icon icon

No Laughing Matter: Screen Australia Backs Comedy Series by AFTRS Grads

Screen Australia has announced a whopping $300,000 in funding and a bucket load of it is going to no less than 10 AFTRS alumni-helmed projects. Among the recipients are recent graduates of the Bachelor of Arts (Screen) program and regular collaborators Béatrice Barbeau-Scurla and Alexei Toliopoulos, who have teamed up with Sydney comic Aaron Chen (Back in Very Small Business) on Chen PM 3010.

This 10-part online comedy series is set in the distant future when Australia has collapsed and the pressure to save the country falls on the extremely underqualified but very nice young man, Aaron Chen. It’s written and produced by Aaron, with Béatrice producing and Alexei writing and directing.

Alexei comes fresh off the back of his hit ABC podcast Finding Drago (read this hot-off-the-presses AV Club review) and Béatrice is preparing for the world premiere of Suburban Wildlife at Cinequest in San Jose, the feature film she co-wrote with Imogen McCluskey in their final year of the BA.

When asked to comment on this announcement, Béatrice said, “It’s a great opportunity for us to be able to create this very silly web series with the funding and help of Screen Australia. We have a great team and are looking forward to making something funny and really cool.”

While Alexei is just pleased to be mentioned, “So proud to see my name in an official press release.”

And Aaron went as far as to offer an acrostic poem –

Truly funny,
Remember good nice memories,
So nice.

If that’s any indication of what we can expect from the series, it’s safe to say we’re in for one helluva ride.

Congratulations also to other alumni funding recipients Sue Maslin, Maziar Lahooti, Carolyn Johnson, Armagan Ballantyne, Miranda Nation, Wayne Blair, Megan Simpson Huberman, Steven McGregor, Nathan Earl, Tim Lee, Jessica Redenbach, Melvin Montalban, Nora Niasari and Kacie Anning.

Find out more here.

Aaron Chen, Béatrice Barbeau-Scurla and Alexei Toliopoulos in the AFTRS Masters Space