Paramount+ nightclub drama, Sam Campbell webshow amid Screen Aus funded projects

Screen Australia has awarded eleven projects over $6.9m in funding

By Gabriella Geisinger 14 Dec 2023

Paramount+ nightclub drama, Sam Campbell webshow amid Screen Aus funded projects
Last King of the Cross, Sam Campbell; Cr: Paramount+/Channel 4

Screen Australia has chosen 11 projects to share over $6.9m in funding. 

Among the recipients of Screen Australia's funds are season two of Paramount+ drama Last King of the Cross starring Tim Roth and Claude Jabbour, a new TikTok based series starring comedian Sam Campbell, who recently appeared on season 16 of hit UK comedy show Taskmaster, and Kangaroo, a new feature from Umbrella Academy and Lincoln Lawyer director Kate Woods. 

How the funds will be shared has yet to be confirmed. 

The full list of projects is as follows:


Kangaroo: A heart-warming family comedy about ex-tv personality, Chris Masterson who becomes stranded in an outback town after a car accident on his way to Broome. There, he forms an unlikely friendship with 11-year-old Indigenous girl Charlie.

Directed by Kate Woods of The Lincoln Lawyer and The Umbrella Academy with Harry Cripps writing. Additional writing by Melina Marchetta. Bunya Productions' David Jowsey, Greer Simpkin, Brindle Films' Rachel Clements and Trisha Morton-Thomas are producing. Executive producing is Anna Marsh, Ron Halpern, Elizabeth Trotman and Marcus Gillezeau from STUDIOCANAL alongside Film Depot's Louise Smith and Marian Macgowan. It is financed in association with Screen Territory with support from Screen NSW. STUDIOCANAL are distributing locally and managing international sales.

One More Shot: On New Year’s Eve 1999, Minnie discovers a bottle of time-travelling tequila that takes her back to the start of the night in this time loop comedy. Armed with this mysterious bottle of tequila, she hopes to win the heart of on-again-off-again-old-flame Joe, but no matter what she does, she can’t escape herself. 

One More Shot is directed by Nicholas Clifford and written by Alice Foulcher and Gregory Erdstein. Good Thing Production Company's Nick Batzias and Virginia Whitwell are producing alongside Truce Films' Jim Wright and Elise Trenorden. It is financed in association with the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) Premiere Fund and VicScreen. Handling local distribution is Madman Entertainment, and it has been developed with the assistance of Scripted Ink and Screenwest.

Red Rock Run: This family feature film follows 10-year-old Lucy who is forbidden from attending the 1978 regional athletic trials as punishment for racing a delivery plane on a remote dirt airstrip. But with the help of her grandmother, she defies her Vietnam veteran father and enters the first kids’ team into the Red Rock Run, a gruelling 120km outback marathon race. 

The film is directed by Cathy Randall, written by Meg Shields and produced by Tama Films' Miriam Stein. Red Rock Run 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. The film is developed with the assistance of Screenwest and Lotterywest, Icon Film Distribution and Screen NSW.

Spit: In the sequel to the award-winning crime comedy, Gettin’ Square, ex-junkie John Spitieri returns to Australia, only to find himself locked up in an Immigration Detention Centre with a massive target on his back. But as old enemies come looking for him, determined to settle old scores, he also makes new friends amongst the detainees, teaches them his version of mateship and what it means to be truly Australian. 

Spit is from director Jonathan Teplitzky, writer Chris Nyst and producers Greg Duffy and Freshwater Pictures' Trish Lake. Also producing are Felicity McVay and Lord of the Rings' star David Wenham. Faramarz K-Rahber and Sofya Gollan are attached as consultants. It is financed in association with Screen Queensland. Local distribution is by Transmission Films and international sales are managed by Moviehouse Entertainment.

The Correspondent: December 2013, in the shadow of the Great Pyramids of Egypt, Australian journalist Peter Greste is confronted with the brutal realities of reporting from one of the most dangerous cities on earth. Accused of terrorism, Greste becomes a pawn in the middle of a deadly game full of corrupt officials and ancient rivalries – with only his wits keeping him alive. 

The Correspondent is directed by Kriv Stenders, written by Peter Duncan, and produced by Purple Pictures' Carmel Travers. It is financed in association with Screen NSW with support from Jovial Planet Productions, Spectrum Films, Dreamlight Studio and the Adelaide Film Festival Investment Fund. Maslow Entertainment is distributing locally, with Moviehouse Entertainment managing international sales.


Last King of the Cross season two: Following on from season one, John Ibrahim sets his sights on capturing a new kingdom after returning to Sydney - the glittering prize of Oxford Street. With it comes new challenges and enemies, along with the relentless scrutiny of Liz Doyle and the full force of the Sydney police. Freshly released from jail, Sam builds the largest bikie chapter in Australian history, putting John on a collision course with the entire criminal world. Last King of the Cross season two for Paramount+ is directed by season one's Grant Brown and Ian Watson, and Tori Garrett. It is written by Sam Meikle, Sarah Smith, Fin Edquist, Jane Allen, Tim Pye, and season one's James Pope. 

Alexandra Doering and Mark Fennessy of Last King of the Cross season one are producing and executive producing respectively, with Rick Maier from Paramount also executive producing. It has received major production investment from Paramount Australia and is financed with support from Screen NSW. International sales are managed by Cineflix Rights, with post, digital and visual effects supported by Screen NSW and Screen Queensland.


Spooky Files season two: In this second iteration of the popular ABC and BBC series, the funny and spooky adventure continues. After closing a portal to a spooky dimension in season one, the Spooky Crew has their work cut out for them when the portal reopens six months later in season two. They must regroup to save their town from Spooky mayhem yet again, whilst learning there’s a big difference between the fears that keep you safe and the ones that hold you back. 

Returning from Spooky Files season one are creators/writers Guy Edmonds and Matt Zeremes, and writers Marisa Nanakhorn Brown, Emma Gordon, Clem Bastow, alongside Tim Williams and Alexander Andreotti. The series is a Tony Ayres Productions (TAP) and Megaboom Pictures production. It is produced by Megawatt Pictures' Paul Watters and executive produced by Tony Ayres and Andrea Denholm.TAP is backed by Matchbox Pictures and Universal International Studios, a division of Universal Studio Group. The series is financed in association with the ABC, BBC and VicScreen, with international sales being managed by NBCUniversal Global Distribution.


Cooking for Seamus: This 10-part documentary series for YouTube follows old time sing song man and animal lover Archer, who attracts celebrity chefs to a paddock in Central Victoria where their culinary creations are judged by Seamus, a six-year-old disabled Angus Bull whose passion is food. 

In Cooking for Seamus, Archer’s casual charm and astonishing singing ability with Seamus’s immense wobbly salivating enthusiasm for food disarms all – with unique personal stories and experiences emerging from each ‘chef’ encounter. The series is directed by Matthew Walker and produced by New Canvas' Carolina Sorensen and Clare Lewis. It is financed with support from philanthropy via Documentary Australia.

Descent: A five-part, genre-bending science fiction comedy series for YouTube following three self-described 'scientists' on a perilous mission to the bottom of the ocean, desperate to find a new home for humanity and save everyone from climate doom. As the crew of the UHM Hope submarine descends deeper into the uncharted abyss, they are forced to confront unforeseen dangers and encroaching madness in their search for the mysterious long-fabled Eel City. 

From Haven't You Done Well Productions, Descent is directed by Liam Fitzgibbon and written by Millie Holten, Madi Savage, and Ella Lawry, who is also creative director. Producing is Monique Mulcahy and executive producing is HYDW's Max Miller and Georgia Mappin, whose credits include Aunty Donna's Coffee Cafe. It is financed in association with VicScreen.

Heroes: In this 20-minute virtual reality (VR) experience, four children from diverse backgrounds find refuge in an abandoned school building, in the middle of a war zone. Through sharing and listening to each other’s stories, taken from interviews conducted with survivors of war, they connect and find resilience to endure the horrors of global conflict.

Heroes is written, directed and produced by Peter Hegedüs and produced by Bobbi-Lea Dionysius. It has received principal production funding from the Queensland Holocaust Museum, with support from Griffith University.

Long Head: Based on a webcomic, this six-part comedy animation series for TikTok tracks the adventures of Long Head, a man with a long head, a big heart and nothing behind the eyes. Long Head may be an idiot, but he’s an unlovable idiot. 

Starring Sam Campbell, Tom Walker and Kate Dehnert, the series is from writer/director/creator Millie Holten and director Annabelle Ots, with Motion Picture Company's Dan Ilic attached as producer.

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