Oz funder hands out coin

Largest TV slate FFC has ever supported

SYDNEY — The Film Finance Corp. Australia on Monday approved investments in six pics, three TV dramas and two children’s series.

The funding body committed funds to helmer David Denneen’s violent thriller “Power Surge” and to “Elephant Tales,” an Australian-French co-production about two orphan baby elephants, from writer-director Mario Andreacchio.

It has offered coin to four films selected through its new evaluation door. They are “MacBeth,” a contempo version of Shakespeare’s tale set in Melbourne, helmed by Geoffrey Wright; “Footy Legends,” a story of triumph against the odds in suburban Sydney, from director Khoa Do; “Noise,” a dark comedy about the impact of a mass murder on a train, helmed by Matthew Saville; and “Hunt Angels,” a docu about two Oz moviemaking outlaws in the 1930s and ’40s, directed by Alec Morgan.

The TV slate includes mini “Answered by Fire,” an Aussie-Canadian co-production from producers Roger Le Mesurier and Andy Walker, set in troubled East Timor; “The Silence,” a cop telepic that reunites the “Somersault” team of exec producer Jan Chapman and helmer Cate Shortland; and “Little Oberon,” a telepic set in a mountain village dotted with eccentric characters and modern witchcraft, produced by Stanley Walsh and Susan Bower.

The children’s dramas are “Staines Down Drains,” an animated Oz/New Zealand co-prod from Yoram Gross; and “Mortified,” about an awkward adolescent, produced by Phillip Bowman and Bernadette O’Mahony.

The FFC did not reveal details of the funding, but is pouring A$35 million ($26.2 million) into TV dramas with total budgets of $83.2 million in the current fiscal year — the biggest TV slate it’s supported since the agency was created in 1988.

A similar amount is expected to be spent on films for the year.

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