Back to Back Theatre Receives $100,000 Grant for Feature Film Debut

Back to Back Theatre Receives $100,000 Grant for Feature Film Debut

Internationally acclaimed Back to Back Theatre has plans to take on the big screen, with the support of the Victorian Government.

A $100,000 grant, via Creative Victoria, will enable Back to Back Theatre to start work on the script for its first feature film project, based on the company's internationally acclaimed theatre production Ganesh Versus the Third Reich. Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews visited the company in their Geelong home to make the announcement today.

Since premiering in 2011, Ganesh Versus the Third Reich has been performed in 35 cities worldwide, garnering eight national and international awards, including the 2012 Helpmann Award for Best Australian Play.

Back to Back Co-CEO and Executive Producer, Back to Back Theatre Alice Nash said: "Back to Back is deeply honoured to have received these vital funds from the Victorian Government to transform our critically acclaimed theatre production into a wild, new, big screen project."

Using the existing stage script as its starting point, the funding will support Back to Back Theatre's adaptation of the script for the screen, as the film explores themes such as who in the community has the right, THE VOICE or the power to tell stories about important issues of our times. In its re-imagining for the big screen, the work will include a fictionalisation of the behind-the-scenes story of how the original work made it to the stage.

To deliver the project, a Community Advisory Group will be convened in association with the Victorian State Government. The Advisory Group will include representatives from Victoria's Indian and Hindu communities and Multicultural Arts Victoria.

As well as starring in the film, Back to Back's ensemble of actors with intellectual disabilities will co-author the script - an Australian first. The project is set to be filmed in the company's home city of Geelong and created in collaboration with some of Australia's best screen talents, in front of and behind the cameras.

Ganesh Versus the Third Reich is part of an ambitious launch into screen-based projects for Back to Back Theatre. The team are also working on expanding their 28-minute television pilot Oddlands, which screened nationally on the ABC earlier this year, into a six-part television series.

In addition to the Ganesh and Oddlands screen projects and several international ventures this year, Back to Back is set to premiere its latest production, The Shadow Whose Prey the Hunter Becomes, in Sydney next month followed by Geelong and the Melbourne International Arts Festival.

Back to Back Theatre creates new forms of contemporary performance imagined from the minds and experiences of a unique ensemble of actors with a disability, giving voice to social and political issues that speak to all people. Based in the regional centre of Geelong, the company is one of Australia's most globally recognised and respected contemporary theatre companies. In addition to its professional practice Back to Back collaborates intensively with communities around the world, with a focus on artistic excellence and elevated social inclusion for people with disabilities.

Back to Back Theatre has received 18 national and international awards including in recent years, the Audience Award for Best Short at Adelaide Film Festival, Performance Studies International's Artist-Scholar-Activist Award, a Helpmann Award for Best Australian Work, an Edinburgh International Festival Herald Angel Critics' Award, a New York Bessie and the Myer Foundation Group Award for longstanding contribution to the development of Australian theatre. In 2015, Bruce Gladwin received the Australia Council for the Arts' Inaugural Award for Outstanding Achievement in Theatre.

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