Sydney's Mushroom Pictures to develop script, financing

SYDNEY — Helmer Phillip Noyce is to make another Aussie pic, buoyed by the B.O. success of “Rabbit Proof Fence” in Australia and the U.K..

Noyce has optioned the novel “Dirt Music” by Perth-based writer Tim Winton, whose successful novel “Cloudstreet” was adapted into a blockbuster stage play.

Noyce will helm and produce and Sydney’s Mushroom Pictures will develop the script and financing.

“Dirt Music,” about a couple in a loveless relationship, is set in a remote fishing village on the West Australian coast. It won the prestigious Miles Franklin literary award this year and was short-listed for the Booker Prize.

Miranda Culley, Kathleen McLaughlin and Noyce, the three principals of Rumbalara Films, will produce. Justin Monjo, who adapted “Cloudstreet” for the stage, will adapt the screenplay.

Principals are seeking a large budget by Australian standards — approx $A10 million ($5 million).

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