Two 'commercial' Australia/UK co-productions are among four feature films to receive backing from Australia's Film Finance Corporation Australia (FFC) in its latest round of funding.
Irresistible, a thriller about a woman who believes she is being stalked by her husband's beautiful co-worker, is written and directed by Ann Turner and executive producer Sue Maslin (Japanese Story). The producers are Tatiana Kennedy, Tom Burstall, Franziska Wagenfeld and Michael Cowan.
The Queen and I, written by and starring comedian Gerry Connolly, is about an entertainer being drafted in to impersonate Queen Elizabeth II after she is accidentally hit on the head by a boomerang on an official tour of Australia. The film is directed by Michael Pattinson and produced by Nik Powell, Michael Pattinson and Margot McDonald.
In all the FFC has invested US$45.6m (A$70m)to back four feature films, seven telemovies, one children's drama series and nine documentaries.
It is the first slate to be approved by the FFC Board with new chief executive Brian Rosen at the helm of the organisation. Rosen has said that he intends to try to raise the level of overall production triggered by the FFC through partnerships with the private sector.
Rosen said that 53 per cent of the total production budget of the slate is being contributed by non-FFC sources. "This is a good result in terms of the balance between FFC funds and the market," he said.
The other two features are lower budget films from high profile Australian arthouse directors - Rolf de Heer (The Tracker, Bad Boy Bubby) and Paul Cox (Innocence, My First Wife).
De Heer's new film, Ten Canoes, will be co-directed by Australian actor David Gulpilil and de Heer. It will be performed in the language of the Yolngu people of Arnhem Land, making it one of the few Australian feature films to rely on English subtitles. Cox's new feature, The Human Touch, is an erotic drama to be filmed on location in South Australia and France.