Happening Films’ Project ‘Chantou’ Represents Oz at Hong Kong – Asia Film Financing Forum

It’s the only Australian production invited to participate in the annual Hong Kong – Asia Film Financing Forum and the honour has been bestowed upon Happening Films. The Melbourne based production company, last seen in 2016 with the critically acclaimed thriller Downriver, is headed by producer Jannine Barnes and director Grant Scicluna.  Their latest project Chantou, an Australian/Cambodian story, is heading to HAF to secure funding for production. Check out the press release below!



Happening Films is proud to announce that we have been invited to participate in this year’s Hong Kong – Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) with the project “Chantou”.

This project is one of 24 selected from 350 submissions and the only Australian representative to attend the event which will be held in Hong Kong in March.

HAF is one of the most recognised film-financing platforms in Asia. Its responsibility is to connect filmmakers and upcoming film projects with international prominent film financiers, producers, bankers, distributors, buyers and funders for potential co-production ventures.

“Chantou” is a family drama about a Melbourne-based gay couple who discover that their adopted Cambodian daughter is a victim of human trafficking.

Developed by Film Victoria, the screenplay is based on an idea by Melbourne actor/director Ben Pfeiffer and will be directed by Grant Scicluna. “Chantou is a very affirming project born out of real human tragedy. Bridging Australia with Cambodia, it explores modern ideas of non-traditional families and universal themes of parenting. I am excited to find partners from the Asia Pacific region to work together to bring this lovely story to the screen,” says Grant.

Grant’s debut feature film “Downriver” premiered at Melbourne International Film Festival and was selected for the Toronto International Film Festival in 2015. It has been described as “profound and moving…beautiful and scary” by Paul Byrnes (Sydney Morning Herald) and “The best directed Australian film I’ve seen in recent memory” by Paul Harris (3RRR). It received four stars from Margaret Pomeranz and picked up a number of international awards for best film, best director and performance.

In attendance with Grant is Producer Jannine Barnes. Jannine is the principal of Happening Films and the producer behind “Downriver” as well as seven short films made with Grant including the award winning “The Wilding” (Berlinale 2012). Jannine says, “I am thrilled that Chantou has been selected to participate in HAF 2017. It’s a story that is very timely and relevant, and has a real resonance for all of us involved in the project. I am delighted to be taking this to the market place as Grant’s next film”.

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