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The Children wins investment from ScreenWest

The Children, from The Waiting City writer/director Claire McCarthy, has become the latest film to get $767,000 (A$750,000) in production investment funding from Western Australia’s West Coast Visions feature film initiative.

The film is an adaptation of Charlotte Wood’s best-selling novel of the same name and is being produced by Melissa Kelly (Blame), McCarthy and the film’s cinematographer Denson Baker.

Each year, film agency ScreenWest puts this amount of money into one feature, the intention being to assist the creative development of what is a very small industry and boost filmmaking activity.

“This is a solid injection of money and, combined with the producer offset and our experience, it offers very good leverage in the marketplace,” said Kelly, who produced the previous West Coast Visions project, Blame. There is no cap on the budget but the initiative is generally aimed at low-budget features.

ScreenWest’s Rikki Lea Bestall and the producers Robyn Kershaw (Bran Nue Dae) and Nelson Woss (Red Dog) made the decision on which film on the shortlist would get the windfall.

The Childrenrevolves around a charismatic war correspondent who returns from Afghanistan to join her siblings at the bedside of the family patriarch and is forced to confront a long-held family secret.

“But it is light-hearted and in the same tone as films such as The Descendants,” said Kelly. “It’s family drama but it’s not bulky and hard to swallow.”

The film includes flashbacks to Afghanistan, and these scenes will be filmed in Australia. It is hoped that the film will go into production in 2013.

Baker was cinematographer on The Waiting City and director Jim Loach’s Australian/UK co-production Oranges And Sunshine and Elissa Down’s The Black Balloon. He and McCarthy are married.

Last Train To Freo, Wasted On The Young and the upcoming These Final Hours are the other films made under West Coast Visions.

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