Screen Australia invests in new productions for Seven, TEN, SBS and Foxtel

• Production companies involved include Princess Pictures, Lingo Pictures and Screentime

Screen Australia has announced a slate of production-funding investments including directorial debuts from actors Rachel Griffiths and Guy Pearce, as well as new TV series for SBS, Foxtel, Channel Seven and one for Network Ten led by The Project co-host Peter Helliar.

In total $7.4 million in funding has been allocated through the feature film, television and online production programs.

The funded television projects are:

Princess Pictures’ and Pablo Pictures’ eight-part comedy drama How To Stay Married for Network Ten stars Logie award-winning actress Lisa McCune and comedian Peter Helliar, who has also co-written the script. It tells the story of Greg (Helliar) and Em (McCune) whose 13-year marriage is put to the test by a new job, an unexpected house guest, a redundancy and an experimental sex move. It is produced by Jess Leslie, executive produced by Andrea Denholm and Emma Fitzsimons, and directed by Natalie Bailey from a script by Helliar and Nick Musgrove. This series has also been financed by Film Victoria.

Lingo Pictures’ mystery thriller Lambs of God for Foxtel is about three eccentric secluded nuns who live on a remote island – forgotten by time and the church – until a priest unwittingly happens upon them. The two-part drama is produced by Jason Stephens, Sarah Lambert and Elisa Argenzio; executive produced by Helen Bowden, Mark Fennessy and Carl Fennessy; directed by Jeffrey Walker, and written by Sarah Lambert. The miniseries has also been financed by Create NSW and Screen Tasmania.

Screentime’s comedy Orange is the New Brown for Channel Seven is a six-part series that will reflect contemporary Australian life using one-off sketches, original and recurring characters and TV parodies. It is produced by Jack Kain, executive produced by Johnny Lowry, directed by Hayden Guppy and written by Nazeem Hussain, Joel Slack-Smith, Sophie Braham, Richard Thorp, Penny Greenhalgh and Heidi Regan. This series has also been financed by Create NSW and is currently in production.

Lingo Pictures’ drama The Ropes for SBS, a four-part miniseries set in Sydney’s Western suburbs that follows a young Iraqi-Australian woman chasing her dream to become an elite boxing trainer. It is produced by Helen Bowden and Courtney Wise, executive produced by Jason Stephens, directed by Shannon Murphy, and written by Tamara Asmar, Adam Todd and Ian Meadows – with additional funding from Create NSW.

Photo: Behind the scenes on Orange is the New Brown with Broden Kelly, Nazeem Hussain and Urzila Carlson / Photo by Tony Mott

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