Oz’s AFC backs new pix

The Australian Film Commission has funded two new Oz features as part of its ongoing strategy of backing a handful of lower-budgeted, innovative films each year.

Two new entries are “Vacant Possession,” directed and written by Margot Nash, produced by John Winter; and “The Life of Harry Dare” (working title), produced by Terry Charatsis, and directed by Aleksi Vellis.

Latter also has received minority backing from state funding body Film South.

Neither film has distribution ties yet.

AFC’s production sked, which to date has yielded successes such as “Proof” and “Romper Stomper,” is also designed to help emerging talent.

Nash, a docu director, makes her feature debut with “Vacant Possession,” which goes into production first, around November. Vellis scored some acclaim some years ago with his low-budget actioner “Nirvana Street Murder.”

According to AFC’s development exec Victoria Treole, the commission also has recently backed the TV movie “Only the Brave” from director Ana Kokkinos. The commission views such productions as “important halfway points” between shorts and features for emerging talent, she says.

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