Abe Forsythe's Down Under locks in Australian theatrical release

Top: Fayssal Bazzi as D-mac, Rahel Romahn as Nick, Michael Denkha as Ibrahim and Lincoln Younes as Hassim

Bottom: Damon Herriman as Jason, Justin Rosniak as Ditch, Alexander England as Shit-stick and Chris Bunton as Evan

Photographer credit: David Dare Parker


Abe Forsythe's black comedy Down Under is set to hit Australian cinemas on August 4.

Distributed by StudioCanal, the film is a black comedy set during the aftermath of the Cronulla riots.

As Forsythe's second feature, it is the story of two carloads of hotheads from both sides of the fight destined to collide..

Sincere, though misguided, intent gives way to farcical ineptitude as this hilarious yet poignant story of ignorance, fear and kebab-cravings unfolds, and what was meant to be a retaliation mission turns into something neither side could have imagined.

During the shoot, Forsythe told If the narrative mined comedy through the heavy drama.

.The humour turns
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Seven unveils Jessica Mauboy drama

Jessica Mauboy will star in a new Australian family drama series for the Seven Network, which also unveiled local versions of three entertainment formats including a dating show from the creators of Married at First Sight.

These were among the highlights of Seven.s 2016 slate announced today as director of network programming Angus Ross said, .We are launching more new Australian shows next year than ever before..

Screentime is producing The Secret Daughter, which will star Mauboy as a part-time country pub singer who discovers she may be the daughter of a tycoon who has just died.

That leads to a confrontation with the man.s son and sees her character torn between the worlds of the haves and have-nots.

Screen Australia is investing in the series, which was developed specifically for The Sapphires star and will go into production next year with Greg Haddrick and Bob Campbell as executive producers.
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Wanted shoot begins in Brisbane

Rebecca Gibney will lead a strong Australian cast for upcoming drama series Wanted, which starts production in Brisbane this week.

Wanted is the story of two strangers who, after intervening in a deadly car-jacking, are swept up a chase across Australia.

Series co-creator and star, Rebecca Gibney will be joined Stephen Peacocke (Home and Away, Hercules), Ryan Corr (Holding The Man, Love Child, Packed To The Rafters), theatre, film and tv veteran Nicholas Bell (Miss Fisher.s Murder Mysteries, Tangle, Satisfaction, Newstopia) and theatre star Geraldine Hakewill in her first major television role.

Gibney said she was excited about the extraordinary team of people.

"To be filming in the beautiful state of Queensland is a dream come true," she said..

Seven director of network production, Brad Lyons, .said Gibney would play a role unlike any of her previous characters, combined with Steve Peacocke.s first major role back in Australia.
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Change of director for A Few Best Men sequel

Goddess. Mark Lamprell is directing A Few Less Men, the sequel to Stephan Elliott's 2011 hit comedy A Few Best Men. Lamprell takes over from Not Suitable for Children's Peter Templeman, who was named as the director when Screen Australia announced its investment in the project last month. Scripted by Dean Craig, A Few Less Men will see Xavier Samuel, Kevin Bishop and Kris Marshall reprise their roles as the guys who transport their mate.s coffin across Australia after a forced plane landing strands them in the middle of the bush.

Shooting is set to start on October 26 in Western Australia, produced by Tania Chambers, Laurence Malkin and Share Stallings, their second collaboration after Kill Me Three Times.

Chambers tells If, "The change of director was a very amicable and mutual decision. We continue to look for projects to do with Peter and are very excited to work with Mark.
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‘Bait 3D’ Director Kimble Rendall to Stir up Chinese Co-Production ‘The Nest’

‘Bait 3D’ Director Kimble Rendall to Stir up Chinese Co-Production ‘The Nest’
Australia’s Kimble Rendall has set China-Australia co-production “The Nest” as his next project after his debut film “Bait 3D” scored with Chinese audiences.

The English-language picture will start pre-production next month and shoot from late October.

The story involves the innocent discovery of a well preserved mummified emperor from 200 BC that unlocks a 2,000 year old nightmare and secrets that should have remained buried.

Production is by Gary Hamilton and Ying Ye through Nest Holdings with Mike Gabrawy and Elliot Tong as executive producers. Sydney- and Los Angeles-based Arclight will handle international sales. The identity of the Chinese partner has not yet been revealed.

The budget also remains undisclosed, though federal funding body Screen Australia Tuesday confirmed that the film will receive production finance.

Rendall previously made “Bait 3D,” which was a complicated Australian-Singaporean treaty co-production, that also used Chinese finance. The film struggled at the box office in most
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Screen Australia backs 'A Few Best Men' sequel

  • ScreenDaily
Screen Australia backs 'A Few Best Men' sequel
Backing also allocated to China-Australia co-production The Nest.

Investment from Screen Australia means filming is set to go ahead on A Few Less Men, the sequel to 2011 ensemble comedy A Few Best Men.

At the same board meeting, the government agency also backed Kimble Rendall’s The Nest, a China-Australia co-production to be primarily made in Australia.

Arclight Films International will represent both films.

A Few Less Men will see Xavier Samuel, Kris Marshall and Kevin Bishop return to their roles as hapless friends, who become stranded in the Australian bush with a friend’s body after their plane makes a forced landing.

It is understood that Rebel Wilson (Pitch Perfect), who played Daphne in the first film, will not reprise her role.

A Few Best Men screenwriter Dean Craig (Death At A Funeral) will return to pen the sequel, although he will not direct as previously reported.

Peter Templeman will take on directing duties, marking his second
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Screen Aus funds three projects

Kimble Rendall.s 3D action adventure The Nest, a sequel to A Few Best Men and a TV drama starring Rebecca Gibney are being co-funded by Screen Australia.

The agency is investing $3.19 million in the three projects, a remarkable economic multiplier as the combined budgets are $38.4 million.

An official Australian/Chinese co-production, The Nest tells of the discovery of a well-preserved mummified Emperor from 200 BC China, which unleashes a 2,000 year-old nightmare.

Arclight Films, which produced Rendall.s Chinese hit Bait 3D, is producing through Gary Hamilton, Ying Ye and Mark Lazarus with a Chinese partner yet to be identified.

Shooting in Australia and China is due to start in the fourth quarter with an international cast. Tait Brady.s Label is the Australian distributor.

Rendall has been developing the script since he finished Bait. "I was researching Chinese history," he tells If today on the line from Beijing.. "The Nest
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Film finds absurdist humour in race riots

The ugly Cronulla race riots in southern Sydney in 2005 may seem an unlikely source of humour but that.s the backdrop of writer-director Abe Forsythe.s latest film.

Set during the aftermath of the riots, the black comedy looks at two carloads of hotheads from both sides of the fight who are destined to collide.

.The narrative mines comedy through the heavy drama,. Forsythe told If on Thursday on the last day of a six-week shoot. .The humour turns on how absurd the situations were and how they spiralled out of control. It doesn.t let the audience off lightly..

Forsythe began writing the screenplay five years ago and the project finally came together with producer Jodi Matterson and Greg Mclean as executive producer. Mclean had admired Ned, Abe.s directing debut in 2003, and the two had long wanted to work together.

The financiers are Screen Australia, Fulcrum Media, the
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Aussie actress goes Old School

Hanna Mangan Lawrence


Hanna Mangan Lawrence is quite accustomed to playing characters who meet grisly ends so the ABC-tv crime comedy drama Old School was a welcome change.

She plays Shannon, the grand-daughter of Bryan Brown's ex-crim Lennie, in the Matchbox Pictures. production which premieres this Friday night on ABC1.

Not only did she get to work with Brown and Sam Neill as Ted, a retired cop who teams up with Lennie to solve crimes and unravel scams, her character has two suitors: Mark Coles-Smith as Jason, the mechanic son of one of Lennie.s prison mates; and Damian Walshe-Howling.

.It was hilarious,. Hanna tells If on the line from Los Angeles, where she moved last year. .Bryan and Sam had known each other for years so they had a great chemistry on and off the set..

Shannon is a law student at Sydney University whose mother has died and father has long gone,
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Mystery Road bound for the Us

The good news keeps coming for Ivan Sen.s Mystery Road. The crime thriller received mostly positive reviews after opening the Sydney Film Festival and now the producers have announced a Us deal.

Boutique distributor Well Go USA plans an early 2014 release. Typically Well Go distributes films to a limited number of cinemas simultaneously with DVD and Video-on-Demand platforms..

The deal was negotiated by Arclight Films. Gary Hamilton, who.s also an executive producer on the film, at the Cannes Film Market. He described it as .significant,. which could imply Well Go is putting up a minimum guarantee of five-to-six figures..

.We are delighted to hear of Mystery Road being picked up for a Us release., said producer David Jowsey. .Ivan Sen.s murder mystery feature has a great cast and its genre roots should deliver to audiences around the world...

The film opens in Australia on August 15. Aaron Pedersen
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Sam Neill and Bryan Brown Team Up For Old School

This is not your father's Old School, and by that I mean you Magnus Paulin Ferrell. Nope, Sam Neill and Bryan Brown aren't teaming up for an remake of the Us cult comedy, but are just taking the name and old dogs in a new world formula for a new crime drama series for Australian TV. As Picha reports, Old School tells the story of Ted McCabe (Neill), a retired cop, and Lennie Cahill (Brown), a retired crim, who get together to solve crimes, unravel scams and make some much-needed cash, while avoiding the wrath of the police and the underworld. The series will be directed by Gregor JordanPeter Templeman and series creator Paul Oliver. It will air on ABC TV and is being produced by Matchbox Pictures,...

[Read the whole post on]
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Bryan Brown and Sam Neill go Old School

Bryan Brown and Sam Neill will star in Old School, an ABC series in the vein of the BBC comedy-drama New Tricks. Brown will play Ted, a retired cop, with Neill as Lennie, an ex-crim. The odd couple turn sleuth to solve crimes, unravel scams and earn much-needed dosh.

The cast includes Sarah Peirse as Ted.s feisty, sports-mad wife; Hanna Mangan Lawrence as Lennie.s granddaughter Shannon; Mark Coles-Smith as Jason, the mechanic son of one of Lennie.s prison mates; and Damian Walshe-Howling as a charming opportunist who woos Shannon.

The show was created by Paul Oliver and Steve Wright and will be produced by Matchbox Pictures. Helen Panckhurst and exec produced by Tony Ayres and Penny Chapman.

Production of the eight-part series starts in Sydney in June with the directing chores shared by Gregor Jordan (Two Hands, Buffalo Soldiers), Peter Templeman (Not Suitable For Children) and Oliver.
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Mitchell Block Direct: Short Films -- Oscar-Expectations

Vol. I Issue 10 February 2013

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As this last weekend approached I was faced with marking my Academy Award ballot. This process is always really difficult. How does one sort out the “best” film or accomplishment of five or nine in the case of the Best Picture? For me it has been over 30 years of screenings. Thousand of films. Some really great films and many not so great. I also try to think what it means to be one of the nominees. What was the off-screen story but always more importantly what their contribution was to the work and how the film compares to others. What’s great about short films is that they can be made for almost nothing by a few filmmakers without a large budget, crew or cast.

The Academy has three nomination categories for films less than 41 minutes in length: short fiction, documentary and animation. Once nominated, there are public screenings and panels to celebrate the nominated films at the Academy in Beverly Hills. A group photograph of all the nominees is taken with a large Oscar in the lobby of the Academy headquarters. It is really a wonderful experience.

It wasn’t always like that. There were no special celebrations for the short or documentary films until the l980s. While the Foreign Language films had their seminar, nothing was done for these films. We tried to remedy that in the 1980s and started the Direct Cinema receptions and screenings with UCLA, USC and, a few years later, the Ida sponsored “Docuday” and the Academy started doing an annual reception for the shorts and documentary filmmakers. Today the Academy’s evening receptions for the short films, animated features (a relatively new Oscar category) and the documentaries are annual sell-out events. The filmmakers and their works are celebrated and it has become a highlight of the Oscar week for the filmmakers and those associated with the films.

When I first became a member of the Academy the short films and animation branch was headed by a number of extraordinary talents: T Hee, Saul Bass and June Forey. These three remarkable artists represented classic Disney animation (T. Hee), fiction and narrative short films (Saul Bass), and the television and theatrical films (June Forey, who voiced hundreds of characters.)

Saul Bass articulated the branch’s membership policy, “We want them to be part of our branch.” This liberal interpretation allowed documentary filmmakers like Ken Burns as well as voice artists and creatives like Stan Friedberg (and June Forey) to be part of a group that included IMAX filmmakers as well as classic character animation directors, colorists, layout artists, producers and other key short film and animation filmmakers. The animation filmmakers represent both the studio animators and the independent animators who work globally doing personal work as well as studio work. Other governors from 1979 to the present have included Hal Elias, who served on the Academy board for 37 years and was a short film publicist for MGM among other things; Bill Littlejohn, who worked on over 90 films as an animator ranging from Charley Brown, Peanuts Christmas Specials to working with the Hubleys’; Bill Scott, who acted and wrote over a hundred animated films, and Carl Bell, who worked on over 35 films at Disney in its animation department.

Unlike most of the other branches, the Short Films branch screens all of the submitted films in 16mm and 35mm and now in Digital Cinema, in an effort to find and nominate the best short films produced in the world. The branch rules allowed films to qualify in an effort to encourage more international entries in the 1990s by taking a first prize at key festivals in addition to the method that all Academy films can use to qualify, a theatrical week long (now three day for shorts) run in a theater in Los Angeles County. Branch screenings were expanded to New York to permit more members to participate in the nomination process in the 1990s. The final short listed screenings are in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Over one-third of the branch participates in the voting. The best change took place this year, sending DVD screeners to all Academy members of the short live action and animated nominated films. While this still won’t force members to watch them, members can’t claim they can’t see them. This is not only great for the branch but great for the nominated filmmakers. Who would not want to screen their short film for Academy members?

The process of the branch for selecting Nominees has remained unchanged for years—members screen the films in a theater rather than on DVDs, which is how the Documentary branch is dealing with the flood of feature docs and their unwillingness to trust committees. Nothing beats seeing films projected on a large screen with perfect sound and that is now lost. In a two step process, a committee (self selected from the branch membership) screens the films and the 15 films with the highest scores are short listed. The short listed films are then screened again and members vote.

The current Short Film Branch governors are Jon Bloom (pictured with the 2007 nominees), a 1983 fiction short nominee, filmmaker, editor and producer who chairs the branch, animator and Disney Creative Head and multi-Oscar winner, John Lasseter, and William "Bill" Kroyer,an award-winning director of animation and computer graphics commercials, short films, movie titles and theatrical films and faculty member Chapman College.

One of the challenges for the branch is how to grow live action producing members. With the addition of feature animation to the awards and the large number of feature animation films being released, the branch would like to have the most qualified animators to become members. The number of animators grows at a far faster rate than that of the live action filmmakers since only a few live action filmmakers can qualify for membership. The commercial success of animated features, the long production schedules and the large number of animators who work in qualifying positions allows for six plus individuals per picture to be eligible for membership. With five nominees a year, the number of individuals who can play a key role in two or three features becoming eligible for membership can easily approach 30 plus individuals annually. Add in the short animation nominees and competition for the limited new slots allocated to the branch can be brutal. The talent pool of animators is both astonishingly strong and suggests that Hollywood can easily double production from the 15 or so films made annually to 25 or 30 without having to compromise on talent.

Many of the filmmakers in the branch who make their Oscar nominated or winning live action short have made or are interested in making feature length works. A number of recent nominees or winners have made that transition. The following list looks at all of the live action nominees from 2001 to 2011, using the Internet Movie Database I looked up each nominee and listed what they reported they were doing professionally. Obviously, this is not intended to show everything. In each case, I listed credits or summarized credits shown in the IMDb listing.

Some observations about 11 years of Live Action Short Film Academy Award Nominees:

There were 86 nominations (out of a possible 110) This is because in some years only three films were nominated and in some cases only one filmmaker from a film was eligible for a nomination. Non-us based filmmakers dominate this category. Despite the huge number of short films being made annually in the Us, a majority of the nominated films come from filmmakers based abroad. In part this is due to the government subsidies available, but it is also due to the strong training programs, commercial support for the short films and a rich tradition of theatrical shorts. This year (2012) four of the five films in the live action category are from Us filmmakers. This is an unusual year. Few filmmakers have more than one nomination, only a handful of the nominees have made multiple Academy worthy short films. As one might expect, many of the filmmakers have continued their film work in television, some in features. The European Oscar winners (vs nominees) have done better at snagging features after a win than have their American counterparts. Again, this is likely a function of government support for entry features. Perhaps one of the short films seem to have been turned into a feature (or television) film. Some of the short films are intended to be sizzle reels for features, but it is not clear why so few of the nominated short films have been turned into features. A number of the Oscar winners have not continued working in film. No record of future productions are shown on IMDb. It would be interesting to see what they are doing now. Two of the Oscar winners have written critically award winning screenplays, one received two Academy Award nominations for his screenwriting. None of these nominees have gone on to win Oscars in directing or producing for feature films.

The data is from the Academy and the IMDb databases.

Apologies in advance, if credits were missed or other factual errors were made. In a week we’ll be able to add this year's winner.

2001 (74th)

Short Film (Live Action) (* won Academy Award)

*the accountant -- Ray McKinnon: Two Features: Randy and the Mob 2007 and Crystal 2004 Lisa Blount: Produced these features. Copy Shop -- Virgil Widrich Gregor's Greatest Invention -- Johannes Kiefer A Man Thing (Meska Sprawa) -- Slawomir Fabicki, Two Features: Loving 2012, Retrieval 2006 (Also wrote) Bogumil Godfrejow Has shot multiple features Speed for Thespians -- Kalman Apple, Shameela Bakhsh

2002 (75th)

Short Film (Live Action)

Fait D'Hiver -- Dirk Beliën, Anja Daelemans produced Comrade Kim Goes North I'll Wait for the Next One... (J'Attendrai Le Suivant...) -- Philippe Orreindy, Thomas Gaudin Inja (Dog) -- Steven Pasvolsky Feature, Deck Dogz Joe Weatherstone, produced episodic television. Johnny Flynton -- Lexi Alexander, directed 3 features: Lifted, Punisher: War Zone and Green Street Hooligans Alexander Buono as a Dp has shot series and features *This Charming Manon (Der Er En Yndig Mand) -- Martin Strange-Hansen, Mie Andreasen produced both features, series and documentaries.

2003 (76th)

Short Film (Live Action)

Die Rote Jacke (The Red Jacket) -- Florian Baxmeyer Multiple television films and series Most (The Bridge) -- Bobby Garabedian, William Zabka Mr. Zabka has appeared as an actor in numerous films and television shows Squash -- Lionel Bailliu Features: Fair Play and Denis (in post) (A) Torzija [(A) Torsion] -- Stefan Arsenijevic Directed: Lost and Found, Love and Other Crimes, and Do Not Forget Me Istanbul *Two Soldiers -- Aaron Schneider,Asc (Cinematographer numerous credits) and feature, Kiss the Girls, Andrew J. Sacks Series The Closer (98 episodes) and Major Crimes.

2004 (77th)

Short Film (Live Action)

Everything in This Country Must -- Gary McKendry Directed Killer Elite, Joseph and the Girl Little Terrorist -- Ashvin Kumar Produced and Directed features (2) and documentaries (2) 7:35 in the Morning (7:35 de la Mañana) -- Nacho Vigalondo Directed and written multiple films, series, shorts Two Cars, One Night -- Taika Waititi, Acted and directed and written multi television and films Ainsley Gardiner Nz based producer of multiple shorts, television and feature films *Wasp -- Andrea Arnold Actor, director and writer of numbers films, television programs

2005 (78th)

Short Film (Live Action)

Ausreisser (The Runaway) -- Ulrike Grote Ms. Grote has acted in over 42 programs, features, television series and films Cashback -- Sean Ellis, Director/Writer Metro Manila, The Broken Lene Bausager Producer, The Broken, Ginger and Rosa The Last Farm -- Rúnar Rúnarsson, Director/Writer Volcano, Thor S. Sigurjónsson Produced multiple features Our Time Is Up -- Rob Pearlstein, Director/Writer multiple television and a feature Pia Clemente Producer, documentaries *Six Shooter -- Martin McDonagh Writer/Director Seven Psychopaths, In Bruges

2006 (79th)

Short Film (Live Action)

Binta and the Great Idea (Binta Y La Gran Idea) -- Javier Fesser, no other credits shown Luis Manso Produced multiple features Éramos Pocos (One Too Many) -- Borja Cobeaga Writer, multi films and television series Helmer & Son -- Søren Pilmark no other credits, Kim Magnusso Producer over 100 film, television films (4 Best Short Film Academy Award nominations) Won for Ernst & Lyset The Saviour -- Peter Templeman, no other credits Stuart Parkyn, Producer, multi-short film credits *West Bank Story -- Ari Sandel Director, one short, one documentary

2007 (80th)

Short Film (Live Action)

At Night -- Christian E. Christiansen, Directed, Features and television series Louise Vesth Producer, multi features Il Supplente (The Substitute) -- Andrea Jublin

*Le Mozart des Pickpockets (The Mozart of Pickpockets) -- Philippe Pollet-Villard Actor and director short films, a television film

Tanghi Argentini -- Guido Thys, Director, Multiple television series Anja Daelemans, nominated for 2 Short Film nominations (Gridlock, 2002) Producer/Pm various The Tonto Woman -- Daniel Barber, Directed The Keeping Room, Harry Brown Matthew Brown Produced 2 shorts

2008 (81st)

Short Film (Live Action)

Auf der Strecke (On the Line) -- Reto Caffi Manon on the Asphalt -- Elizabeth Marre, Director, Television series Olivier Pont Director, Television series New Boy -- Steph Green, Director Run and Jump Tamara Anghie Producer Run and Jump The Pig -- Tivi Magnusson, Producer Over 64 titles many short films, Dorte Høgh Writer multiple series, (Directed The Pig) *Spielzeugland (Toyland) -- Jochen Alexander Freydank Producer of multiple television series

2009 (82nd)

Short Film (Live Action)

The Door -- Juanita Wilson, Director As If I Am Not There James Flynn Multiple Producer credits for over 50 titles, television and theatrical Instead of Abracadabra -- Patrik Eklund, Director, Television film and feature Mathias Fjellström Kavi -- Gregg Helvey Miracle Fish -- Luke Doolan, Multiple credits as editor Drew Bailey Multiple credits as Assistant Director *The New Tenants -- Joachim Back, no other credits shown as a director, Tivi Magnusson This is Mr. Magnusson’s first Academy Award and second nomination. See 2008.

2010 (83rd)

Short Film (Live Action)

The Confession -- Tanel Toom The Crush -- Michael Creagh *God of Love -- Luke Matheny Feature Love Sick and multiple Television series episode Na Wewe -- Ivan Goldschmidt Wish 143 -- Ian Barnes, Multiple directing credits Television Samantha Waite Credits as production coordinator on multiple titles

2011 (84th)

Short Film (Live Action)

Pentecost -- Peter McDonald, Credits as actor Eimear O'Kane Credits as Producer on The Shadows and on television programs. Raju -- Max Zähle, Director, Television series Stefan Gieren Producer-Writer credit on feature film, Kunduz: The Incident at Hadji Ghafur *The Shore -- Terry George, Writer Two Oscar nominations for screenplays In the Name of the Father and Hotel Riwanda Producer and director on films and television series Oorlagh George Numerous credits as Assistant on features, documentaries and television shows Time Freak -- Andrew Bowler Writer and actor in a short film Gigi Causey Production manager, producer shorts, series and films


Credits: Editing by Jessica Just for SydneysBuzz


Mitchell Block specializes in conceiving, producing, marketing & distributing independent features & consulting. He is an expert in placing both completed works into distribution & working with producers to make projects fundable. He conducts regular workshops in film producing in Los Angeles and most recently in Maine, Russia and in Myanmar (Burma).

Poster Girl, produced by Block was nominated for a Documentary Academy Award and selected by the Ida as the Best Doc Short 2011. It was also nominated for two Emmy Awards and aired on HBO. He is an executive producer of the Emmy Award-winning PBS series Carrier, a 10-hour series that he conceived & co-created. Block is a graduate of Tisch School and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business. He is a member of Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the Television Academy, a founding member of BAFTA-la and has been teaching at USC School of Cinematic Arts since 1979. Currently Block teaches a required class in the USC Peter Stark Producing Program.


©2013Mwb All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved. All information and designs on the Sites are copyrighted material owned by Block. Reproduction, dissemination, or transmission of any part of the material here without the express written consent of the owner is strictly prohibited.All other product names and marks on Block Direct, whether trademarks, service marks, or other type, and whether registered or unregistered, is the property of Block.
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Screen Australia announces $450,000 in development funding

Screen Australia has committed more than $450,000 in development funding across 19 feature films.

Of the 19 projects, six are new to Screen Australia.s developmental slate, while the other 13 will continue to receive support.

The new projects include the drama script Clive, about a privileged man whose life is transformed after a serious accident, and Em, a comedic take on Jane Austen.s classic Emma.

Clive comes from writer/director Natasha Pincus, producer Bridget Ikin and executive producer John Maynard.

Em will be set in 1950s rural Australia and comes from writer Matthew Dabner, director Kate Riedl and producers Karen Radzyner and Anna Vincent.

Psychological thriller Lonely Girl will also receive developmental support. Written by Lynne Vincent McCarthy and produced by Samantha Jennings, the project was also supported through Screen Australia.s Springboard Program.

The crime drama My Country, written by Sam Meikle and Serhat Caradee and produced by Matthew Dabner, will also receive funding.
See full article at »

Screen Australia announces $450 000 in funding

Over $450 000 in funding will be spread across 19 feature films following an announcement from Screen Australia today.

Of the 19 projects, six are new to Screen Australia.s developmental slate, while the other 13 will continue to receive support.

The new projects include the drama script Clive, about a privileged man whose life is transformed after a serious accident, and Em, a comedic take on Jane Austen.s classic Emma.

Clive comes from writer/director Natasha Pincus, producer Bridget Ikin and executive producer John Maynard.

Em will be set in 1950s rural Australia and comes from writer Matthew Dabner, director Kate Riedl and producers Karen Radzyner and Anna Vincent.

.Pyschological thriller Lonely Girl will also receive developmental support. Written by Lynne Vincent McCarthy and produced by Samantha Jennings, the project was also supported through Screen Australia.s Springboard Program.

The crime drama My Country, written by Sam Meikle and Serhat Caradee and produced by Matthew Dabner,
See full article at »

Brendan Cowell makes directorial debut with adland film Ruben Guthrie

Brendan Cowell

Writer and actor Brendan Cowell will make his feature film directorial debut with the adaptation of his play Ruben Guthrie - the story of a wild-boy agency creative who burns himself out.

Cowell’s project is among 19 films to receive a cut of the $450,000 development support from Screen Australia.

Cowell has teamed up with Yael Bergman, producer of I Love You Too, which starred Cowell, and executive producers Laura Waters and Andrea Denholm.

The film’s synopsis reads: “By day, 29-year-old Ruben Guthrie is the wunderkind creative at one of Sydney’s hottest boutique ad agencies; by night, he is one of Sydney’s most notorious party boys until he jumps off a hotel roof into a wading pool and nearly kills himself. Over the next 12 months, Ruben tries to build a life around AA, cups of tea, inner growth and sex with a reformed addict. His friends,
See full article at Encore Magazine »

The Sapphires claims biggest box office opening weekend of the year for an Aussie film

New Australian film The Sapphires has had a strong debut at the box office, taking the highest opening weekend by an Australian film this year.

The film, distributed by Hopscotch/eOne has grossed $2.34m at the most recent count, with figures being finalised, according to the Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia.

The Sapphires took a respectable screen average of $8387 across 279 screens.

The film’s cumulative total, including sneak previews bumps the film up to $2.59m.

Directed by Wayne Blair and produced by Rosemary Blight and Kylie Du Fresne, and written by Tony Briggs and Keith Thompson the film is about an all-girl Indigenous soul group going to Vietnam to entertain the troops.

It beat out previous 2012 Australian top film A Few Best Men which opened in January with $1.8m.

The Sapphires beat the Will Ferrell and Zack Galifianakis film The Campaign, distributed by Warner Bros, also in its opening weekend.
See full article at Encore Magazine »

Why are Australia’s film distributors not using social media?

In an industry where being heard above superheroes and foul-mouthed teddy bears is near impossible, and finance isn’t readily available for above the line marketing, the opportunity to exploit free platforms such as Facebook and Twitter should be grabbed with both hands by film marketers and distributors.

Unfortunately, some Australian film distributors are still struggling with the potential of social media, to turn ripples into waves of that most valued word-of-mouth and push out a little extra content to intrigue prospective fans.

Last week two Australian films opened at the box office; Not Suitable For Children, distributed by Icon Films and directed by first time feature director Peter Templeman across 42 screens nationally, and The King is Dead by local veteran Rolf de Heer, distributed by Pinnacle Films went across just four screens. Over opening weekend the films took $147,000 and $12,000 respectively.

Confidence in Australian audiences clearly wasn’t high enough to open wider,
See full article at Encore Magazine »

Not Suitable For Children opens modestly at box office

Not Suitable for Children, distributed by Icon, has taken $147,000 at the box office in its opening weekend.

The Australian film, Peter Templeman‘s feature debut starring Ryan Kwanten and Sarah Snook opened across 42 screens for a screen average of $3,497.

Templeman told Encore: “It’s a middle-sized release which I think is pretty fair. It hasn’t had a massive marketing campaign so I think its good to not spread out too wide, and see how it does. If there is good word of mouth it will grow from there.”

Templeman added: “I certainly don’t see it as an art house film. It has universal themes with a broad appeal. It seems to get good responses from all age groups. It’s marketed towards the 20s and 30-somethings so that’s a big part of the market.”

The film has taken $199,076 in total, which includes preview screenings last week and festival screenings.
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A romantic comedy with serious balls

Has an Australian filmmaker finally cracked the rarely attempted romantic comedy genre? Colin Delaney visits the set of Not Suitable for Children to find out if Oscar nominated, first time feature director Peter Templeman’s flick about testicular cancer has the balls to make it big at the box office.

A mismatched collection of twenty somethings loiter in front of a large old house in Eveleigh, south of Sydney’s Cbd. Goths, surfers, hipsters and stoners make up the group. Inside it’s shoulder-to-shoulder with revellers filling hallways and stairwells. The event is not just thrown together either – flashing lights and disco balls suggest the members of this household take their parties seriously. And the amount of drugs and alcohol circulating certainly deem the environment unsuitable for children.

Encore is on the set of Oscar-nominated Peter Templeman’s feature film debut Not Suitable For Children, starring Ryan Kwanten (True Blood,
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