Australia's Film Finance Corporation (FFC) isto invest in Richard Frankland's To Hell And Bourke, only the thirdfeature ever to be made by an indigenous Australian writer/director.

Following a board meeting yesterday, the FFC said itintended to finance the film if producer Ross Hutchens can raise the rest ofthe finance and meet various conditions. Frankland's two shorts, No Way toForget and Harry's War, are highly acclaimed.

Only two other indigenous Australians have ever written directedfeatures: Ivan Sen (Beneath Clouds) and Tracey Moffat (Bedevil). Louis Nowra wrote director Rachel Perkins' Radiance.

Three other films won FFC approval. Fortissimo will addwriter/director Tony Ayres' The Home Song Stories to its growingcatalogue of Aussie pictures. Joan Chen is slated to take the lead role in afilm based on the life of Ayres' own mother.

Radha Mitchell and Ray Winstone are attached to play inthe 1920s film noir title, The Tender Hook, while Michael James Rowland's Lucky Milesalso won backing.

The black comedy Suburban Mayhem also received itsfinal approvals from the FFC. It will be director Paul Goldman's third filmafter Australian Rules and The Night We Called It A Day, and ithas first-timer Leah Churchill-Brown attached as producer and Jan Chapman (Lantana)as executive producer.

Details of all five films are below:

Suburban Mayhem
Suburban Mayhem Pty Ltd
Executive Producer: Jan Chapman
Producer: Leah Churchill-Brown
Director: Paul Goldman
Writer: Alice Bell
Sales and Distribution: Icon(domestic), Showtime (domestic), Fortissimo Films (international)
Synopsis: Set in Newcastle, 19year-old Katrina's world of youth culture, crime, sex and suburban mayhem, thisfilm tells the story of a girl without a conscience in a world without morals.It sees a family destroyed and a daughter get away with murder.

The Home Song Stories
Bigand Little Films Pty Ltd and Porchlight Films Pty Ltd
Executive Producer: WouterBarendrecht, Michael Werner
Producers: Liz Watts, Michael McMahon
Director/writer:Tony Ayres
Synopsis: The Home Song Stories is the story of Sue, a glamorous Shanghainightclub singer, and her struggle to survive in Australia with her two youngchildren. Based on a true story, thisis an epic tale of mothers and sons, mothers and daughters, unrequited love,betrayal and hidden secrets that span continents and decades.

The Tender Hook
MandalaFilms Pty Ltd
Producers: Michelle Harrison,John Brousek
Director/writer:Jonathan Ogilvie
Synopsis: Set in astylised version of Sydney in the 1920s,The Tender Hook presents a young woman's rise to the apex of a love/powertriangle. Iris, McHeath and Art each fight to establish their sovereigntywithin a flawed moral landscape.

To Hell and Bourke
MediaWorld Pictures Pty Ltd
Executive Producer: Media WorldPictures
Producer: Ross Hutchens
Co-producer: John Foss
Synopsis: Two indigenousAustralians, an Italian rock god, a possessed dog, a transvestite cousin,his/her broken hearted lover, a wedding, a funeral, a sacred stone, a sensitivenew age cop, and a couple of thousand kilometres. Would you get in the car withthem'

Blink Films Pty Ltd
Executive Producer: MichaelBourchier
Producer: Jo Dyer
Director: Michael James Rowland
Writers: Helen Barnes, MichaelJames Rowland
Synopsis: Driven to findsomething better three men walk into the desert. Following in the greatAustralian tradition they're soon rewarded with disorientation, thirst anddesperation. Dogging their mysterious trail is an army reserves unit. If theycan get it together, a rescue might happen. A comedy about difference,distance, and dud maps.