Aurora, the Australian script programme that has been integral to the development of critical successes such as The Black Balloon and Somersault, has announced the sevenprojects it has accepted for this year.

US producer and This Is That co-founder Ted Hope, US-based Australian production executive Bruna Papandrea, who has just set up her own company Make Movies, Australian writer/director Peter Duncan, and marketing consultant Victoria Treole are the four key advisors at the intensive workshop.

Aurora is run by the New South Wales Film and Television Office but for the first time it has included a project from another state, namely South Australia. The project is Mary, Mary, which features a lonely farmer’s wife. Two other projects only have writers attached; previously only teams were eligible.

The selected projects are:

Mary Mary

Writer: Steph McCarthy

Director: Richard Jasek

Producer: Scott McDonald.

Synopsis: Mary is a young, naive and lonely farmer’s wife. When a charismatic, somewhat suspicious stranger forces his way into her world, her initial caution gives way to an obsessive hope that Jim may be ‘her prince’, that is, the loving, caring partner she has dreamed about.

A Little Verity

Writer: Cath Moore

Synopsis: Convinced her mother and grandmother will drive her crazy, eight-year-old Verity seeks deliverance through her father, Frank, who has recently been released from jail.

Burning Man

Writer/director: Jonathan Teplitzky

Producer: Andy Paterson

Synopsis: Tom’s life has been turned upside down and inside out and he descends into the mother-of-all mid-life crises.

Gravel Road

Writers: Kieran Darcy-Smith, Felicity Price

Director: Kieran Darcy-Smith

Producer: Angie Fielder

Synopsis: Four friends travel to South East Asia for a holiday. Only three come home. Jeremy has gone missing leaving his three friends to get on with their lives amid shocking revelations and a maze of secrets and lies concerning events in Cambodia.

2Q: A Pair OfQueens

Writer: Daniel Cardone

Director: Erin White

Synopsis: Unlucky-in-love has hit an all-time low for best-friends-come-soul mates Serifina and Max. Marrying each other would be a logical solution except that Max is a card-carrying-homosexual.

The Warmth

Writer/director: Rhys Graham

Producer: Philippa Campey

Synopsis: Toby, a grieving and tormented teenager, sets out to retrace his dead sister’s journey through Vietnam and discovers a world and life far removed from the safe isolation of the drought-stricken farm from which he fled.

Love Shack

Writer: Stephen Ayres

Synopsis: Four friends, each embarking on a mid-life-crisis, set up shop as a phone sex company to turn their lives around.