international students, a pair of corrupt shop owners, a grieving widow and a gunman all collide, leaving one dead and another missing.
Other investors: Screen Australia, SBS (domestic broadcaster)


Project: Unnamed TV Series
Production Company: Playmaker Media
Producer: Sue Seeary
Executive Producers: David Maher, David Taylor
Support: $600,000 Made in NSW Fund
Location: Sydney


Project: ‘Beautiful Minds: The Agents of Change’
Production Company: Bunya Productions Pty Ltd
Director: Ili Baré
Producer: Greer Simpkin
Executive Producer: David Jowsey
Support: $105,000 production investment
Location: Sydney (post production)
Synopsis: ‘Beautiful Minds’ charts the journey of 76 female scientists on an epic voyage to Antarctica, exposing the disturbing prevalence of gender inequality in STEM.
Other investors: Screen Australia, Dark Matter Distribution, the Shark Island Institute and DAF.


Project: ‘The Queen and Zak Grieve’
Production Company: In Films Pty, Ltd
Writer: Dan Box
Director/Producer: Ivan O’Mahoney
Executive Producer: Nial Fulton
Support: $15,000 production investment
Location: Sydney (post production)
Synopsis: In this ‘vodcast’ series, Walkley Award-winning storyteller Dan Box moves into the Northern Territory town of Katherine to unpick the strange story of Zak Grieve, a young Indigenous man sent to jail for 20 years for a murder even the judge accepted he did not commit. Is it time for the mandatory sentencing laws that led to Zak’s demise to finally be revoked?
Other investors: Screen Australia, The Australian


Project: ‘Making Muriel’
Production Company: In Films Pty Ltd
Director/Producer: Nel Minchin
Producer: Ivan O’Mahoney
Executive Producer: Nial Fulton
Support: $45,000 production investment
Location: Sydney
Synopsis: ‘Making Muriel’ follows film director P.J. Hogan as he and his creative team join with Australia’s most innovative stage producers Global Creatures, turning an Australian film classic into a world-first stage musical at the Sydney Theatre Company.
Other investors: Screen Australia, ABC (domestic broadcaster)


Project: Unnamed documentary series
Production Company: Screentime
Director: Jeff Siberry
Director: Helen Barrow
Producer: Niamh Linnie
Executive Producer: Jennifer Collins
Support: $70,000 production investment
Location: Sydney/Port Maquarie (and international locations)


Project: Todd Sampson ‘Body Hack 2.0’
Production Company: Essential Media and Entertainment Pty Ltd
Director: Jeff Siberry
Producer: Chris Thorburn
Executive Producer: Chris Hilton
Executive Producer: David Alrich
Executive Producer: Todd Sampson
Support: $60,000 production investment
Location: Sydney (post production)
Synopsis: Science meets extreme exploration as adventurer Todd Sampson pushes his body to the limits of human endurance to better understand himself and his species.
Other investors: Screen Australia, Network Ten (domestic broadcaster)


Project: ‘Doctor, Doctor’ (series 2)
Production Company: DRDR2 Series
Writers: Tamara Asmar, Liz Doran, Angela McDonald
Directors: Ian Watson, Kriv Stenders, Tori Garrett, Ben Chessell
Producers: Ian Collie, Claudia Karvan, Tony McNamara
Support: $250,000 Made In NSW Fund, $100,000 Regional Filming Fund
Location: Sydney, Mudgee
Synopsis: As the sand slowly runs out on Hugh’s probation, the Knight family must decide whether their struggles will bring them closer together or tear them apart.
Other investors: Nine Network (domestic broadcaster)


Project: ‘Rake’ (series 5)
Production Company: Essential Media & Entertainment
Writers: Peter Duncan, Andrew Knight
Producers: Ian Collie, Richard Roxburgh
Support: $300,000 Made in NSW Fund
Location: Sydney/Canberra
Synopsis: Cleaver Greene returns in 2018 as an independent senator in Parliament House. Embroiled in scandal after scandal, Cleaver will add yet more chaos to his life and the lives of those around him. With Parliament crumbling, will Cleaver step up to help Australia keep calm and carry on?
Other investors: ABC (domestic broadcaster)

To Top