The Melbourne International Film Festival’s production fund has announced support for two projects – Michael Henry’s revenge-gone-wrong thriller Blame and Mark Hartley’s feature documentary Machete Maidens Unleashed.
Blame is inspired by an incident in the UK about a decade ago when some of those on a list of sexual predators published in a newspaper were attacked. Some had been wrongly accused.
The film is Henry’s feature debut and is produced by Michael Robinson, his partner in Melbourne-based 3 Monkey Films, and husband-and-wife team Ryan Hodgson and Melissa Kelly of Perth-based Factor30 Films. Western Australian state agency ScreenWest is the principal financier.
UK-based international sales agent Highpoint is in talks to handle international sales on the film.
MIFF’s fund has only been operating for a few years but Machete Maidens Unleashed is the second Hartley film to attract investment. The first, Not Quite Hollywood, opened the festival last year and was a highly entertaining examination of genre filmmaking in the 1970s and 1980s in Australia.
The new film, produced by Veronica Fury, looks at the same subject but in The Philippines.
“It was the Marcos era – the country was under martial law and, at the same time people were being taken into the jungle and shot for their political views, filmmakers such as Roger Corman were making women-in-prison films full of revolutionaries,” Hartley told Screendaily.com.
The film will examine the work of Filipino, American and Italian guerilla filmmakers, look back at the making of Apocalypse Now and revisit construction of the ill-fated Film Centre in Manila.
Director Amanda Jane’s romantic comedy Kin, Nadia Tass’s Matching Jack and Amiel Courtin-Wilson’s feature documentary Ben Lee: Catch My Disease are MIFF films that have yet to be seen.