ScreenAustralia have given the green light to THE MERGER, a feature film based on comedian Damian Callinan’s one-man show. Directed by Mark Grentell (Backyard Ashes), and written by Callinan, Screen Australia and Create NSW will provide production investment funding for the film.
THE MERGER tells the story of former professional football player Troy Carrington who has returned home to the fictional town of Bodgy Creek after an abrupt end to his sporting career. He is persuaded to coach the hapless local footy team, the Roosters, where he sees an opportunity to recruit refugees from the Regional Support Centre to turn the team’s fate around. What follows is a comedy about a man seeking redemption, a team trying to reclaim victory, and a community coming to terms with the changing face of Australian rural life.
The timely film is described by Screen Australia as a “low budget gem,” and will no doubt find audiences in the warm and fuzzy regions of the nation next year.
Australian audiences may best know Callinan from his multiple appearances on ABC’s Spicks & Specks, along with various other cameos. His writing talents graced the credits of 22 episodes of The Wedge, one of the shows that gave Rebel Wilson her breakthrough in the industry.
Aimed for a 2018 release, THE MERGER will be distributed throughout the country by Umbrella Entertainment.