The first film produced by Canberra film studio The Film Distillery has started principal photography and is shooting throughout April and May in Bywong.

The Furies (formerly Killer Instinct), written and directed by Tony D’Aquino, is a gripping female-driven horror film where a young woman faces her darkest fears with seven other unwilling participants in a deadly game that can only have one winner. The film burrows into universal themes of survival, revenge and redemption, and reveals the darkness lurking within us all.

The picture is the first of several projects from the innovative Accelerator POD initiative conceived by The Film Distillery, Screen Canberra and international sales agent Odin’s Eye Entertainment.

The Accelerator POD is a ‘market first’ development program where filmmakers submit scripts via Screen Canberra for appraisal by Odin’s Eye Entertainment, along with potential for a distribution deal.

The Film Distillery then partners with creative teams whose scripts are deemed commercially viable by the team at Odin’s Eye Entertainment, and options their screenplays. The filmmakers are then provided with script-to-screen guidance with input from eminent script editors such as The Story Department, and finally are teamed with professional producers to bring their project to life.

For The Furies, Lisa Shaunessy of Arcadia is producing (2017 Australian horror film and Sundance hit, Killing Ground, and a former executive at both Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe’s production companies), alongside local Canberra Producer, Christian Doran (Me and My Mates vs. The Zombie Apocalypse).

The Film Distillery, along with key industry partners including Screen Canberra, the ACT Government, SilverSun Pictures and the Academy of Interactive Entertainment, is working to build a sustainable film and TV production industry in Canberra. Its aim is to create and manage commercial film projects produced and financed in the Australian Capital Territory, using Canberra-based cast and crew where possible, and completing post-production locally.

The Furies features a range of local Canberra talent which make up a sizeable proportion of the cast and crew, as well as accomplished actors and production staff from interstate with highly impressive film and TV credits to their name.

The Furies’ Executive Producer and Chief Executive Officer of The Film Distillery, Andy Marriott, said it’s rewarding to be able to produce a feature film using cast and crew found in Canberra.

“There’s no reason why projects like this can’t be developed in the ACT on a regular basis, and that’s exactly what we intended to do at The Film Distillery,” Andy said.

Screen Canberra CEO Monica Penders said The Furies is one of an increasing number of feature films and high-end TV shows shot in Canberra over the past few years.

“The industry is finally realising that filming here is unique, cost effective and, above all, easy,” Monica said.

The Furies is due for release in December 2018 and is being distributed worldwide by Odin’s Eye Entertainment.