Screen Australia has announced seven online projects that will share in over $1 million of production funding.
These projects include Game Changers which highlights the voices of thirteen diverse kids and teens as they explore the challenges and controversies surrounding their chosen sports; The Hairy Marys, a dramedy about two single mums living in the remote Northern Territory town of Nhulunbuy; and documentary series Unerased, from writer/director AP Pobjoy, who was supported through Screen Australia and Australians in Film’s Untapped 2022 initiative.
Screen Australia’s head of online and games Lee Naimo said, “Online platforms continue to be a fantastic springboard for emerging creatives from across the country to take the opportunity to create and share their innovative and authentic stories. This latest lineup includes a great mix of original comedic, dramatic and documentary projects covering a variety of themes and topics, which will no doubt resonate with audiences.
“Over the last few years, we have not only witnessed the breadth of talent in online creators, but also the impact of this funding and the potential for these online creators to find their place on a global stage. With projects such as Appetite being selected for Canneseries 2023 and Latecomers in competition at Series Mania 2023, as well as Black As securing over 195 million views on Facebook, there are a lot of reasons to be excited about the next wave of online talent. It’s moments like these that make me very excited to support this latest cohort of creators and I can’t wait to see what they go on to achieve,” said Naimo.
The funded projects include:
• Eating Late and Working Late: A 12 x 1-minute comedy narrated by Lee Lin Chin thriller that combines live-action performances with miniature sets – ‘Eating Late’ takes place in a late-night suburban Chinese restaurant, while ‘Working Late’ is set in a fluorescent, depressive office space. The two series’ combine live-action performances with miniature sets to explore the inner lives of sad, meek, bored and despondent diners and office workers as they glumly slurp wontons and photocopy stuff – until a shocking act of violence lights up the night. This series for Instagram and YouTube is from writer/director/producer team Daniel Wood and Lewis Attey whose credits include The Intern and Huge if True.
• Game Changers: This 13 x 1-minute documentary series highlights the voices of thirteen diverse kids and teens as they explore the challenges and controversies surrounding their chosen sports. Through each episode, young athletes have the opportunity to share their message with the world. As the landscape of sports continues to change, these stories will stand as a testament to their accomplishments and the obstacles they have overcome. Jaden Bowen and Jake Holroyd, whose credits include Simply Stories: Year One, are writing, directing and producing. Merryn Trescott (All My Friends Are Racist) and Stephanie Dower (Sunshine) are also writing and directing, with Sam Price (My Way) attached as executive producer. Game Changers will air on TikTok, Instagram and Facebook.
• The Hairy Marys: A 5 x 8-minute dramedy set in the remote Northern Territory town of Nhulunbuy, Queen Nwa and Revolution roll through the punches of their chaotic lives as single mums and carers to their neurodiverse sons. They battle small-town dynamics, flakey exes and a hostile school system. This series is written, directed and produced by Tamara Whyte (Jemima to Jeremy), with Moze Croizier also attached as writer, Rarriwuy Hick as director and Serena Hunt (Fat Pizza: Back in Business) as producer. It is financed in association with and developed with the assistance of Screen Territory.
• Hot Bread: Spanning three stories from three emerging writer-directors, Hot Bread is an anthology series that spins a tapestry of life in Melbourne’s vibrant Inner North. The 18-part TikTok series takes viewers inside three neighbouring terrace houses to find a varied cast of characters. From lost souls looking for love to flatmates debating tsunami survival techniques, Hot Bread tells three tales interwoven with comedy and heartbreak. Written and directed by Mark Day (Everything’s Going To Be Fine), Harry Quinlan (Fairy Floss) and Matt Wallace (Chutney). The project is produced by Lawrence Phelan from Recliner Films.
• Pleasant Avenue: A 5 x 6-minute comedy set against the all too familiar world of online Facebook community groups. In Pleasant Avenue, privileged yet passionate residents live to protect and serve their exclusive, idyllic community but are plagued by petty problems that rapidly escalate and threaten to unravel the very values that gave the street its name – all under the vengeful gaze of online community groups. Created for Facebook, Pleasant Avenue is from writer/director Aimée-Lee Xu Hsien (Jump), producer Andrew Arbuthnot (Blackbuster) and executive producer Rosie Lourde (Romance on the Menu). It is financed in association with Screen NSW.
• Touch: Created for YouTube and TikTok, Touch is a 7 x 10-minute romantic comedy that follows Cameron, who attempts to get revenge on their cheating ex by beating her in the local touch footy competition. But, when they catch feelings for new teammate Angie, Cameron has to keep their plan a secret in order to win the competition and Angie’s love. Touch is from the creators of The Formal – creator/writer/director Monique Terry and writer/producer Hannah-Rae Meegan. It is also created, written and directed by Abby Gallaway whose credits include The Formal Season 1,2 & 3 and Schapelle Schapelle, and produced by Linus Gibson whose credits include Sequin in A Blue Room and All Good Things.
• Unerased: A 17 x 4-minute documentary series for Instagram and Tik Tok that tells the story of nine transgender students from around Australia who are documenting their own lives using just their own phones and cameras, as they navigate high school and gender to figure out who they are. With their graduation around the corner, the pressure is on for these young people to overcome challenges with family, friends, healthcare systems, religion, grief, representation and social change – while the issue of being trans is being debated around them. Along the way, these young people must challenge, accept and confront it all to become their true selves. Writing/directing is AP Pobjoy who was supported through the Untapped 2022 initiative and directed Why Did She Have to Tell the World, with Rob Innes (Magda’s Big National Health Check) and Bonny Scott (Why Did She Have to Tell the World) attached as producers. Unerased is produced in association with VicScreen.
Top Image: Eating Late and Working Late