Tropnest flies coop as Oz pic hatchery

Organizers fail to find funding

SYDNEY — The crisis in Australian feature film development claimed another victim with the closure of burgeoning feature film development center Tropnest this week after organizers failed to find enough funding.

Launched in 1998 as an offshoot of Sydney’s popular Tropfest short film festival, Tropnest provided development advice and facilities for emerging filmmakers, including scribe John Meadows, who just wrapped production on “Wise Girls” toplining Mariah Carey and Mira Sorvino. Pic is backed by Lions Gate and Intermedia.

At Tropnest, Mara Blazic developed “To Kill a Sunrise,” which won the romantic comedy script prize at the Houston Film Fest but is still looking for a production deal.

Development manager Nick Marchand says eight other projects are in their third or fourth draft, adding: “We’re going to see Nest projects in the next year or so come to fruition.”

Hungry for a hit

A report by the Australian Film Commission released last November said Oz scripts suffered impoverished budgets and protracted development. The industry has been waiting five years, since Scott Hicks’ “Shine,” for an international breakout hit.

Tropnest was backed by Premium Movie Partnership Showtime Australia, the New South Wales Film & Television Office and the Australian Film Commission and was housed rent-free in a cottage at Fox Studios Australia. Polygram Australia and Beyond had previously been major sponsors.

More Film

  • Sean AstinCritics' Choice Awards, Arrivals, Los

    Film News Roundup: Sean Astin Cast in 'Mayfields Game,' 'Charming the Hearts of Men'

    In today’s film news roundup, Sean Astin gets two roles, two “Peanuts” movies are set for release, “One Last Night” gets distribution and Brian De Palma gets honored. CASTINGS Sean Astin has been cast in a pair of upcoming feature films: “Mayfield’s Game” opposite Mira Sorvino and “Charming The Hearts of Men” opposite Kelsey Grammer. Astin [...]

  • Dwayne Johnson Idris Elba

    Dwayne Johnson: Idris Elba Nixed 'Black James Bond' Joke in 'Hobbs & Shaw'

    In the “Fast & Furious Presents Hobbs & Shaw,” the movie’s villain Brixton, played by Idris Elba, spreads his arms out wide and declares “I’m black Superman.” It turns out that might not have been the original line. Dwayne Johnson tells Variety that Elba was first asked to proclaim he’s “black James Bond,” but the [...]

  • Justin Baldoni

    Justin Baldoni Developing 'It Ends With Us' Romance Movie

    “Jane the Virgin” Star Justin Baldoni is adapting Colleen Hoover’s romance novel “It Ends With Us” for film through his Wayfarer Entertainment company. Baldoni announced Monday that he had optioned the project on his Instagram account. “It Ends With Us” first published in 2016 and follows a young woman through the tumultuous stages of an [...]

  • Matteo BocelliAmerican Icon Awards Gala, Inside,

    Top Music Manager Calls Out American Icon Awards for Failing to Pay Talent

    The centuries-old adage no good deed goes unpunished is a common refrain for star music manager Scott Rodger of late. Rodger, who represents Paul McCartney and Andrea Bocelli at Maverick, says his client Matteo Bocelli, the son of the opera star, was stiffed out of promised expense reimbursement by the American Icon Awards. The event, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content