Small Town

Ella Roby, Lachlan Marks


A suspected murder, a series of disappearances and a powerful new drug bring a journalist, a cop and an addict together on an investigation into a strange cult run by children


Small Town is a tense psychological thriller set in the quiet mountain community of Blackwood. It focuses on the complex relationship between an increasingly unhinged policeman, Jake Anders, his estranged, drug-addicted high school friend, Alice Hall, and his wife, the unconventional child psychologist, Mia. As their long-held dark secret begins to …

About Ella Roby

Ella Roby is an Australian screenwriter and editor who writes both independently and as part of two writing teams. She is currently developing a number of feature film and television projects.

In 2018, Ella was one of five screenwriters chosen to be part of the inaugural Charlie’s Lab Pilot program at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood: a joint initiative by Australians in Film, Scripted Ink and the Australian Writers’ Guild, designed to connect Australian writers with key figures in the US film and TV industry.

In August 2017, Ella was one of the successful applicants of Endemol Shine Australia’s Smart for a Girl: Roar competition. This program is the brainchild of creative collaborators Imogen Banks and Alice Bell and was designed to address the lack of opportunity for entry-level screenwriters in the television industry. It is part of Screen Australia’s Gender Matters: Brilliant Careers initiative.

Ella’s co-written drama pilot Lacuna was a 2017 Austin Film Festival semifinalist, while her co-written drama pilot Small Town was a 2017 Shore Scripts winner and placed third in WeScreenplay’s TV Pilot competition. Small Town has received development funding from Australian screenwriting incubator, Scripted Ink.

In 2016, Ella co-wrote the sci-fi comedy pilot Portalgate which has been inducted into the Australian Writers’ Guild’s selective Pathways program and was a finalist for the 2016 John Hinde Award for Science Fiction. The project has also been shortlisted for the WeScreenplay Diverse Voices and Gateway LA screenwriting awards.

Ella is represented by The Fleming Agency.

About Lachlan Marks

Lachlan Marks is an award-winning Australian screenwriter with a background in journalism and the music industry.

He was first inducted into the Australian Writers’ Guild’s Pathways Program when his short horror/adventure script Fingers was nominated for the Monte Miller Award at the 49th AWGIE Awards.

In 2018, his hour-long pilot for the horror/mystery series Small Town (with co-writer Ella Roby) was selected for development funding through Scripted Ink, Shane Brennan’s screenwriting initiative based in Australia. Small Town was also chosen as a winner in the WeScreenplay and Shore Scripts TV Pilot competitions in 2017.

He was then selected alongside Australian screenwriters Chris Burke, Peter Matessi, Jessica Paine and Ella Roby to travel to Los Angeles to attend the Charlie’s Lab Pilot Program a joint initiative between Australians in Film, Scripted Ink and AWG Pathways in 2018, aimed to introduce up-and-coming Australian screenwriters to Hollywood, held on the Raleigh Studios lot.

Lachlan is now represented by The Fleming Agency, developing TV and film projects on his own and with co-writer Ella Roby for the Australian and international market.

He is a regular collaborator with local filmmakers and has had several of his short scripts produced, including A Real Buzz(2015), Moving On (2016) Keep Rolling (2018), Transfer (2019) and Unravelled (2019) which have gone on to screen at film festivals in Australia and overseas.

Ella Roby
Australian Screenwriter Lachlan Marks
Lachlan Marks