Spottiswoode attached to 'Children'

SYDNEY — Icon has taken sales rights on coming-of-age film “The Black Balloon,” starring Toni Collete and model Gemma Ward, one of five films with international talent greenlit at Australia’s Film Finance Corp. September board meeting.

Helmer Roger Spottiswoode is attached to “The Children of Huang Shi,” scribe Jane Hawkley’s story about a British journalist and an Aussie nurse who lead a group of orphans on a 1,000-mile trek to safety during Japan’s 1937 invasion of China. Pic, which will shoot in China and Australia, is touted as the first official co-production between the two countries.

Peter and Michael Spierig, twins who found fame with zombie pic “Undead,” tapped FFC coin for ecological vampire horror pic “Daybreakers,” which will be co-financed by Lionsgate. It will lense in their home state of Queensland.

Movie Network’s “Project Greenlight” and film competition Tropfest have teamed on “September,” to be directed by competition winner Peter Carstairs. Pic is about a pair of 15-year-old boys in the West Australian wheat belt in 1968.

Jon Hewitt makes his directorial debut with “Acolytes,” a thriller about kids who turn the tables on a man who abused them.

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