Director Fred Schepisi will be one of the mentors at SP*RK, theAustralian Film Commission's script lab, and eight projects have been chosen toparticipate.

They include An Imaginary Life, an adaptation ofDavid Malouf's novel of the same name being producedby Penny Chapman, a former head of drama at national broadcaster the ABC, and Seeds, a sci-fi psychological dramabeing produced by Catriona Hughes, a former chiefexecutive of Film Finance Corporation Australia.

Chapman executive producedseveral films while at the ABC but this will be her first feature film creditas a producer. Hughes has produced one film, Kokoda, with LeesaKahn, since leaving the FFC.

Two other book adaptationsare also in the selected participants: AlmostFrench from the book by writer Sarah Turnbull, and The Detective, from Canadian refugee and immigration lawyer Ron Poulton's novel Battambang.

Also among the projects is Here to Alice, from director EmmaFreeman, who was last year named as a star of tomorrow in Screen International.

The writers and theircollaborators will take part in a week-long script lab in Byron Bay from Oct 22-29.

The eight SP*RK projectsare:

Almost French

A romanticcomedy/drama about an Australian journalist struggling to make sense in theworld's most romantic city, Paris. Based on the book by SarahTurnbull.

Producer Sonja Armstrong,director/writer Kate Dennis

An Imaginary Life

In exile, the greatest poetof Ancient Rome learns how to live from a boy reared by wolves. Based on the novel by David Malouf.

Producer Penny Chapman,writer John Alsop

Here To Alice

A family struggles torediscover the magic they have lost when a circus rolls into town during thesummer of 1952.

Producer Leanne Tonkes, director Emma Freeman, writer Emily Ballou

My Mad Heart

A romantic comedy about aman's battle to take control of his life, exorcise his demons and find love.

Producer Luigi Acquisto, director/writer Ian Watson


A sci-fipsychological drama about loneliness, alienation, insomnia and combat robots.

Producer CatrionaHughes, director Ian Gilmore, writer Andrew Kelly


Apsychological thriller in which a children's author is forced to confront hispast when one of this stories starts to write back to him.

Producer Scottie Connolly,co-producer Julie Marlow, writer Jim Howes

The Collaborators

A macabrestory about friendship and betrayal.

Producer Jane Keneally, director Mairi Cameron,writer Shane Danielsen

The Detective

A crime thriller set in Cambodia in 1948 in which a detective looks in the mirror andsees a murderer. Based on the novel Battambang by Ron Poulton.

Producer Michael Robertson,writer Roger Joyce