SBS announces Safe Harbour cast

Phoebe Tonkin (The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, H2O Just Add Water),  Joel Jackson (Peter Allen: Not the Boy Next Door, Deadline Gallipoli) and Leeanna Walsman (Seven Types of Ambiguity, Cleverman, Wentworth) are amongst the cast members of upcoming SBS drama Safe Harbour.

The Matchbox Pictures production, to begin shooting in Brisbane, also stars Ewen Leslie (Rake, Janet King, Top of the Lake), Jacqueline McKenzie (The 4400, The Water Diviner), Hazem Shammas (Underbelly), Nicole Chamoun (Kick), and Robert Rabiah (Tomorrow When the War Began).

The four part miniseries is described as “a bold psychological thriller set in Brisbane about a group of friends whose sailing holiday of a lifetime to Indonesia alters their lives forever after they cross paths with a fishing boat overloaded with asylum seekers enroute to Australia.”

The series is one of two new local dramas coming to SBS this year.

Glendyn Ivin (Seven Types of Ambiguity, The Beautiful Lie) is director, writers are Belinda Chayko
, Matt Cameron and Phil Enchelmaier, executive produced by Sue Masters (The Principal, Deep Water, The Family Law) and Stephen Corvini (Better Man, Hyde & Seek).

SBS Director of Television and Online Content, Marshall Heald said: “Safe Harbour continues SBS’s run of making bold and thought-provoking drama, following The Principal, Deep Water and the recently announced Sunshine. This is a series with heart and purpose, that only SBS could make – a psychological thriller that will both captivate audiences and get them talking about issues that impact all of us.

“We are excited to be working with the enormously talented Matchbox Pictures team and a brilliant young ensemble cast who bring the story to life in beautiful Brisbane.”

Head of Production at Screen Australia, Sally Caplan: “SBS consistently delivers high quality Australian dramas that have the ability to start national conversations, as we saw with other Screen Australia supported titles Deep Water and The Principal. Safe Harbour will undoubtedly continue in this tradition. Phil Enchelmaier, Belinda Chayko and Matt Cameron’s script is as compelling as it is timely, and we commend the Matchbox team on assembling such a diverse and talented ensemble of actors to bring it to life.”

CEO of Screen Queensland Tracey Vieira, said: “Screen Queensland is immensely proud to be a key partner in Safe Harbour which originated from Queensland creatives Simon Kennedy and Phil Enchelmaier. Through Matchbox and SBS this bold compelling series has been developed into a drama that will impact the hearts of Australians as brought to life by this stellar cast of actors.”

Matchbox Pictures Producer Stephen Corvini said: “Matchbox Pictures is proud to be making Safe Harbour for SBS with the support of Screen Australia and Screen Queensland. We’ve assembled a brilliant cast that is set to entertain and enthral an audience with a view of some of the timeliest and urgent discussions going on in our world right now.”

The four-part series is a Matchbox Pictures production for SBS, and is produced with major production funding from Screen Australia in association with Screen Queensland with NBC Universal handling international sales.

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