The Film Finance Corporation Australia (FFC) has cleared theway for cameras to roll on two new films, investing in Candy starringHeath Ledger and Like Minds starring Toni Collette.

Ledger and rising star from Abbie Cornish (Somersault)play lovers full of lust and self-destructive tendencies in thelong-gestating drama Candy, which also features Geoffrey Rush.

The film is adapted from the book by Luke Davies, who wrote theCandy script with director Neil Armfield, an acclaimed theatre director.Margaret Fink and Emile Sherman are producing. Fink's credits include theAustralian film classics My Brilliant Career and For Love Alone but,like Armfield, he has not completed a feature since the 1980s.

Renaissance Films is handling international sales on Candy,which will be released locally by Dendy Films. Angus Finney and Dendyprincipals Richard Payten and Andrew Mackie are executive producing.

Meanwhile, Collette stars as a forensic psychologistin Like Minds, where she has to determine whether there is enoughevidence to lay murder charges against a 16-year-old boy after the shotgundeath of his schoolmate. Like Minds is the debut of writer/directorGregory Read.

Producer Jonathan Shteinman has resurrected Like Minds- it was approved by the FFC back in 1999 - as an official Australian/UKco-production. It will be the first credit for his new production entity,Bluewater Pictures, and working with him is UK producer Piers Tempest ofGunpowder Films.

Samantha Horley at the newly reconfigured Lumina Films is incharge of world sales. Redbus will handle the film in the UK, and Becker Filmswill release it in Australia. Becker and Candy distributor Dendy aresister companies.