Paul Cox's latest film, Salvation, is one of 10 finished films that will be shown to buyers later this month as part of 37South, the market attached to the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF).
The films were chosen from a field of 20 and only one has a sales company attached already. Most are either the first films to emerge with finance from MIFF's Premiere Film Fund, all of which happen to be documentaries, or they are low-budget pictures made independently of Australia's government agencies.
The market-style screenings are one of several new sidebar events at the second 37South, which runs for four days from July 24. MIFF opens on July 25 with the world premiere of Not Quite Hollywood and closes on August 10.
'It (37South) is designed as the only event in the country where (screen-based) intellectual property is sold from every angle, whether it be as partially financed scripts, finished films, publishers selling book rights, or even short film directors selling themselves to producers,' 37South manager Mark Woods told ScreenDaily.com.
Attending are at least 65 established producers from across Australia and New Zealand, 40 writers and directors, 30 publishers and literary agents, and 30 financiers and buyers, most of whom are based abroad.
Most of the finished films being shown came to Woods after they were submitted for consideration by MIFF; he was struck by the number of filmmakers connected into the festival circuit but not into the filmmaking community that interacts with the government agencies and reads local film publications.
He hopes 37South will become a very important event, especially if Australia's producer offset boosts the number of films made in Australia. Under this new intiative, filmmakers no longer need a sales agents in place as has been the case when they accessed Film Finance Corporation finance.
Asked about the quality of the films of offer, Woods said: 'As I was choosing them I considered their theatrical potential and also thought back to when I was buying for television and looking at the slate of those buyers I was dealing with.'
The 10 films chosen are below. All will be shown on the big screen except Hobby Farm and Ten Empty, which will be supplied on DVD.
37South Selections 2008
Angel of the Wind (dir: Tahir Cambis, prods: Matt Crosby, Cambis) - A film about the world of actors: actor/producer Matt Crosby and his Japanese colleagues stage a chaotic vaudevillian play about kamikaze pilots, in Melbourne a journey through culture, war and the ever-present spirits of the past.
Bastardy (dir: Amiel Courtin-Wilson, prod: Philippa Campey)- Aboriginal elder, actor, cat burgler, junkie and gay, Jack Charles, is a man of irrepressible contradictions and conflicting personas. This is his portrait.
Beautiful - All they want is happiness. All they see is the mess they've made.
Hobby Farm (dir/prod: Brad Diebert) - Let out of prison after five years, Julian is put in charge of an organised crime syndicate's pleasure farm as reward for keeping his mouth shut.
Lake Mungo (dir: Joel Anderson, prods: David Rapsey, Georgie Neville) - A grieving family goes through 12 months of unexplained paranormal activity after a teenager drowns.
Monkey Puzzle (dir: Mark Forstmann, prod: Tamara Popper) - Five people descend into the harsh ravines and canyons of the Blue Mountains to find the world's rarest tree. The wilderness closes in on them and they learn the hard truths of friendship and that letting go of the past can have consequences both devastating and liberating.
Rock & Roll Nerd (dir/prod: Rhian Skirving) - A rags to riches observational documentary following Melbourne musician and performance artist Tim Minchin.
Salvation (dir/prod: Paul Cox) - The tale of Gloria, Irina and Barry. Gloria is a thriving televangelist, her husband Barry is a biblical scholar, and Irina is involved with prostitution as a means of providing for her mother and daughter.
Ten Empty (dir: Antony Hayes, prod: Naomi Wenck) - Years ago, after his mother's sudden death, Elliot ran away. His father married his late wife's sister and 29-year-old Elliot returns to become godfather.
Whatever Happened To Brenda Hean (dir: Scott Millwood, prods: Michael McMahon, Millwood) - Brenda Hean's fight to save Tasmania's Lake Pedder ends abruptly with her mysterious disappearance in 1972.