13 projects receiving development funding, including films from Bruce Beresford, John Curran and Gregor Jordan.

The feature directing debut from Australian actress Rachel Griffiths is among 13 projects receiving development funding from Screen Australia.

B Model is a coming-of age drama with strong comedy elements about a young Australian caught up in the craziness of the international modelling scene.

Also receiving backing are films by the directors Gregor Jordan (Buffalo Soldiers), brothers Michael and Peter Spierig (Daybreakers), John Curran (The Painted Veil), Elissa Down (The Black Balloon), Peter Duncan (Unfinished Sky) and Bruce Beresford (Mao’s Last Dancer).

Griffiths is producing B Model with Louise Smith, who produced her short films Tulip and Roundabout. It will principally be filmed in Australia but with exteriors in New York, London and possibly Paris.

The writer is Samantha Strauss, heralded for creating ABC TV teen drama Dance Academy while still in her 20s. “A fair chunk of the film takes place in London and we might go down the path of making it as a co-production with a UK company or look to the US for financing,” said Smith.

Also a potential co-production is writer/director Peter Duncan’s comedy Venetian Wedding, produced by Deborah Balderstone and inspired by the real-life story of airline steward Prince Lorenzo Montesini Giustiniani, who left gossip columnist and Australian heiress Primrose Dunlop at the altar in Venice and ran off with his best man.

Producer Bryan Brown is also intending to set up Jordan’s romantic comedy Five Spice as an Australian/Chinese co-production. The search has begun for the a pair of high-profile leads for the cross-cultural story set in Sydney and Shanghai.

Screen Australia’s Director’s Acclaim Fund also awarded backing to new projects from writer/director/producer Callum Cooper, whose short Little Brother was in competition at Sundance this year, and writer-director Hannah Hilliard, whose short Franswa Sharl won the Crystal Bear at Berlin last year.

The 13 projects receiving development funding are:

A young Australian girl gets swept up into the chaotic, exciting world of high fashion modelling. Through her mistakes and friendships she discovers the strength she needs to be true in a false world.
Director Rachel Griffiths
Producers Rachel Griffiths, Louise Smith
Writer Samantha Strauss

Mr Chaucer, a beautiful princess and the 10-year-old heir to the throne of England embark on a romantic adventure that will inspire The Canterbury Tales.
Producer Damien Parer
Executive producer James Michael Vernon
Writer Alexa Wyatt

A love story between Lili, a purist chef from Shanghai, and Luke, the son of a billionaire who is in China setting up a frozen Chinese meal business.
Director/writer Gregor Jordan
Producer Bryan Brown
Script consultant Michael Hauge

When restless romantic Polly Turnham marries debonair doctor Richard Mahoney she believes a bright future is before her, but soon begins to realise she may have fallen in love with the one man who will hold her back.
Director Bruce Beresford
Producer Sue Milliken
Executive producers Zelda Rosenbaum, Oscar Whitbread
Writers Chris Anastassiades, Andy Cox

A young Australian gets lost in the Bolivian jungle. When his two companions die he is forced to survive on his own. Based on the true story of Yossi Ghinsberg.
Producers Chris Brown, Emile Sherman
Directors Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig
Writers Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig, Justin Monjo

In 1788, Britain sent its thieves and low lifes to the colony of Australia. Two hundred years later they are returning home. The true story of the infamous Kangaroo Gang.
Producer Ian Collie
Writers Adam Shand, Andrew Knight

Leni Riefenstahl – Nazi propagandist or apolitical artist?
Director/writer Elissa Down
Producer Eva Orner

Faith is a single make-up girl and beauty blogger whose wonderful fake boyfriend keeps her mum off her back. When her younger sister returns home to get married, Faith has to find a real version of Mr Perfect, fast. Based on the novel by Andrea Semple.
Producer Su Armstrong
Writer Eleanor Smagarinsky
Script editor Sheridan Jobbins

A lonely teen rises above the bullying of his youth to pursue his passion for urban, high octane country dancing and becomes a triple world champion. Based on the inspiring true story.
Writer Shirley Pierce

Tom and his mates are happily divorced and free to drink, sleep around and do as much therapy as they please. When Tom decides to go sailing solo around the world, his mates try to stop him, then decide to hijack the trip and go with him. However, on the eve of their departure, Tom meets a woman and falls in love.
Producer Trevor Blainey
Writer Mick Connolly
Script consultant Steve Kaplan

A courageous young man, a steadfast donkey and the ANZAC legend is born… Simpson, the story of Pvt John Simpson Kirkpatrick.
Director Peter Andrikidis
Producer Danny Mackay
Executive producer Matt Carroll
Writer Sam Meikle

One woman’s journey through the desert. A universal story of discovery and survival, based on the acclaimed novel by Robyn Davidson.
Director John Curran
Producer Emile Sherman
Writer Marion Nelson

A comedy about Adele, a plain girl from a wealthy family trying to live up to the pressures her mother places on her to find a suitable husband. When she meets Max and discovers he is a prince of a long forgotten kingdom, both mother and daughter refuse to let anything stand in the way of the perfect fairytale wedding – including his sexuality.
Director/writer Peter Duncan
Producer Deborah Balderstone