Oz funder hands out coin to 22 pics

SYDNEY — A 3D shark pic from “Highlander” helmer Russell Mulcahy tops the list of 22 projects in Screen Australia’s final funding round of the year. “Bait 3D,” the first 3D pic backed by government coin, concerns a coastal town swamped by a tsunami that brings with it a pack of sharks. Pic is produced by Gary Hamilton, Todd Fellman and Ian Maycock.

Org will also back “Burning Man” from “Better Than Sex” helmer Jonathan Teplitzky. Pic is a bittersweet father and son story that Teplitzky will co-produce with Andy Paterson.

Two other features, “Red Hill” by multi-hyphenate Patrick Hughes and “Blame” by Michael Henry, will also receive coin.

On the TV side, pubcaster SBS’s multi-racial cop skein “East West 101″ will see a third outing, after doing well at the recent AFI kudos.

Releasing the final round of funding, Screen Australian topper Ruth Harly played up the positives in a mixed year for the industry noting that “a record number of films have achieved theatrical release, the Australian share of the box office looks set to exceed the five-year average, and television drama and documentary continue to draw strong audiences.”

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