On International Women’s Day it is heartening to share the news that Australia’s key film funding body, Screen Australia, has announced that its most recent round of funding, which includes a number of book-to-film adaptations, shows a growing representation of women in projects submitted. ‘[T]he majority of projects have strong female representation—and indeed nine of the 23 [projects funded] even have both all-female teams and a female protagonist—which is exciting and shows that changes in the industry are having a noticeable impact on the types of applications we are receiving,’ said Screen Australia senior development manager Nerida Moore.
Films based on books by Hannah Kent, Alice Pung, Peter Goldsworthy and Tara Winkler are among the latest projects to receive funding from Screen Australia.
Author Hannah Kent will write the screenplay for the adaptation of her historical novel The Good People (Picador Australia), which will be produced by Polly Staniford and Angie Fielder. The production company that bought rights to Kent’s novel, Aquarius Films, has completed an initial treatment for the film and will use the funding to develop a first draft of the screenplay. Alice Pung’s coming-of-age story Laurinda (Black Inc.) will be adapted into a film directed by Samantha Lang, with playwright Michelle Law to write the screenplay.
A film adaptation of Peter Goldsworthy’s 1995 novel Wish (Text Publishing) has also received development funding, and Tara Winkler’s memoir about her well-intentioned but misguided attempt to start an orphanage in Cambodia, How (Not) To Start An Orphanage (Allen & Unwin), is also a recipient of development funding.
Meanwhile, Australian arts funding body Creative Victoria, which covers the south-eastern state of Victoria, of which Melbourne is the capital, has announced a new funding program to ‘address barriers to participation by under-represented groups in Victoria’s creative industries’. The new Diversity and Inclusion Program will offer grants of up to A$100,000 through the ‘Talent Matters’ category to support the design of professional development programs for creative practitioners and administrators from marginalised or under-represented backgrounds. For more information, see the Creative Victoria website.
We look forward to reporting on the book-to-film adaptations that might flow from this initiative in the years to come.