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Stan and Film Victoria launch comedy development fund

Stan and Film Victoria launch comedy development fund
Stan’s ‘The Other Guy’ season 2.

Stan and Film Victoria today launched a comedy fund designed to help Victorian writers and producers develop Australian comedy with world-class scope and scale.

The joint initiative initially will provide up to $30,000 each for up to four Victorian writers or writer/producer teams to deliver a 30-minute pilot script and series outline.

The teams will be given the opportunity to participate in a workshop with a pre-eminent comedy writer to build their concepts into a pilot. The successful projects will premiere on Stan.

“We want stories that respond to Stan’s creative brief and feature relatable characters with unique dilemmas fueling the comedy for a multi-season run,” Film Victoria said.

Stan’s brief, which references such shows as Catastrophe, Fleabag, Younger, The Moodys and Broad City, calls for serialised comedy, romcoms and comedy-dramas, but not sitcoms, stand-up or sketch comedy.

This marks the second
See full article at IF.com.au »

Rachel Okine joins Aquarius Films

Rachel Okine.

Aquarius Films has appointed former eOne and Hopscotch Features executive Rachel Okine in the newly created role of managing director.

Okine joins the production company founded by Angie Fielder and Polly Staniford after spending two years as London-based head of acquisitions for Stx International.

Previously she was Paris-based VP of international production and acquisitions for Studiocanal.

Based in Sydney, her remit will be to drive the company’s growth as it aims to produce 3-5 projects annually and to manage its partnerships with Universal, Warner Bros. Australia, Anonymous Content, Netflix, Stan, the ABC and Sbs as well as seeking new partners.

The development slate includes feature adaptations of Matt Okine’s debut novel Being Black ‘n Chicken, and Chips, based loosely on his pubescent years and the loss of his mother Roslyn to breast cancer when he was 12; Dominic Smith’s New York Times best-seller The Last Painting of Sara De Vos,
See full article at IF.com.au »

‘Lion’ & ‘Dirt Music’ Producer Aquarius Films Hires Rachel Okine As Managing Director

  • Deadline
Aquarius Films, the Sydney-based production company that has credits including 2019 Tiff pic Dirt Music and Garth Davis’ Oscar-nominated Lion, has appointed Rachel Okine as its new Managing Director.

Okine was most recently STXinternational’s head of acquisitions between 2017 and 2019. She was previously Paris-based as Vice President of International Production and Acquisitions for Studiocanal and London-based with Film4.

At Aquarius, Okine will look to drive the company’s growth as it aims to have three-five projects in production per year going forward. She will also manage its established partnerships with Universal, Warner Bros. Australia, Anonymous Content, Netflix, Stan, Sbs Australia and ABC Australia, as well as seeking new partners.

Aquarius was founded by Angie Fielder and Polly Staniford. The company’s recent work also includes The Unlisted, a 15-part sci-fi TV series for Netflix and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, which was triple-nominated at the Aacta Awards.

Its upcoming slate features Guy Pearce
See full article at Deadline »

Rachel Okine Joins Australia’s Aquarius Films as MD

  • Variety
Rachel Okine Joins Australia’s Aquarius Films as MD
Seasoned industry executive, Rachel Okine has joined Australian film and TV production company Aquarius Films as its managing director. Until last year she was with Stx International in a position covering U.K. theatrical and international sales.

Okine began her career in the acquisitions department of FilmFour in London in 2001. Returning to Australia in 2002, she joined independent film distribution company, Hopscotch, moving from marketing to production. She later became Paris-based VP of international production and acquisitions for French-owned studio and distributor Studiocanal, where she acquired titles for the French, German and Australia / New Zealand markets.

Aquarius, which has strategic partnerships with Universal, Warner Bros. Australia, Anonymous Content, Netflix, Stan, Sbs Australia and ABC Australia, aims to have three to five projects in production per year. Okine will report to company founders and principal producers Angie Fielder and Polly Staniford.

Aquarius is currently working on Guy Pearce’s directorial debut “Poor Boy,
See full article at Variety »

Australia’s Aquarius hires former STXinternational senior executive Rachel Okine

Australia’s Aquarius hires former STXinternational senior executive Rachel Okine
Company pipeline includes Guy Pearce directorial debut Poor Boy.

Aquarius Films, the Australian producer of Netflix series The Unlisted and Toronto 2019 selection Dirt Music, has appointed former senior STXinternational acquisitions executive Rachel Okine as managing director, effective immediately.

Okine joins the company as its upcoming pipeline includes Guy Pearce’s directorial debut Poor Boy, in which Pearce will also star. Aquarius is also in development on the adaptation by Angela’s Ashes screenwriter Laura Jones of The Last Painting Of Sara De Vos by Dominic Smith, as well as adaptations of Hannah Kent’s second novel The Good People, and Matt Okine
See full article at ScreenDaily »

What’s Coming to Hulu in February 2020

  • Variety
Next month, Hulu will ring in Valentine’s Day with some counterprogramming. The streaming service will debut its original series “High Fidelity,” a gender-swapped reimagining of Nick Hornby’s novel of the same name. Previously, the book was adapted into a 2000 movie from Stephen Frears starring John Cusack. Zoë Kravitz stars as Rob Brooks, a music-obsessive record store owner in Brooklyn re-examining her previous romantic relationships to figure out what went wrong.

On the film front, the “Bridget Jones” trilogy, “Buffalo ’66,” “The Fugitive,” “Ghost” and “When Harry Met Sally” are among the new selections being offered in February. Releases from last year, like “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” and “Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral,” are also making their way onto the platform.

New seasons of reality series like “The Voice” and “American Idol” will also be available to stream later in the month.

See the complete list below.
See full article at Variety »

Lee Matthews convenes workshop to develop disability comedy

Lee Matthews.

Producer Lee Matthews is teaming up with Steve Kearney and Lisa Wang to develop Caper’ble, a 6 x 30′ comedy about young people with disability who are forced to live together in shared accommodation.

The producers are staging a two-day workshop at Arts Access Victoria in South Melbourne, starting tomorrow, led by Kelly Lefever and supported by Film Victoria.

The concept was created by Matthews and Kearney, who are collaborating with lead writer Alistair Baldwin and story consultant Eliza Hull.

Baldwin and Hull have lived experiences of disability, as have the other workshop participants Olivia Muscat, Chris Bunton, Anna Seymour and Imaan Hadchiti.

Matthews tells If he decided to join forces with Kearney and Wang because he’s convinced that will enable Aussie producers to best compete in the new global landscape.

He is confident Caper’ble will appeal to broadcast or on-demand platforms and that it has the
See full article at IF.com.au »

Short theatrical window for ‘True History of the Kelly Gang’

George MacKay in ‘True History of the Kelly Gang.’

Justin Kurzel’s True History of the Kelly Gang will open in Australian cinemas on January 9, just 18 days before its Australia Day premiere on Stan.

The short window and limited theatrical release were virtually inevitable after Stan announced the bushranger epic starring George MacKay, Russell Crowe, Nicholas Hoult and Essie Davis would premiere in summer as a Stan Original.

The major chains are determined to protect the traditional 90 day window and will not screen the film so distributor Transmission Films this week will start booking the title at the independent cinemas that are screening the Netflix productions The King, The Irishman, Marriage Story and The Two Popes and Amazon Studios’ The Report and Brittany Runs a Marathon.

The Netflix titles are screening at the Eddie Tamir family-owned Randwick Ritz Cinemas and Melbourne’s Lido, Classic and Cameo cinemas plus Mel Gibson
See full article at IF.com.au »

Crunching the numbers on streaming services’ local content: static growth, but more original productions

‘Lunatics’. (Photo: Amelia Entertainment)

Since 2017, we have been studying the availability of local content on the major subscription streaming services operating in Australia. Our latest report, which examines Netflix, Stan and for the first time, Amazon Prime Video, confirms that the level of local content on these services remains modest, although the number of original productions is growing.

There is also increasing variation between the three services in terms of the kind, age, and genre mix of Australian-made material they carry. The entry of Disney+ and Apple TV+ next month will add new complexity to this rapidly changing market.

We were surprised to learn how much Australian content Amazon Prime Video offers (over 400 Australian titles). However, Amazon is significantly different from Stan and Netflix for several reasons, which make direct comparisons between these services misleading.

Netflix: few local titles, but increasing investment

With an estimated audience of 11 million Australians, Netflix is the clear market leader.
See full article at IF.com.au »

Screen Australia to continue to “move the dial” towards online

Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason speaking at the Power of Inclusion conference. (Photo: Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)

When it comes to representing the diversity of the Australian population, both in front of and behind the camera, it is film in particular that continues to be a “problem area”, according to Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason.

Mason spoke last week at the New Zealand Film Commission’s (Nzfc) Power of Inclusion conference in Auckland, on a panel with Nzfc CEO Annabelle Sheehan, National Screen Institute – Canada acting director Joy Loewen and Geena Davis Institute CEO Madeleine di Nonno, looking at country-specific initiatives aimed at broadening representation on and off screen.

Screen Australia’s development-focused Gender Matters initiative has been successful in “flooding the pipeline” with female-led projects, Mason told the conference.

He made a shout out to Rachel GriffithsRide Like A Girl, the first feature funded via the program to enter production,
See full article at IF.com.au »

Tristram Baumber’s long journey to professional screenwriter

Tristram Baumber.

Tristram Baumber studied English and creative writing at the University of Wollongong with the aim of making a living as a screenwriter.

That was 20 years ago. Since then his life and career have taken several twists and turns – but he is now reaping the rewards of persistence and determination.

“It took me a long time to get good at writing,” he tells If. The turning point came in March 2017 when Aquarius FilmsPolly Staniford and Angie Fielder hired him as an in-house writer.

He had been working with the producers on several projects including a rom-com feature and they were able to put him on staff thanks to a grant from Screen Australia’s Enterprise People program.

For the next two years he worked on multiple projects including the second season of Matt Okine’s Stan sitcom The Other Guy and The Unlisted, an action sci-fi thriller created
See full article at IF.com.au »

Claudia Karvan, Lily Sullivan, Barry Otto and Matt Day cast in ‘The Other Guy’ 2

(L-r) Harriet Dyer, Matt Okine, Lily Sullivan and Claudia Karvan.

Claudia Karvan, Lily Sullivan, Barry Otto, Matt Day, Fiona Press and Elsa Cocquerel have joined the cast of the second season of the Stan Original series The Other Guy.

Feminist author Clementine Ford and media personality Yumi Stynes have also boarded the show created by and starring Matt Okine, produced by Aquarius Films in association with Jude Troy’s Wooden Horse.

In her TV series debut Gracie Otto (The Last Impresario) is directing the comedy scripted by Okine, Kacie Anning and Becky Lucas, which is now shooting in Sydney.

Okine returns as radio presenter Aj Amon with Harriet Dyer as Aj’s best friend Stevie, Valene Kane as Aj’s ex Liv, Michael-Anthony Taylor (Pine Gap) as Aj’s dad and Christiaan Van Vuuren as drug dealer Dezzy.

In the first season Amon lost everything – his house, his job and
See full article at IF.com.au »

Ausfilm names film and TV producers delegation to La

Top row (l-r) Polly Staniford, Sarah Shaw, Tania Chambers, Clayton Jacobson; middle: Jason Byrne, Rikki Lea Bestall, Dena Curtis, Liz Watts, Vincent Sheehan, Anna Vincent; bottom: Steve Jaggi, Scott Corfield, Kristian Moliere.

Polly Staniford, Sarah Shaw, Tania Chambers, Kristian Moliere, Liz Watts and Vincent Sheehan are among a delegation of 13 film and television producers who will travel to Los Angeles to meet with more than 30 development companies and streaming services next month.

The mission is led by Ausfilm as part of its annual Partner with Australia producer connection program. The goal is to provide strategic opportunities for Australian producers with commercially viable feature and TV projects that hold international appeal.

The initiative also supports Ausfilm’s corporate membership of screen services businesses by connecting these companies to Us film and television executives and Australian producers. The program runs from April 14-17.

Supported by Create Nsw, Film Victoria, Screen Queensland, the
See full article at IF.com.au »

Stan renews ‘The Other Guy’ for a second season

Matt Okine and Harriet Dyer.

Stan has commissioned a second season of comedy series The Other Guy, created by and starring Matt Okine.

Season two will be produced by Angie Fielder, Polly Staniford and Alice Willson for Aquarius Films, while Jude Troy will Ep under her new shingle, Wooden Horse.

The first season followed Aj Amon (Okine), a successful radio host who unexpectedly finds himself back in the dating pool for the first time in a decade after discovering his long-term girlfriend (Valene Kane) was having an affair with his best friend. The series was picked up by Hulu in the Us and Super Channel in Canada.

Create Nsw and Screen Australia have both supported the second season, which will shoot on location in Sydney in the coming months. Much of the cast, including Harriet Dyer, are set to return.

The second instalment will pick up five months after the last,
See full article at IF.com.au »

‘Breath,’ ‘Backtrack Boys,’ ‘Blue Murder: Killer Cop’ win Ellie Awards

Dany Cooper receives the Elle from Titus Randall.

The editors of Breath, Backtrack Boys and Blue Murder: Killer Cop part 2 were among the recipients of the 2018 Ellie Awards presented by Australian Screen Editors.

Hosted by comedians Eliza and Hannah Reilly, the awards were handed out on Saturday night at the Eternity Playhouse in Darlinghurst. In addition, the veteran Edward McQueen Mason Ase was accredited by the guild.

Avid Award for Best Editing in a Feature Drama

Dany Cooper Ase – Breath – presented by Titus Randall.

Audio Network Award for Best Editing in a Documentary Feature

Andrea Lang Ase – Backtrack Boys – presented by Jess Ossington to Sally Fryer.

The Blue Post Award for Best Editing in a Drama

Bill Russo Ase – Blue Murder: Killer Cop Part 2 – presented by Rachel Knowles to Peter Crombie.

Spectrum Films Award for Best Editing in a Documentary

Sam Hart & Harriet Clutterbuck Ase – Hawke: The Larrikin and the
See full article at IF.com.au »

Matt Okine and Harriet Dyer on drinking, drugs and diversity on TV

The stars of Stan’s newest comedy The Other Guy talk about substance use, relationship faux pas and why their show is an accurate representation of life

In one of the first scenes of Stan’s new original series, The Other Guy, the lead character Aj – played by Matt Okine, who co-wrote the series with Becky Lucas – is lying in a pool of piss on a mattress, passed out drunk next to a stranger.

Aj has just broken up with Liv (Valene Kane), his girlfriend of nine years, after she cheated on him with his best friend and housemate. The piss may or may not be his. (It’s probably his.)

Related: Matt Okine on being the only half-Ghanaian Australian comedian in the room

Related: The Other Guy review – a half-baked comedy not even Matt Okine can save

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

The Other Guy review – a half-baked comedy not even Matt Okine can save

Stan’s latest original offering flaunts a flavourless and unimaginative script that fails to capitalise on the natural charisma of its talented star

Likability can be an important factor for the lead of a sitcom. Though not, as Stan’s new six-part comedy series The Other Guy painfully demonstrates, a panacea for bad writing and wishy-washy direction.

This immature, rinky-dink, flavourless and unimaginative program fails to capitalise on the natural charisma of its talented star and co-writer, Matt Okine. It was inspired by semi-autobiographical material that formed the comedian and radio personality’s one-man standup show of the same name, forged in the aftermath of a painful breakup.

Related: You Are Here: are we overlooking Australia's most vital documentary series in years?

Related: Romper Stomper remake: a modern-day series about extremism? Exciting but problematic

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Cameras roll on second season of Stan's 'Wolf Creek'

'Wolf Creek' season one..

Production has begun in South Australia on the second season of Stan's Wolf Creek, with showrunner Greg McLean once again in the director's chair.

John Jarratt reprises the role of Mick Taylor, and will be joined by Tess Haubrich (Alien: Covenant), Matt Day (Rake, Paper Giants, Underbelly, Kiss or Kill), Ben Oxenbould (Comedy Inc., The Kettering Incident, The Code), Laura Wheelwright (Animal Kingdom), Stephen Hunter (The Hobbit, The Leftovers) and Chris Haywood (Shine, Muriel's Wedding, Dogs in Space).

Of the second season McLean said: "We.ll join an amazing cast on a road trip of a lifetime, as they must draw on their inner strength to outwit the terrifying Mick Taylor. John Jarratt returns to take Mick.s dark arts to a whole new level, showcasing the beautiful and dangerous landscapes of the remote outback..

Joining McLean in directing will be Kieran Darcy-Smith (Wish You Were Here,
See full article at IF.com.au »

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