Filmmakers from Murdoch University’s media production unit have double cause to celebrate after securing ScreenWest funding to develop a Full Monty-style feature film and winning prizes in the state’s prestigious film awards.
Jeffory Asselin from the unit and screen writer Meg Shields have been awarded $10,000 development funding by the state government’s screen funding and development agency to work on Meg’s feature script, entitled Father’s Day. The film will be directed by Jeff. The funds will also give them more time to prepare for a feature funding application to ScreenWest.
“It takes a long time for independent filmmakers in this state to build a reputation which merits state government funding, so we’re really pleased to have secured the money,” said Jeff, who is an independent director/producer/writer with several short film credits to his name.
“Now that the feature has their backing we are hopeful of securing the remaining funds we need to get the green light and go into production.”
Describing his film as an Australian Full Monty, Jeff said the story is about a miner who becomes embroiled in his estranged son’s custody battles and must fight to overturn redundancies when a giant multinational threatens the shutdown of the local town.
“Obviously there’s a lot of comedy in the script and we want to make it a feel good film but we’re very keen to develop some great characters also,” explained Jeff.
“This funding will help us gain even more kudos for the production. I’m confident we can get the film made and distributed.”
Professor Rhonda Marriott, Director of the Kulbardi Aboriginal Centre at Murdoch University, said: “We are proud of Jeff’s achievements and pleased that his talents are available to assist the Kulbardi Productions team and to mentor other staff and students in productions.”
Jeff’s colleague in the media production unit Anthony Webb, who is senior editor and director of photography, is also celebrating after he won the best editing award at the West Australian Screen Awards for his short film The Dinner Meeting. He also won the prize for best cinematography for Jeff’s short film The Billabong.
Anthony said: “Anyone associated with films in Western Australia looks to the WA Screen Awards because it celebrates the innovation of filmmakers in the state and connects us with audiences. I was extremely honoured to win the awards and am hoping it will provide my career with a boost.”