This week Screen Australia announced a pre-Christmas goodies bag of funding investments, with $17 million slated for a range of film and TV projects. The overarching theme is feature investments with a strong whiff of the macabre.

Fans of director Mark Hartley’s high octane cult film documentaries Not Quite Hollywood and Machete Maidens will likely welcome news that Hartley has been funded to remake suspense aficionado Richard Franklin’s 1978 classic Patrick, about a comatose hospital patient who can kill and maim by telekinesis. The original has many champions including Quentin Tarantino, who says the film inspired a scene in Kill Bill.

A screenplay from another master of the dark arts, Leigh Whannell — who penned the first three Saw films and co-starred in the first — has also been green-lit for funding. The Mule, a black comedy about narcotic transportation, was co-written by local funny man Angus Sampson and both will star, with Tony Mahony set to warm the director’s seat for the first time.

Writer/director Paul Currie’s New York-set thriller 2:22, about strange occurrences in the life of an air traffic controller, also received funding along with a SCI-thriller named These Final Hours.

Check out Screen Australia’s media release for the complete list of funding announcements.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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