Mark Eder mortgaged his house in order to direct his debutfeature Twists Of Fate, which he alsoco-wrote and is now editing, after being unable to secure any other sort offinancing or to find distributors that would take him or his film seriously.

Eder lives in regional Australia and works the early morningshift driving concrete trucks to allow time for his filmmaking. He has made sixproductions, including a half-hour version of this feature, since emigratingfrom Canada several years ago.

He has teenagers of his own but the terrain he covers - thegrowing pains of being a teenager and the fine line between a bit of rebelliousfun and sheer stupidity - is inspired not by them but by people he remembersfrom his own teenage years.

Twists Of Fate isalso the feature debut of both Sophie Scarf, who plays Trudy, and Jessica Vaby,who plays the wealthy renegade who leads Trudy into drugs, alcohol and parties.Both young actors have solid training. The twist of fate of their fictionalunion sees Trudy's mum killed by a drunk driver.

Veteran television actor Leigh Martin plays Trudy'splain-clothes detective father. "It is a daunting task to find financingfor a first project and I realised the only way I could get to make it was tofind the money myself," said Eder.

In fact, in the last two months, it has been almostimpossible to get any films financed in Australia. Twists Of Fate is the only new entry in the Australian list offilms financed, in pre-production, production or post-production.

The principal reason is that the all-important Film FinanceCorporation Australia has all but run out of funds - but it will be getting newmoney come July 1.

Over the Tasman Sea two new films have joined the NewZealand list, a much better result given that it has one-fifth of Australia'spopulation. They are Vincent Ward's RiverQueen, which is a co-production with the UK, and Number 2, the first New Zealand film to receive support fromWorking Title. Number 2 is also thedirectorial debut of Toa Fraser who, coincidentally, co-wrote River Queen with Ward.

There is also considerable optimism embedded in the factthat River Queen and Perfect Creature are among the biggesthomegrown films ever made there -- putting aside the work of filmmaker PeterJackson of course - although one of the producers is coy about stating thefigure.

To see the full OZ and NZ production listings, click HERE