Film Finance CorporationAustralia (FFC) has given three features a green light, including director ScottHicks' comic drama The Boys Are Back InTown, his first film back in Australia since he made Shine over 10 years ago.

The other films that werefinanced are Mary & Max, thefirst feature from animator Adam Elliot who won an Oscar for his short film Harvie Krumpet, and The Square, short filmmaker and stuntman Nash Edgerton's debutfeature as a director.

Phillip Noyce's Dirt Music, an adaptation of Tim Winton'sbook of the same name, got a letter of intent as a result of the FFC boardmeeting, bringing it one step closer to going into production.

The Boys Are Back In Town is a co-production between Australia and the UK and an adaptation of the autobiographical book by UK author Simon Carr. The book tells of a talentedsports writer who unexpectedly becomes a single parent. While the book is setin New Zealand,the film is set principally in Australia and will be filmed in Queensland.

The producers are Tim White(Ned Kelly) from Southern Light Filmsand Greg Brenman (Billy Elliot) from theUK's Tiger Aspect. White would not comment on whetherClive Owen has been cast in the lead role.

Comedian and satirist BarryHumphries, better known around the world as Dame Edna Everidge, will narrate Mary & Max, which tells of twounlikely pen pals: a lonely eight-year-old in Melbourne and an isolated NewYorker. It is being produced by Melanie Coombs, who also produced Krumpet.

Rose Byrne and thedirector's brother Joel Edgerton, who also wrote the script with MatthewDabner, have been cast in The Square.

Financed through Marketplace:

(Aus/UK co-production)Southern Light Films Pty Ltd
Producers: Tim White, Greg Brenman
Director: Scott Hicks
Writer: Allan Cubitt
Sales and Distribution: Hopscotch, BBC Films, Dea Planeta, Capitol Films
Synopsis: Based on the book by UK sports writer, Simon Carr.

Financed through Evaluation:

Melodrama Pictures Pty Ltd
Producer: Melanie Coombs
Director/Writer: Adam Elliot
Sales and Distribution: Dendy, SBS Independent, BeckerInternational
Synopsis: Mary & Max is a tale of the tender and amusing friendshipbetween two unlikely pen pals: Mary, a lonely eight-year-old in Melbourne, andMax, an isolated older New Yorker. Spanning 20 years and two continents, Maryand Max's friendship survives much more than the average diet of life's ups anddowns.

Film Depot Pty Ltd
Producer: Louise Smith
Director: Nash Edgerton
Writers: Joel Edgerton, Matthew Dabner
Sales and Distribution: Pathe International, Roadshow
Synopsis: The Square is the story of a completely ordinary man who makes onemistake and finds his life totally unravelling.

Letters of Intent through Evaluation:

Rumbalara Films
Executive Prods: Martin Fabinyi, Michael Gudinski, Jeremy Thomas
Producers: Miranda Culley, Phillip Noyce
Director: Phillip Noyce
Writers: Justin Monjo, Pip Karmel
Sales and Distribution: Hanway
Synopsis: Dirt Music is a gripping psychological love story about a woman whofinds herself stranded in a relationship on the remote and beautiful coast of Western Australia. A chance encounter with an outsider results in anaffair that dredges up secrets and changes lives.