The South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC) today announced the first four teams to be part of FilmLab, an initiative that aims to produce eight low-budget features within four years.

They are:

  • director Sophie Hyde, writer Matthew Cormack and producer Bryan Mason from Closer Productions
  • writer/director Eddie White and producer Hugh Nguyen of the People’s Republic of Animation
  • writer/director Matt Bate of Plexus Films, who is working with producer Julie Ryan of Cyan Films
  • writer/director Ashlee Page and Sonya Humphrey of Sacred Cow

They were chosen from 41 filmmaking teams, with a total of 95 ideas.The $3.2 million (A$4.2m) scheme aims to develop the next generation of local film-makers — something the SAFC has not historically been good at — from initial concept right through delivery and marketing.

While none of the directors have completed a feature before, all are accomplished in short films or documentaries.

Details of the features have yet to be released but the selection panel included Scott Meek, a consultant for Screen Australia and producer, and development executive Stephen Cleary of Arista.

The mentors will include directors Phillip Noyce (Rabbit-Proof Fence), Rolf de Heer (Ten Canoes) and Greg McLean (Wolf Creek), producers Mark Herbert from Warp X Films in the UK and Antonia Barnard (Last Ride) and Adelaide Film Festival director Katrina Sedgwick.