Screen Australia has promised investment to the producers of four feature-length films, three of which are comedies, including a big screen version of the television cult hit Kath And Kim.

The fourth project is a documentary about the plight of the great apes, and is intended for release on IMAX.

Like the series, the creative drivers behind the The Kath And Kim Filum are performer/writers Jane Turner and Gina Riley, who play a mother and daughter ensconced in the suburbs.

They are producing alongside Riley’s husband Rick McKenna and another long-term collaborator, Ted Emery, will direct.

The story will see the on-screen pair heading overseas, adding scale and broadening their reach beyond the Australian domestic market.

Roadshow will distribute locally in conjunction with Royalty & Distribution Service, which is also handling international sales.

The other two comedies include two debuts, Franco di Chiera’s Big Mamma’s Boy, to be distributed by Madman; and Peter Templeman’s The 20-Something Guide To Survival, which has Icon attached.

Templeman’s short films have earned many awards and acknowledgements, including the Slamdance Grand Jury Award for best short in 2005 for Splintered and again in 2006 with The Saviour, which was subsequently nominated for an Academy Award.

Screen Australia has also announced that it will back a range of documentaries and a couple of television projects. Its total investment of A$9m in 15 titles will trigger A$29m in production expenditure.

The federal government agency has also provided development funds to 23 features including new projects by Stephan Elliott, Gillian Armstrong, Rachel Ward, Robert Connolly, Kriv Stenders and Josh Lawson.

The Kath and Kim Filum
Production company: Riley Turner Productions
Producers: Rick McKenna, Gina Riley, Jane Turner
Director: Ted Emery
Writers: Turner, Riley
International sales: Royalty & Distribution Services
Australian distribution: Royalty & Distribution Services/Roadshow
Mother and daughter head on a whirlwind overseas tour of love, lust and revolution.

The 20-Something Survival Guide
Production company: Eddie Wong Films
Producer: Jodi Matterson
Executive producers: Bruna Papandrea, Simon Bosanquet, Mark Huffman
Writer: Michael Lucas
International sales: Marble Hill/SC Films International
Australian distribution: Icon
A free-wheeling twentysomething guy has to take drastic action when he finds out his fertility runs out in a month.

Big Mamma’s Boy
Production company: Valarc Films
Producers: Matteo Bruno, Frank Lotito
Director: Franco di Chiera
Writer: Lotito
Australian distribution: Madman
A comedy about life, love and pasta.

The Last Great Apes
Production company: Visionquest Entertainment
Producer: Jeremy Hogarth
Director: Norm Wilkinson
Writers: Hogarth, Wilkinson
International sales: Park Entertainment, NWave (Imax)
Australian distributor: Pinnacle, NWave (Imax)
The survival of the world’s great apes is under threat but now they have a new champion.