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Screen Australia to back The Rover starring Robert Pattinson

Screen Australia has agreed to invest in four features including The Rover, which will star Robert Pattinson and Guy Pearce and be directed by David Michôd who made the much admired Animal Kingdom.

The other films are Felony, the long-awaited follow-up to Noise by Matthew Saville, who has directed some of Australia’s best television drama in the five years since his debut; Craig Monahan’s Healing and a documentary drama that examines the relationship between the late North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il and film.

Michôd will get a producing credit alongside US-based David Linde of Lava Bear Films and the prolific Sydney-based producer Liz Watts of Porchlight Films. FilmNation has international rights.

The lead character is a man in pursuit of the dangerous criminals who stole his car. Watts has described the film as “a dirty and dangerous near-future western set in the Australian desert”.

As with Animal Kingdom, Michôd has written the script, which is based on an idea by he and Joel Edgerton.

Edgerton plays an even bigger role in Felony: he wrote the film; is producing alongside Rosemary Bligh (The Sapphires) of Goalpost Pictures Australia; and will be in the cast.

The thriller is about three male detectives in the aftermath of an accident that leaves a small child in a coma. The Solution is handing sales.

Roadshow is handling local distribution on both these films whereas Pinnacle has the third drama, Healing, a film about an encounter between two men and a wedge tail eagle in a low security prison in the country. One of the locations will be the Healsville Wildlife Sanctuary in Victoria.

Healing will star Hugo Weaving and Don Hany and will be the second producer credit for former distributor and Screen Australia executive Tait Brady after the sci-fi comedy The 25th Reich, which this month scored a spot in the Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival.

“After all those years of doing everything but production, it finally got me in the end,” he told Screendaily. “I’m enjoying it and am involved in a lot of projects in development”.

Screen Australia’s latest round of investments will trigger $100m worth of production activity although this encompasses 12 projects in all, including adult and children’s television series.

More details of the features are as follows:

AIM HIGH IN CREATION

Unicorn Films Producer Lizzette Atkins

Writer/Director Anna Broinowski

International Sales High Point Media Group

Australian Distributor Antidote Films

Synopsis A revolutionary film about the cinematic genius of Kim Jong-il with a groundbreaking experiment at its heart: the making of a film-within-a-film, based on the rules of his manifesto The Cinema and Directing. No Western filmmaker has ever done this before – for good reason!

FELONY

Goalpost Pictures Australia and Blue Tongue Films

Producers Rosemary Blight, Joel Edgerton

Writer Joel Edgerton

Director Matthew Saville

International Sales The Solution

Australian Distributor Roadshow Films

Synopsis Three male detectives become embroiled in a tense struggle after a tragic accident which leaves a small child in a coma. One is guilty; one will try to cover it, and the other attempt to expose it. The crime sends the three men on a thrilling ride where they discover that the road to forgiveness is longer and more complex than that of a simple social justice.

HEALING

Pointblank Pictures Pty LtdProducers Craig Monahan, Tait Brady

Writers Craig Monahan, Alison Nisselle

Director Craig Monahan

International Sales Lightning/Richard Guardian

Australian Distributor Pinnacle

Synopsis Healing is a moving story of redemption, the discovery of hope and its healing of the spirit – in the most unlikely place, for the most unique men, through the most unusual catalyst. 

THE ROVER

Porchlight Films Pty Ltd in association with Lava Bear Films LLC

Producers Liz Watts, David Linde, David Michôd

Writer/Director David Michôd

International Sales FilmNation

Australian Distributor Village Roadshow

Synopsis The Australian desert in a dangerous and damaged near future. Eric has left everything, everyone and every semblance of human kindness behind him. And then he has his last possession stolen by a gang of dangerous criminals. Eric sets off on aruthless mission to track them down, forced along the way to enlist the help of Rey, the naïve and injured junior member of the gang, who was left behind in the bloody chaos of the gang’s most recent robbery. 

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