Two of the seven Australian projects chosen for the financing market held in mid-November during the annual conference of the Screen Producers Association of Australia are substantially or wholly set outside Australia.
Writer/director Rhys Graham’s The Warmth is about a young Australian who is struggling with grief at the same time as he’s discovering love and sex on the backpacker trails of Vietnam.
Producer Philippa Campey, who worked with Graham on Words From The City, a documentary about Australian hip hop music, said The Warmth will be made in a poetic realist style.
Graham’s short dramas include Love This Time, which received a special mention from the jury at the Berlin Film Festival in 2006. The Warmth will be his first dramatic feature.
Writer/director Kim Mordaunt’s The Rocket is about a boy who leads his family and a couple of ragged misfits through Laos to find a new home, then proves he doesn’t carry a tribal curse by entering the country’s dangerous rocket festival.
Mordaunt and producer Sylvia Wilczynski previously made the documentary Bomb Harvest, about the work of a bomb disposal specialist in Laos, one of the most bombed countries on the planet per capita.
Far From Home by director Dee McLachlan and producer Andrea Buck, who together made The Jammed, is in the list, as is Tying The Knot from writer/producer David Parker and director Nadia Tass, who have just released Matching Jack in Australian cinemas.
“It is a comedy about a guy who gets let out of gaol to get married but his in-laws don’t know that,” Parker told ScreenDaily.com, “and it is based on a wedding I went to decades ago when I worked as a wedding photographer.”
Also in the mix is the supernatural thriller The Witness, which producer Della Churchill will be seeking finance for during The Circle Conference in Abu Dhabi next week.
“SPAAmart is a targeted financing event specialising in projects that are fully developed to the extent that they are market ready,” said SPAAmart director Julie Marlow, adding that all the projects have an eye for audience. To ensure adequate time for meaningful meetings with the international executives in attendance, no more than 10 projects are ever selected.
This year they are:
- The Badadook: producer Kristina Ceyton, writer/director Jennifer Kent.
- The Rocket: producer Sylvia Wilczynski, writer/director Kim Mordaunt.
- The Witness Tree: producer Della Churchill, director Alex Chomicz, writer Jacqueline Cook.
- The Warmth: producer Philippa Campey, writer/director Rhys Graham.
- The Winter Chill: producer Samantha Jennings, director Justin Kurzel, writer Giula Sandler.
- Tying The Knot: writer/producer David Parker, director Nadia Tass.
- Far From Home: producer Andrea Buck, director Dee McLachlan, writer Peter Lancucki