Oz’s FFC bankrolls new films

Four feature films and an animated TV series are set to go into production after securing coin from the Australian Film Finance Corp. and a variety of Australian and offshore distribs.

The FFC has selected three films from 138 applications to fully finance via its 1995 Film Fund that bankrolls low-budget productions, usually from first-time directors.

Bryan Brown will topline and co-produce “Dead Heart,” Nicholas Parsons’ adaptation of his play about a group of white fringe-dwellers and their encounter with tribal Aborigines. From writer-director David Caesar comes “Idiot Box,” an action comedy about two bored, angry unemployed men who decide to rob a bank.

Monica Pellizzari is writing and helming “Fistful of Flies,” a coming-of-age saga of a 16-year-old’s clashes with her violent father and repressed mom. Producer Julia Overton says she’s had offers from distribs and sales companies, and the pic is due to roll in Sydney in November.

The FFC is partly funding “The Zone,” a futuristic thriller in which border guards from warring nations play dangerous games, directed and co-written by John Tatoulis.

Tatoulis cobbled together the rest of the budget from Aussie distrib Village Roadshow, German distrib Foxton Entertainment, and sales agent Beyond Films, which has rights to the rest of the world, including the U.S.

He’s easting in the lead an English actor, and the deal is not yet signed. He aims to start shooting in Victoria and South Australia in October.

The Mickey Duck Animation Co. and Australian Children’s Television Foundation are preparing “Li’l Elvis Jones and the Truckstoppers,” a 26-episode animated series helmed by Peter Viska.

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