Leading Adelaide-basedpost-production and TV production company, Kojo Group, is moving into featurefilm production and has boarded writer/director Murali K. Thalluri's debutfeature 2:37.

"Our optimistic goal is tomake a couple of films per year," Kojo founding partner Kent Smith told Screendaily. "We have already had a bigrole on a number but not as producers. Kojo Pictures has been developingseveral projects in the last three years including Elise, a joint venture with RB Films to star [recording artist]Natalie Imbruglia."

Elise isbeing supported by the South Australian Film Corporation and is likely to gointo production in 2006 with James Bogle (InThe Winter Dark) directing. The low-budget picture is based on GeorgiaBlain's novel Closed For Winter abouta woman who remains troubled by the disappearance of her sister 20 yearsearlier.

Most of 2:37 (working title), formerly titled ALife In The Day Of, was shot in January with A$300,000 raised from realestate developers. This footage secured Kojo's interest - and three offers fromAustralian distributors, none of which have been accepted.

The film opens with a deadstudent at a local school then rewinds six hours and introduces six characterseach with a reason to commit suicide. The cast includes Gary Sweet (The Tracker, Alexandra's Project) and Teresa Palmer, who was recently named by Screen International as a star oftomorrow.

"It is such a strong projectand he has done an amazing job as a young director and with a young cast," saidSmith. He is now producing alongside Thalluri and Nick Matthews, supervisingthe completion of the project by February with Kojo Pictures' cash andfacilities. A further 10 days of shooting has just wrapped.

Thalluri is only 20 years ofage, has lost friends through suicide and once tried to commit suicide himself.It is this personal experience that makes the script so insightful, says Smith."But it is a film about growing up, not about suicide."

Kojo Group, established in1983, is involved in TV commercials, non-drama television and event production.

Adelaide is one of Australia's smallest filmmaking centres but is home to severalkey directors including Scott Hicks, who post-produced Hearts In Atlantis at Kojo, and Rolf de Heer and Mario Andreacchio,who are now in post on Ten Canoes andElephants respectively.