Writer/director David Caesar's Prime Mover is one of four projects chosen for Australia's third Aurora intensive scriptwriting programme.
The director of Dirty Deeds, Mullet and Idiot Box is working with producer Vincent Sheehan on what is billed as a diesel-fuelled love triangle between Thomas, his wife Melissa, and his truck. Caesar has been working on the script, which is set in the 1970s, for about a decade.
Liz Watts, Sheehan's business partner at Porchlight Films, writer/director Joel Anderson, and The Armageddon Girl, are also off to Aurora. The coming- of-age story set "at the end of time" sees Keiko discover she is having the most unusual day in history.
The Black Balloon, co-written by Jimmy Jack and director Elissa Down, and produced by Anne Robinson, is about Thomas who wants a normal adolescence but is thwarted by his autistic brother. J, the creation of writer/director David Michod and producer Bec Smith, centres on a 16-yr-old who finds himself and his family at the centre of a ferocious police investigation into the random killing of two officers.
Somersault (formerly More Than Scarlet) went through the first Aurora and is just finishing post-production. It is the debut feature for both director/writer Cate Shortland and producer Anthony Anderson. The executive producer is Jan Chapman (The Piano, Lantana). Financing is now being secured for Little Fish, starring Cate Blanchett and also an Aurora graduate.
Aurora is administered by the New South Wales Film and Television Office (FTO) and this year's advisers are US screenwriters Robert Festinger (In The Bedroom) and David McKenna (American History X, Blow, S.W.A.T.), UK writer/director Lynne Ramsay (Morvern Callar, Ratcatcher, The Lovely Bones) and Australia's Alison Tilson (Japanese Story, Road To Nhill). Aurora's ongoing patron is writer/director Jane Campion
Chief executive Jane Smith said the FTO is also planning to increase the visibility of local filmmakers and their projects at Cannes, Berlin and Cinemart, and to expand the presence to other markets. The FTO has also just provided short film funding to several projects including that of emerging filmmaker Cordelia Beresford, daughter of Bruce.