Writer/director Chris Kennedy and his co-producer John Winter, the Sydney-based duo behind Doing Time For Patsy Cline, are to get a second outing together on A Man's Gotta Do.

One of Australia's busiest and most versatile actors, John Howard, has been cast in the lead role of Eddy, who "has gotta do what he's gotta do" to keep his eccentric family together. Hopscotch will release the film locally and sales will be handled by The Works.

The Film Finance Corporation (FFC) board agreed to invest in the film yesterday and the other equity investors are the New South Wales Film and Television Office (FTO) and pay TV outfit the Movie Network. Cameras are expected to roll in early May and because the film is shooting in the country, the creative team has also accessed the resources of the FTO's regional film fund.

The second film approved by the FFC was the comedy Strange Bedfellows from the Melbourne-based team Instinct Entertainment. Company principal Dean Murphy (Muggers) will direct the script that he wrote with Stewart Faichney, and the producers are two of Murphy's partners, David Redman and Nigel Odell.

Michael Caton, who played the lead in The Castle, will play one of two old timers in a small country town who declare themselves a same sex couple on a tax return so one of them can escape a sticky financial situation. They quickly have to learn how to appear gay before the inspector arrives that knows them as anything but.

Strange Bedfellows will shoot mid-year in the country town of Yackandandah. It will be released by the Becker Group, which is also an investor alongside Film Victoria, and sold internationally by Eden Rock Media. Eden Rock's Thomas Augsberger is the executive producer.