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Screen adaptations of Marchetta, Zusak novels, Jamieson & Cai picture book

TV adaptions of Melina Marchetta’s novel The Place on Dalhousie (Penguin) and Markus Zusak’s The Messenger (Picador) have received funding from Screen Australia in its latest development funding announcement, while film rights to Trent Jamieson’s forthcoming children’s picture book The Giant and the Sea (Lothian, illus by Rovina Cai) have been acquired by Like a Photon Creative via Alex Adsett Publishing Services.

Marchetta’s novel is the basis for Dalhousie, a six-part multigenerational family drama set in Sydney’s Inner West, follows Martha who, having just turned 50, is struggling to complete the house her late husband worked on for 20 years. When Martha’s 21-year-old step-daughter Rosie Gennaro arrives on her doorstep with a baby, a stand-off begins between the two women who refuse to budge from the home they both lay claim to. The project is written for the screen by Marchetta and produced by Louise Smith.

The six-part adaptation of Zusak’s 2002 novel The Messenger follows Ed Kennedy, whose peaceful daily life is disrupted when a playing card inscribed with a cryptic message arrives in the mail. Following the clues, Ed makes his way through town helping people in need, and is determined to find out who is behind these assignments. The Messenger is to be written for the screen by Sarah Lambert, Kirsty Fisher and Leon Ford, and will be produced by Jason Stephens and Helen Bowden of Lingo Pictures.

The adaptations received a share of $620,000 in Screen Australia funding, with the total pool funding 11 feature films, five TV series and two online projects.

Like a Photon to adapt The Giant and the Sea into short film

Hachette Australia has announced Australian production company Like a Photon Creative plans to develop picture book The Giant and the Sea, which is published 20 May, into a short film. The film option was negotiated by agent Alex Adsett.

Adsett told Books+Publishing that after pairing author Trent Jamieson and illustrator Rovina Cai, ‘after years of waiting, nothing could beat that overwhelming moment of opening the final book, and its spellbinding combination of story, illustration and design’.

‘It is no surprise that everyone who opens this beautiful, powerful, and timely book falls in love with it,’ said Adsett. ‘And yet, I can still hardly believe that the producers at Like A Photon immediately felt the same way. Like A Photon Creative are one of the most exciting studios working in the world right now, and I have long admired their energy and passion for every project they take on. I can’t wait to see them work their magic on The Giant and the Sea.’


Category: Local news Rights and acquisitions