Cate Shortland’s Lore is backed by Screen Australia, along with new projects from Kieran Darcy-Smith and Fred Schepisi.

UK producer Paul Welsh asked Australia’s Cate Shortland (Somersault) to direct the period drama Lore but the expenditure and creative elements fell in such a way that it has turned out to be a co-production between Germany and Australia.

The UK’s involvement in the film, which will be in the German language, is under the European Convention.

Lore was one of two films that has just won production investment from Screen Australia, the other being Say Nothing, actor and short filmmaker Kieran Darcy-Smith’s directorial debut.

Lore is the name of the teenage character who leads her four siblings — all are children of an SS commander — hundreds of kilometres across the war-torn countryside to their grandmother in Hamburg at the end of World War II.

The script by Shortland and Robin Mukherjee was adapted from one of three stories contained in UK writer Rachel Seiffert’s The Dark Room, which was nominated for the 2001 Booker Prize.

Shortland got Australian producer Liz Watts involved; Welsh and Watts together found German producers Karsten Stöter and Benny Drechsel of Rohfilm. Gabriele Kranzelbinder, the fifth producer, is from Austria.

Memento picked up international sales rights just before Cannes and the film will be released by Haut et Court in France and Transmission in Australia and New Zealand.

The film particularly suits Shortland’s skill for visual storytelling, Watts told, and was a fascinating look at morality. By coincidence Watts had read The Dark Room and passed it to Shortland’s husband Tony Kravitz.

Lore will be filmed in Germany next year and post-produced in Australia. The many sources of European finance include Scottish Screen, Germany’s DFFF and various regional German regional funds including FFA and MDM.

Joel Edgerton (Animal Kingdom, Kinky Boots) and Teresa Palmer (Wolf Creek, 2:37) have been cast in Say Nothing, actor and short filmmaker Kieran Darcy-Smith’s directorial debut, which will be filmed in Australia and Cambodia.

Say Nothing is about what caused three instead of four friends to return to Australia after a holiday and the consequences.

It was written by husband-and-wife team Darcy-Smith and Felicity Price, who is also one of the leads. The fourth key actor has yet to be cast.

Casting sessions have been happening in Saigon this week for Vietnamese and Cambodian cast.

The sales agent is Level K, based in Denmark, and Hopscotch will handle the local release. Hopscotch this week releases The Waiting City, directed by Claire McCarthy and another Australian film strongly rooted in Asia.

“Asia feels like somewhere that Australians should be making more films because it is such a rights of passage for Australians to travel there,” said Angie Fielder, who is producing the film under her Aquarius Films banner in association with Blue Tongue Films.

Fred Schepisi’s The Eye Of The Storm received post-production financing from Screen Australia. The Federal agency is also providing development finance for a range of films from highly acclaimed directors including Sarah Watt (No. 3), Phillip Noyce (The Rats of Tobruk) and Bruce Beresford (The White Mouse).