Mary and Max animator among creators receiving $5.6m in fresh Screen Australia funding

Mary and Max animator among creators receiving $5.6m in fresh Screen Australia funding

The stop-motion animation film Memoir of a Snail, by acclaimed writer-director Adam Elliot, tells the bittersweet story of Grace Puddle, a lonely hoarder of ornamental snails who lives in Canberra.

An Australian film industry that is bursting at the seams with Hollywood productions has today received a boost for locally-led works, reeling in $5.6 million in funding for three feature films and two television dramas.

One of the films to be supported is the stop-motion animated feature Memoir of a Snail by internationally-acclaimed writer and director Adam Elliot, known for his films Harvie Krumpet and Mary and Max.

The other feature films to received backing are the Western Australia-set Kid Snow directed by Paul Goldman, and Petrol by writer-director Alena Lodkina whose debut production Strange Colours premiered at the 2017 Venice International Film Festival.

The Stan drama series Bump produced by and starring Claudia Karvan will get funding for its second series, as well as The Secrets She Keeps Series 2.

"We have been blown away by the volume of applications for production funding and are heartened at the breadth of distinct Australian stories that continue to come through," says Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason.

"Adam Elliot is set to delight audiences around the world with a remarkable new drama in his signature claymation style; and we're thrilled to support writer/director Alena Lodkina whose 2017 feature Strange Colours premiered at the Venice Film Festival, as she expands on her unique voice with striking follow up Petrol. I am also looking forward to seeing more Bump after its record breaking series one."

Today's announcement comes shortly after the Victorian Government launched a $121 million screen fund for local-led film, TV and games projects.

Writer-director Alena Lodkina follows up on her film debut at the 2017 Venice International Film Festival with Petrol, the story of a naïve and idealistic film student who embarks on a surreal journey of awakening after making a new friend. 

Funded feature films

Kid Snow

A feature film set in 1970's Western Australia, about a washed-up Irish boxer Kid Snow who is offered a rematch against a man he fought 10 years ago, on a night that changed his life forever. Finally faced with a chance to redeem himself, Kid comes to a crossroads when he meets single mother Sunny and is forced to contemplate a future beyond boxing. This drama is directed by Paul Goldman (Suburban Mayhem) and written by John Brumpton (Life), Phillip Gwynne (Australian Rules), Shane Danielsen (The Guests) and Stephen Cleary (script editor on Sweet Country). The producers are Lizzette Atkins (Looking For Grace), Megan Wynn (The Childhood of A Leader) and Bruno Charlesworth (Ladies In Black). Kid Snow will be distributed locally by Madman and French-based sales agent Elle Driver, is managing international sales. It is financed in association with Screenwest, Lotterywest and the Western Australian Screen Fund through the State Government of Western Australia's Royalties for Regions Program, with support from Soundfirm and Film Victoria.

Memoir of a Snail

A stop-motion animated feature film from Academy Award-winning writer and director Adam Elliot (Mary and Max). This film tells the bittersweet story of Grace Puddle, a lonely hoarder of ornamental snails who lives in Canberra. Grace's life is plagued with misfortune and loss, until she befriends an elderly eccentric woman called Pinky. Through an enduring and colourful friendship, Pinky teaches Grace many life lessons and ultimately the courage to let go of the things that clutter her home and her mind. Memoir of a Snail is produced by Liz Kearney (Paper Planes) and Elliot, and executive produced by Robert Connolly (The Dry). It was developed with assistance from Film Victoria and is financed with support from Film Victoria, North South East West, Soundfirm and the Melbourne International Film Festival Premiere Fund. Local distribution is by Madman and Charades is managing international sales.

Petrol

The second feature film from writer/director Alena Lodkina whose debut film Strange Colours premiered at the 2017 Venice International Film Festival. Petrol follows Aurora, a naïve and idealistic film student who befriends a charismatic performance artist named Mia. As the two women move in together and their lives become more entwined, Aurora begins to feel haunted by an otherworldly presence. In her quest to understand her new friend, Aurora sets off on a surreal journey of awakening, haunted by dreams, fantasies and ghosts. Lodkina teams up again with Strange Colours producer Kate Laurie, with executive producers Robert Connolly and Liz Kearney of Arenamedia whose credits include Acute Misfortune. This project is financed with support from Film Victoria, the Melbourne International Film Festival Premiere Fund and SBS.

Funded television series

Bump Series 2

A 10-part second series of the record-breaking original drama for Stan, produced by and starring Claudia Karvan. Series 2 sees teenagers Oly and Santi and their families continue to adapt to life with surprise baby Jacinda. Writers Kelsey Munro, Jessica Tuckwell, Tim Lee, Mithila Gupta and Steven Arriagada return along with producers John Edwards and Dan Edwards. This project is financed with support from Screen NSW.

The Secrets She Keeps Series 2

A six-part second series for Network 10, BBC1 and Sundance Now, set two years after Megan Shaughnessy's son was kidnapped by Agatha Fyfle. Now the two women's lives collide again, unleashing new secrets and sparking shockwaves for their families. Returning for series 2 is director Jennifer Leacey, writers Sarah Walker and Michael Robotham, producer Helen Bowden, and executive producer Jason Stephens. They are joined by writer Sarah Bassiuoni (The Heights). This project is financed with support from Screen NSW.

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