Australian filmmaker Jonathan Teplitzky is working on a sequel to his 2003 crime comedy Gettin’ Square – one of five features to receive a share of $4.6m (A$6.9m) in production funding from national body Screen Australia.
The latest round of funding will also support Kriv Stenders’ The Correspondent; Cathy Randall’s Red Rock Run; Kate Woods’ Kangaroo; and Nicholas Clifford’s One More Shot.
Teplitzky’s Spit will mark the return of David Wenham as ex-junkie John Spitieri, who travels back to Australia only to find himself locked in an immigration detention centre and on the radar of old enemies.
Writer Chris Nyst and producer Trish Lake will also return for the sequel alongside producers Greg Duffy, Felicity McVay and Wenham.
Lake told Screen: “David [Wenham] was pivotal in us keeping going because, of all his 150 [film and theatre] roles, the one that continues to be best loved and the one he hears about most frequently is that of Spit.”
Writer Nyst is a high-profile criminal lawyer and social justice advocate based on Queensland’s Gold Coast, where the film will be shot, most likely in the second quarter of 2024.
It is financed in association with Screen Queensland. The film will be shot on the Gold Coast, Queensland in the second quarter of 2024. Transmission Films plans to re-issue Gettin’ Square before releasing Spit. Universal and Working Title Australia were among those that produced and distributed the original, which has not been available locally for several years.
UK-based Teplitzky is also known for directing The Railway Man, which premiered at Toronto in 2013, and historic drama Churchill, which starred Brian Cox and was released in 2017,
The Correspondent will tell the true story of Australian journalist Peter Greste, who was one of three Al Jazeera employees arrested and imprisoned in Cairo in 2013, accused of terrorism. Director Stenders’ 2011 feature Red dog took in more than $13.4m at the local box-office. “That is a dramatic storyline, and Peter Greste was so generous and involved every step of way.” Moviehouse Entertainment is handling international sales, while Maslow Entertainment is responsible for local distribution. Maslow Entertainment is distributing locally, with Moviehouse Entertainment managing international sales.
Red Rock Run
is a family feature set in 1978, which follows a 10-year-old girl who defies her father to enters the first kids’ team to run a gruelling 120km outback marathon race.Written by Meg Shields and produced by Miriam Stein, the feature is financed in association with Screenwest and Lotterywest, Screen NSW and Spectrum Entertainment. Icon Film Distribution is handling local distribution, with international sales managed by Parkland Pictures.As previously announced, Studiocanal is handling outback family feature
while Clifford’s debut One More Shot was named best project at Melbourne International Film Festival’s 37o South Market in 2022.Second seasons of Last King Of The Cross
for Paramount+ and ABC/BBC kids series Spooky Files were also awarded a share of the Screen Australia production funding alongside documentary series Cooking For Seamus and sci-fi comedy series Descent for YouTube, comedy animation series Long Head for TikTok and virtual reality project Heroes.The Screen Awards Podcast: what titles are gaining momentum; plus in-depth on entering a film for Bafta