AFM: ‘Safe Water’ to Make ScreenLaunch Splash

Aussie pic combines surfing and 3-D horror

“Safe Water,” a 3-D Australian horror pic, is set to make a splash at AFM this week.

The project appears on the slate of two-year old Aussie start-up ScreenLaunch alongside drama “Skin Deep” about the unexpected adventures of two women from different sides of the tracks which is directed by Jon Jeahy.

“Safe Water” is the story of a disgraced ex-surfer who returns to her small surfer community home and is on the end of a backlash she did not expect. To shoot in June, the picture pairs producer Ross Howden and director Nathan Christoffel, who previously worked on “Eraser Children.”

The picture will be shot in native 3-D and aim to be stylistically close to the “Halloween” series. “Horror is big at the moment and if you add the Aussie surf and beach lifestyle, it is a double attraction,” said ScreenLaunch CEO Ross Howden.

ScreenLaunch joins only a very small handful of international sales companies based ‘Down Under’ and largely handling Australian content. It is currently involved in sales, marketing and “innovative forms of distribution,” but Howden says it will move into conventional Australian distribution next year.

It expects to release “Skin Deep” (pictured), which is currently in post, and “Survival Tactics,” a hip hop urban drama which played earlier this year at the Beijing International Film Festival.

ScreenLaunch is also handling international sales on “The Tunnel,” a partially crowd-funded thriller by Carlo Ledesma which was distributed free of charge on the internet in Australia.

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