Thirty-six projects across the screen sector will share in close to $10.4 million through Film Victoria’s funding and incentives programs.

The combined projects are estimated to generate over 4,500 additional employment opportunities for the local screen industry and inject almost $110 million into the Victorian economy.

Funding support for six fiction feature and television projects includes Ride Like a Girl, with Rachel Griffiths at the helm as director. The remarkable true story of Michelle Payne - the first woman to win the Melbourne Cup will be produced by Richard Keddie, and has been written by Andrew Knight and Elise McCredie.

Fellow actor Guy Pearce will take on his first directing role as Poor Boy moves closer to production. The paranormal drama will be produced by Al Clark of Wildheart Films and is penned by Victorian writer Matt Cameron.

Funding in documentaries will see five feature and television projects supported. In his first feature film, Victorian-based producer Isaac Elliot will present Finke: There and Back by Brindle Films - the largest annual off-road motorsport event in the Southern Hemisphere, whilst the story of a group of LGBTI elders facing the uncertainty of life in aged care will be brought to screen in the feature documentary The Coming Back Out Ball by CBOB Films.

Through the Victorian Content Initiative partnership with the ABC, Back In Very Small Business from Gristmill’s Robyn Butler and Wayne Hope, the fourth and final series of Nowhere Boys by Matchbox Productions and a returning series to be announced in early 2018 have been supported.

Australia’s longest running television drama series Neighbours also received funding that will ensure the popular soap continues to film 258 episodes a year. This support will also deliver upskilling opportunities for early career writers, directors and technical crew over the next four years.

Film Victoria’s Production Attraction Incentive Fund supported comedy duo Hamish and Andy with their second series of True Story and Ben Lewin and Judi Levine’s feature Falling for Figaro, whilst another international production is lined up to bring additional filming activity to the state in 2018. 

Melbourne’s specialist VFX studios remain in demand with large scale productions utilising the skills of Iloura for MGM’s and Warner Bros. Pictures’ Tomb Raider, AXL from Lakeshore Entertainment and a new Disney Studios production. 

In games funding, 12 projects were supported with production and market release funding. They include: 

  • Torque Drift (League of Monkeys) - the first AAA-quality cross platform multiplayer featuring real cars, real drivers, real teams, and real aftermarket car parts from local and international brands
  • Eatvolve (Alador Apponyi) - eat to evolve into the weirdest cutest creature
  • Espire 1 VR Operative (Espire VR) - Metal Gear Solid meets Goldeneye 007 in an immersive virtual world
  • Project Two (Fluffy Kitten Studios) – Lady/Lords of the manor develop the land, village and its people to survive and thrive
  • Knuckle Sandwich (Andrew Brophy)– a role playing game about a boy looking for work in a new city and accidentally getting wrapped up in a missing persons mystery along the way
  • Paperville Panic (Ultimerse) - a tongue-in-cheek world of firefighting, in a town filled with strange critters, odd personalities and secrets to discover
  • Dissembler (Ian MacLarty) - a deep and inventive abstract puzzle game
  • Aura Of Worlds (Cognitive Force) - a creative strategy platformer with a strong focus on exploration, improvisation and twisting the environment to your advantage
  • Ice Caves Of Europa (Io Normal) - players pilot a Dragonfly rover, an intelligent flying robot searching for signs of life and exploring the caves for whatever secrets lay within
  • Split Signal (Thomas Bowker) - a minimal, abstract, spatial puzzle game
  • OfficeBots: Reality Bytes (Pranee McKinlay - FutureStateMachine) - a virtual reality adventure game exploring an office and its quirky robot workers
  • Chromalocity (Wrecked Angle Studios) - a first person, speed running platformer built upon finding a balance in the rhythmic mechanics of the game

Film Victoria CEO, Jenni Tosi said “We’re delighted to be supporting so many fantastic projects and with further announcements to come, the Victorian Industry will be buzzing in the first half of 2018.

“The diversity and caliber of work coming through is a testament to our creative talent and resourceful producers who are successfully financing their projects in a highly competitive marketplace.”