'Lake' lensing set to begin in 2011

A new Jane Campion TV series is among the projects Aussie-Brit shingle See-Saw Films, the outfit behind buzz title “The King’s Speech,” is unveiling at the Toronto Film Festival.

London-based topper Iain Canning and Sydney-based topper Emile Sherman are at the fest with “Speech,” which unspools tonight. The Colin Firth starrer is distributed domestically through the Weinstein Co.

Campion will helm the six-hour TV series “Top of the Lake,” set in her native New Zealand. The Aussie-Kiwi co-production, being developed in conjunction with the BBC, is a small-town tale about a detective brought in to solve the case of a 12-year-old who gets pregnant and disappears.

Lensing is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2011 in Queenstown.

Further on its slate is a feature adaptation of scribe Robyn Davidson’s tome “Tracks,” which chronicles a twentysomething Aussie woman travelling on camels across the vast Australian desert. John Curran will direct the $15 million visceral travel story penned by “Me Myself I” scribe Pip Karmel.

Earlier this week, Daily Variety reported the outfit was reuniting “Hunger” helmer Steve McQueen with thesp Michael Fassbender for pic “Shame,” which sees a young man struggle to manage his sex life. HanWay is launching the project to buyers at the fest.

The favorable reviews for “Speech” after its Telluride premiere should help goose sales, with European buyers buzzing before Toronto opened.

Canning and Sherman stress the shingle intends to focus on tight independent projects with good stories and reasonable budgets (“The King’s Speech” is budgeted at $15 million).

“It feels like an exciting time for independent films at the moment,” Sherman said. “Because of the reduction in studio films and mini-major produced films, there are so many amazing and talented directors that are making films in the independent sector who maybe before weren’t. Less films may be being made, but the ones that are being produced are more exciting than they have been for a number of years.”

See-Saw has a first-look deal with Blighty distrib Momentum Pictures and works closely with sister distrib Transmission Films down under.

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