/News 22.02.21


Screenwest is pleased to announce it will support six new Western Australian projects for development through a special COVID-19 funding round. The initiative is targeted at internationally successful WA talent who have returned to the state, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The opportunity to harness the talents of internationally successful Western Australian filmmakers to develop exciting, home-grown works was too good to miss, with the potential for the work to be produced in Western Australia, a significant consideration.

With studio infrastructure anticipated for Western Australia in the near future, having WA work in development, which could potentially proceed to a solid production pipeline within the next couple of years, is imperative. The funding recipients were Alison James (Judas Collar), Roderick Mackay (The Furnace), Zak Hilditch (These Final Hours), Ben Young (Hounds of Love, Annihilation), Martin Wilson (Great White), and  Stephen McCallum (1%).

Writer/Director of Oscar Award Long List qualifying short film Judas Collar, Alison James said of her new project, A Haven for Strays, “I’m thrilled to be one of the recipients of the Brighter Ideas fund and to now have the opportunity to work with a script editor on this screenplay.”

“We’re at a unique point where many mid-level and experienced writer/directors have returned to Perth from overseas due to COVID-19 and for a state that has long suffered from brain drain to the Eastern States and the US, I think it’s a great idea to focus their development on West Australian projects that will ultimately benefit the whole industry.”

Alison James, Writer/Director, A Haven for Strays

Willie Rowe, CEO of Screenwest explained, “We are fortunate to have such amazing talent from Western Australia, and for some, the pandemic has provided an opportunity to reconnect with their home state.”

He continued, “Bringing with them extensive experience and international contacts, it is envisaged that these practitioners will utilise this funding to create new Western Australian work, which will have broad appeal and could be shot here.”

The following applicants have been sent letters of offer for funding:


Format: Feature Film
Key Creatives: Executive Producer/Writer/Director Roderick Mackay and Executive Producer Glen Kelly.
Synopsis: A tall timber tale about people chopping down giants to become giants themselves.


Format: Feature Film
Key Creatives: Writer/Director Alison James
Synopsis: A woman’s plans to adopt the baby of a troubled teen are thrown into turmoil when the infant’s biological grandmother learns of the adoption, creating a tug of war between the three women. 


Format: Feature Film
Key Creatives: Writer/Director Martin Wilson Co-writer Monique Wilson and Producers Ian Booth and Rikki Lea Bestall from Indian Pacific Pictures. 
Synopsis: A young film maker on a quest to prove his brother was taken by the fabled South West Big Cat uncovers secrets that threaten the survival of everything and everyone he loves.


Format: Feature Film
Key Creatives: Writer/Director Stephen McCallum and Writer Guy Howlett.
Synopsis: When a neglected child invokes a demon in order to prevent his estranged parents from divorce, it forces the couple to put aside their own resentments and work together to survive.


Format: Feature Film
Key Creatives: Writer/Director Zak Hilditch, Producers Jamie Hilton of See Pictures and Cody Greenwood of Rush Films.
Synopsis: Molly, trapped in a car wreck and pursued by her abusive police officer husband, calls upon her estranged sister to save her and her children in a thrilling real-time race for survival.  


Format: Feature Film
Key Creatives: Writer Ben Young and Director John Sheedy.
Synopsis: A family dramedy about a ten year old boy who refuses to wear anything but a blue dress or answer to anything but Mrs McCutcheon.

Image Credit: Itch’, shooting against LED screens. (Photo: David Dare Parker)

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