Samantha Strauss - News Poster


Samantha Strauss gets her Hollywood break with John Madden movie

Samantha Strauss.

Samantha Strauss met with executives at Fox Searchlight during what she describes as a “water bottle” tour of Los Angeles in January last year.

That visit has paid off handsomely as the Dance Academy creator has been commissioned to script a movie about Joan Quigley, the San Francisco astrologer who became a confidante to First Lady Nancy Reagan and President Ronald Reagan.

John Madden will direct President’s Astrologer, produced by Damian Jones for Fox Searchlight, one of the Fox units which will soon be folded into the Walt Disney Co. as part of a $US71.3 billion deal with Rupert Murdoch’s company.

Fox Searchlight execs had read a sample of Strauss’ work on The End, See-Saw Films’ 10-part drama co-commissioned by Foxtel and Sky UK. They thought the tone was perfect for Madden’s film, which will relate how Nancy Reagan secretly hired Quigley as the White House
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Fox Searchlight renews deal with UK producer Damian Jones

One Man, Two Guvnors adaptation and Sleeping With The Enemy remake are in the works.

UK producer Damian Jones has renewed his overall deal with Fox Searchlight and unveiled a slate of new projects including a feature version of hit stage play One Man, Two Guvnors and a “reimagining” of the Julia Roberts domestic violence drama Sleeping With The Enemy.

One Man, Two Guvnors is being written by Oli Refson, creator of BBC TV comedy series Uncle and will be executive produced by Richard Bean and Nicholas Hytner.

Emerging Us filmmaker Nia DaCosta is writing and directing the new version of Sleeping With The Enemy.
See full article at ScreenDaily »

‘Sleeping With the Enemy’ Remake Planned at Fox Searchlight

  • The Wrap
Fox Searchlight is planning to remake “Sleeping With the Enemy,” the 1991 film starring Julia Roberts, as part of a new overall producer deal with Damian Jones and his DJ Films Limited, the company announced Tuesday.

Jones, who first partnered with Fox Searchlight in 2016, is developing a reimagining of “Sleeping With the Enemy” with writer and director Nia DaCosta. The original film is about a woman (Roberts) who fakes her own death in an attempt to escape a nightmarish marriage, only to find she can’t evade her controlling husband.

Jones is also planning a film adaptation of “One Man, Two Guvnors,” the stage play starring James Corden. The play’s writer, Richard Bean, is executive producing the project along with Oli Refson and Nicholas Hytner. “One Man, Two Guvnors” is itself an English adaptation of “Servant of Two Masters,” an 18th-century Italian play. The play opened in the UK in
See full article at The Wrap »

Fox Searchlight Lines Up ‘Sleeping With The Enemy’ Reboot, ‘One Man, Two Guvnors’ Film & White House Astrologer Pic

  • Deadline
Fox Searchlight Lines Up ‘Sleeping With The Enemy’ Reboot, ‘One Man, Two Guvnors’ Film & White House Astrologer Pic
The Favourite backer Fox Searchlight is lining up a reboot of Julia Roberts’ 1991 hit Sleeping With The Enemy and a feature version of smash James Corden stage play One Man, Two Guvnors as part of a new producing deal with The Iron Lady and Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie producer Damian Jones.

Prolific UK producer Jones is in development on a strong new slate of movies with Searchlight and they have set emerging US filmmaker Nia DaCosta as writer-director of the Sleeping With The Enemy “reimagining.” DaCosta’s 2018 feature debut Little Woods starred Lily James and Tessa Thompson as sisters driven to work outside the law to better their lives.

Based on Nancy Price’s 1987 novel of the same name, thriller Sleeping With The Enemy saw Roberts – then at the height of fame just after Pretty Woman – play a woman trying to escape her abusive husband. The film was a
See full article at Deadline »

Sky, Foxtel Order ‘The End,’ Starring Harriet Walter, Frances O’Connor

  • Variety
Sky, Foxtel Order ‘The End,’ Starring Harriet Walter, Frances O’Connor
Harriet Walter, who appeared in “The Crown” and “Black Earth Rising,” and Frances O’Connor, who was Golden Globe nominated for “Madame Bovary” and “The Missing,” are set to star in “The End,” a co-production from pay-tv companies Sky in the U.K. and Foxtel in Australia.

The 10-part show is produced by the TV arm of See-Saw, which produced Jane Campion’s Emmy-nominated series “Top of the Lake,” and whose recent movies include Steve McQueen’s heist thriller “Widows.” See-Saw’s past movies include “The King’s Speech,” which won four Oscars, including best picture.

The End,” described as “thought-provoking, darkly comic and full of heart” by Liz Lewin, executive producer for Sky, is about three generations of a family “with separate but intersecting obsessions – trying to figure out how to die with dignity, live with none and make it count,” according to a statement.

O’Connor plays Dr.
See full article at Variety »

‘The Crown’s Harriet Walter & ‘Mr Selfridge’s Frances O’Connor To Star In Sky/Foxtel Family Drama ‘The End’

  • Deadline
‘The Crown’s Harriet Walter & ‘Mr Selfridge’s Frances O’Connor To Star In Sky/Foxtel Family Drama ‘The End’
The Crown’s Harriet Walter and Mr Selfridge’s Frances O’Connor are set to star in The End, a family drama for Sky and Australia’s Foxtel. It is produced by The King’s Speech and Top of the Lake indie See-Saw.

The show, which will air in 2019, is about three generations of a family with separate but intersecting obsessions – trying to figure out how to die with dignity, live with none and make it count.

O’Connor plays Dr Kate Brennan, an Australian-based specialist in palliative care. Euthanasia is a hot-button topic in Kate’s field of work and she is passionate in her opposition. On the other side of the world, Kate’s mother Edie Henley, played by Walter, feels just as strongly about her right to die. Kate has little choice but to ship Edie out from England and deposit her in a nearby retirement village
See full article at Deadline »

Frances O’Connor, Harriet Walter to star in Foxtel drama ‘The End’

Frances O’Connor.

Frances O’Connor and Harriet Walter will star in The End, a 10-part drama co-commissioned by Foxtel and Sky UK.

As first reported by If, See-Saw Films will produce the series created and written by Samantha Strauss, with shooting starting next month on the Gold Coast, supported by Screen Queensland.

The set-up director is the Us-based Aussie Jessica M. Thompson, who made her feature directing debut with The Light of the Moon, which had its world premiere at the South by Southwest (SXSW) film festival in 2017, where it won the audience award for best narrative feature and was acquired by Amazon Video Direct. Jonathan Brough (Rosehaven) will also direct.

Produced by Louise Smith and Carol Hughes, the series will air on Foxtel’s rebranded Fox Showcase, Sky Atlantic and streaming service Now TV in the UK and Ireland next year. Endeavor is handling the rights in the rest of the world.
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Weekly Update for March 9: Women Centric, Directed, and Written Films Playing Near You

“A Wrinkle in Time”Films About Women Opening This Week

A Wrinkle in Time — Directed by Ava DuVernay; Written by Jennifer Lee

A reimagining of Madeleine L’Engle’s classic novel that takes Meg Murry (Storm Reid) and her brilliant brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe), along with their friend Calvin (Levi Miller), on an unexpected journey into alternate dimensions on a mission to bring home their father (Chris Pine). Traveling via a wrinkling of time and space known as “tessering,” they are soon transported to worlds beyond their imagination where they must confront a powerful evil. To make it back home to Earth, Meg must look deep within herself, and embrace her flaws to harness the strength necessary to defeat the darkness closing in on them. (Press materials)

Find screening info and tickets here.


“Thoroughbreds”: Focus Features/Claire Folger

Childhood friends Lily (Anya Taylor-Joy) and Amanda (Olivia Cooke
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

movies by or about women opening Us/Can from Fri Mar 02


Red Sparrow [my review]

Jennifer Lawrence stars as a Russian spy who uses manipulation to get what she wants. (male writer and director)


Werewolf [IMDb]

Ashley McKenzie writes and directs this drama about outcast drug addicts, costarring Bhreagh MacNeil.

Oh, Lucy! [IMDb]

Atsuko Hirayanagi cowrites and directs this dramedy about a lonely Tokyo woman, played by Shinobu Terajima.

Chasing Great [IMDb]

Michelle Walshe cowrites and codirects this documentary about a (male) rugby player.

Dance Academy: The Comeback [IMDb]

Samantha Strauss writes this drama following the continuing stories of the gender-balanced ensemble from an Australian television show.

Eat Me [IMDb]

Jacqueline Wright writes and costars in this thriller about a woman and the (male) home invader who saves her mid-suicide attempt. (male director)

The Lullaby [IMDb]

Tarryn-Tanille Prinsloo writes this horror movie about a woman, played by Reine Swart, who is having difficulty as a new mother.

Hondros [IMDb]

Jenny Golden cowrites this documentary about a (male) war photojournalist.
See full article at FlickFilosopher »

Monkey reboot The Legend of Monkey set to arrive in 2018

Get ready for more Monkey magic, with Deadline reporting that See-Saw Films and Jump Film & TV are rebooting the classic Japanese TV show with The Legend of Monkey, a new 10 episode series based upon the 16th century Chinese fable Journey to the West.

The Legend of Monkey will follow a teenage girl and a trio of fallen gods on a perilous journey as they attempt to bring an end to a demonic reign of chaos and restore balance to their world. Featuring in the cast are Chai Hansen (Mako Mermaids, The 100) as Monkey, Luciane Buchanan (Filthy Rich, Blue Rose) as Tripitaka, Josh Thomson (Terry Teo, 7 Days) as Pigsy and Emile Cocquerel (Lion, An Accidental Soldier) as Sandy.

The New Zealand-Australian co-production has been written by Jacquelin Perske (Spirited), Craig Irvin (Nowhere Boys) and Samantha Strauss (Dance Academy), with Gerard Johnstone (Housebound) directing. It is set to air on ABC,
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

See Saw and Jump team on ‘The Legend of Monkey’ for ABC, Tvnz and Netflix

(L-r): Josh Thomson, Chai Hansen, Luciane Buchanan and Emilie Cocquerel (Photo: Geoffrey Short)..

See Saw Films and Jump Film & TV have kicked off production on.The Legend of Monkey for ABC, Tvnz and Netflix..

To be shot on location around Auckland, the 10x30. children.s series is an adaptation of the 16th century Chinese fable Journey to the West. It.follows a teenage girl and a trio of fallen gods on a journey to bring an end to a demonic reign..

The Legend of Monkey will star Chai Hansen (Mako Mermaids, The 100) with Luciane Buchanan (Filthy Rich, Blue Rose), Josh Thomson (Terry Teo, 7 Days, The Project) and Emilie Cocquerel (Lion, An Accidential Soldier)..

Head writer is Jacquelin Perske (Seven Types of Ambiguity, Spirited), who will work alongside Craig Irvin (Nowhere Boys) and Samantha Strauss (Dance Academy)..

The lead director is Gerard Johnstone (Housebound, The Jaquie Brown Diaries), with Irvin to direct additional eps.
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Nz shoot begins on 'The Legend Of Monkey'

Television show to air on ABC (Australia), Tvnz, Netflix in 2018.

Production is underway in New Zealand on live-action television series The Legend Of Monkey that See-Saw Films is producing with Jump Film & TV.

The series is an official New Zealand-Australian co-production with principal investment from Screen Australia in association with Screen Nsw, Fulcrum Media Finance and the New Zealand Screen Production Grant.

The series from head writer Jacquelin Perske, along with writers Craig Irvin and Samantha Strauss, is filming on location in and around Auckland, New Zealand, and will premiere on ABC (Australia), Tvnz and Netflix in 2018.

Gerard Johnstone is the lead director, with Craig Irvin directing additional episodes on the show, inspired by the 16th Century Chinese fable Journey To The West.

The 10-part half-hour series follows a teenage girl and a trio of fallen gods on a perilous journey as they attempt to bring an end to a demonic reign of chaos and restore balance
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Joanna Werner preps ABC TV-movie to shoot in July, 'Dance Academy' release

On location shooting 'Dance Academy'.

Speaking to If from her home in Melbourne, Dance Academy producer Joanna Werner begins by apologizing for the .squawking. that might erupt at any moment.

.I have a nine-week old-baby who.s happy — at the moment. I found out in week one of pre-production that I was pregnant, and I.ll always remember exactly how long it takes to make a movie because she was born two weeks after we finished the film..

The Dance Academy feature, in 211 cinemas around the country from April 6, revisits the characters we last saw in the series, which ran on the ABC for three seasons beginning in 2010.

The show.s success on Netflix in America helped Werner and series co-creator Samantha Strauss put together the feature with the backing of Screen Australia and the show.s German distributor Zdf Enterprises.

StudioCanal came onboard as the Australian and New Zealand distributor,
See full article at »

'Dance Academy' scribe Sam Strauss preps story of royal mistress 'Sheila'

'Dance Academy' star Xenia Goodwin shooting in New York (courtesy Werner Film Holdings).

Screenwriter Samantha Strauss makes her feature debut this month with Dance Academy, based on the show she created with producer Joanna Werner in 2010..

Earlier feature scripts went nowhere, the writer tells If. "I.d written a film before that had a young female protagonist and that was incredibly difficult to get up. We were told at the time that it.s not a market for Australia."

But the support of StudioCanal and the show's German partner Zdf made a Dance Academy feature possible, and Strauss is thrilled with the result.

"Everything ever worked on, you just hate everything ever written and every moment is awful and you can.t imagine what it looks like," she said..

"This is the first experience where. no I shouldn.t say that (laughs). But when we saw the rough cut,
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The Code tops the Awgie Awards

The Code. . Shelley Birse has taken out the top prize at this year.s Awgie Awards, winning the Major Award for the second season of ABC cyber-thriller The Code..

The first season of The Code also took out the Australian Writers. Guild Major Award in 2014. This year.s award makes it the only series to have been recognised by two Major Awards for both of its seasons. The Code also received the Awgie Award for the Television: Miniseries — Original category.

Overall, more than 25 Australian writers —.from radio, television, film, theatre and interactive media — were honoured at this year.s Awgie Awards, held in Sydney on Friday evening.

Andrew Knight and Osamah Sami.s Ali.s Wedding took out the award for most outstanding script for an original feature, while Shaun Grant and Craig Silvey received the award for most outstanding feature adaptation for Jasper Jones.

Samantha Strauss was honoured for her original telemovie,
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Miranda Otto on board for Dance Academy: The Movie

Miranda Otto on set of Dance Academy: The Movie at Sydney Opera House. (Photo: Simon Cardwell). Miranda Otto (The Lord of The Rings, The Daughter, The Thin Red Line, Homeland) has joined the cast of Dance Academy: The Movie, which is currently shooting in Sydney before production moves to New York.

Otto will star in the role of artistic director of the National Ballet Company, Madeline Moncur, responsible for the new direction of the Company and choreographing its new works.

She joins previously announced cast members including Xenia Goodwin, Dena Kaplan, Thomas Lacey, Jordan Rodrigues, Alicia Banit, Keiynan Lonsdale, Tara Morice and Nic Westaway.

.Miranda Otto is one of my favourite actors on the planet. I can think of no greater artistic director — she is glitteringly beautiful, formidable but also brings a wonderful humanity to this key role,. said creator and writer Samantha Strauss.

Otto already has some connections with Dance Academy and its cast.
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StudioCanal lines up March 2017 release for Dance Academy: The Movie

Xenia Goodwin.

StudioCanal has dated Dance Academy: The Movie.

The film, directed by Jeffrey Walker and starring Xenia Goodwin, Keiynan Lonsdale, Jordan Rodrigues, Dena Kaplan, Thomas Lacey, Alicia Banit and Tara Morice, will hit Australian cinemas on March 23, 2017.

International sales are being handled by Zdf Enterprises Germany.

The show was created by writer Samantha Strauss (Mary: The Making of a Princess) with producer Joanna Werner (Secret City, Ready For This).

The film.s Ep's are Louise Smith (The Square, The Rage in Placid Lake), Bernadette O.Mahony (Worst Year of My Life Again, Mortified), Vicki O.Neil, Arne Lohmann and Nicole Keebe.

Dop Martin McGrath Acs (Muriel.s Wedding), who shot all 65 episodes of the show.s three seasons, is lensing the feature..

Also on board is production designer Chris Kennedy (The Water Diviner, The Proposition, Cosi), costume designer Tess Schofield (The Water Diviner, The Sapphires, Bootmen), hair and
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Dance Academy: The Movie begins shooting in Sydney

Xenia Goodwin on the set of Dance Academy: The Movie.

Dance Academy: The Movie has begun shooting in Sydney, almost six years to the day since the premiere of Dance Academy season one in 2010.

The series began with country girl Tara Webster (Xenia Goodwin) travelling to Sydney to audition for a place at the National Academy of Dance, the top ballet school in Australia..

Returning alongside Goodwin in the feature film is Dena Kaplan, Alicia Banit, Thomas Lacey (Winners and Losers), Jordan Rodrigues (The Fosters), Keiynan Lonsdale (Insurgent) and Strictly Ballroom's Tara Morice.

The show was created by writer Samantha Strauss (Mary: The Making of a Princess) with producer Joanna Werner (Secret City, Ready For This).

The film.s Ep's are Louise Smith (The Square, The Rage in Placid Lake), Bernadette O.Mahony (Worst Year of My Life Again, Mortified), Vicki O.Neil, Arne Lohmann and Nicole Keebe,
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Revlover loads up film and TV slate

Leading Tvc production house Revolver and former Screen Australia and Goalpost Pictures executive Martha Coleman have launched film and TV production banner Revlover.

The new company is developing a big slate of projects with entities such as Goalpost, Foxtel, eOne and Transmission Films.

Christopher Sharp, former director of development at Screen Queensland and development executive at Screen Australia, is Revlover.s head of development.

Founded in the 1990s and owned by Steve Rogers and Michael Ritchie, Revolver represents Justin Kurzel, The Glue Society.s Matt Devine and Gary Freedman, Rogers, Simon McQuoid, Tim Godsall and a number of other directors with whom Coleman is keen to work.

.Michael and Steve have been wanting to expand into long form film and television for some time but they know that many commercials companies who try to cross over fail because they work outside of the industry, not within it, . says Coleman, a
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Last call for concepts for TV dramas

Werner Film Productions. Joanna Werner is appealing to creatives to pitch their ideas for original TV dramas for the Screen Australia-funded development initiative The Story Lab.

Werner is looking for two projects for workshops designed to enable writers to take concepts to a pitch bible and first draft pilot episode script.

The deadline for Call for Concepts is July 10. Applicants are asked to submit a 1-3 page outline via Wfp.s website.

Funded by Screen Australia.s Enterprise Stories, the lab is intended to cultivate innovative Australian stories with global audience appeal.

Up to 20 writers as well as five script editors and five creative producers will participate in five intensive .Us writers. room- style workshops throughout the year. had a terrific response to Call for Concepts, across a broad cross-section of genres, but there is a week left for submissions,. Werner tells If.

The first workshop was held in June for House Games,
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