Prolific film-makerRolf de Heer (BadBoy Bubby, Dance Me To My Song) today got a green light from Film FinanceCorporation Australia (FFC) to shoot his next project Dr Plonk.

Characteristic of his wildly diverseoeuvre, the new film is a black and white silent comedy set in 1907 about ascientist inventor who calculates that the world will end in 101 years unlessimmediate action is taken. De Heer says it aims toencapsulate many elements of the old silent comedies and link that world totoday's much darker times.

Adelaide-based busker Nigel Martin, whoperforms around the world as Dr Spin, will play Dr Plonk. Shooting is set tostart in April and continue on and off for the next six months.

De Heer isworking under his Vertigo Productions umbrella with his usual team includingproducer Julie Ryan. Fandango will distribute the film in Italy and Palace in Australia and New Zealand.

The FFC also gave the go ahead to Lucky Miles from writer/director MichaelJames Rowland and Jonathan Ogilvie for The Tender Hook. Dendywill release both films in Australia. The former is a comedy set in the striking red deserts of Australia's Pilbara region where a Cambodian, an Indonesion and an Iraqi get hopelessly lost. CelluloidDreams has signed on as sales agent.

The Tender Hook is set in1920s jazz age Sydney and tells the story of a love triangle using a film noir styleand a boxing setting.

Michelle Harrison is producing under herown Mandala Films banner alongside John Brousek, one of two producers on The Wog Boy, which is in the top 15 Australian commercial hits ofall time. European sales agent BVIP has worldwide rights.