Government funding body Screen Australia is set to invest in a pair of family-friendly animated features from Brisbane’s Like A Photon Creative, as part of a US$6.5-million production investment initiative to support domestic multi-platform content.
An undisclosed portion of the new Screen Australia fund will support both productions, which will receive additional investment from Screen Queensland.
Like A Photon’s first film to benefit from the support program is The Wishmas Tree, written by Peter Ivan (Oddball). This story unfolds when a young possum’s misguided wish for a white Wishmas freezes her entire hometown and threatens the lives of its residents. To reverse the damage, she must embark on a perilous journey before the magical Wishmas Tree dies.
Combat Wombat, meanwhile, is about a reclusive wombat that unintentionally becomes a superhero after begrudgingly saving a rookie caped crusader from certain doom.
Both films will be executive produced by Like A Photon MD Kristen Souvlis (pictured, right) and Julia Adams, with Photon’s creative director Nadine Bates (pictured, left) producing, and development exec Ricard Cusso Judson directing. Matt Everitt (The LEGO Batman Movie) be a consulting animation director on Combat Wombat only.
Aussie distributor Oden’s Eye Entertainment has been tapped to handle international sales for both features.
Like A Photon experienced substantial success with its 3D-animated preschool series Balloon Barnyard (26 x seven minutes), which airs on Disney Junior Australia. More recently, the company entered into a partnership with LA-based Sonar Entertainment to co-produce its upcoming mixed-media series Bear & Salmon, which was runner-up for Best In Show at last year’s Asian Animation Summit in Brisbane.
Screen Australia’s latest domestic funding news comes on the heels of the organization investing in three Aussie tween series: Ludo’s Robbie Hood, Aquarius Films’ The Unlisted and Cheeky Little’s Spongo, Fuzz and Jalapeña.