All-star cast for ABC drama Stateless

A top-line international cast will lead ABC’s upcoming 6 part drama Stateless including Yvonne Strahovski (pictured), Jai Courtney, Asher Keddie, Fayssal Bazzi, Dominic West & Cate Blanchett.

Stateless is described as an urgent and compelling drama about four people caught up in an immigration system that profoundly affects their lives.

As previously revealed by TV Tonight, production is due to get underway in June in South Australia by Matchbox Pictures and Cate Blanchett & Andrew Upton’s Dirty Films.

Co-created by Cate Blanchett, Tony Ayres and Elise McCredie, the series centres on four strangers in an immigration detention centre in the Australian desert. They are an airline hostess escaping a suburban cult, an Afghan refugee fleeing persecution, a young Australian father escaping a dead-end job and a bureaucrat caught-up in a national scandal. When their lives intersect they are pushed to the brink of sanity, yet unlikely and profound emotional connections are made amongst the group. Inspired by real events, the series intertwines gripping and devastating personal stories revealing a system struggling with the irreconcilable contradictions of border protection.

Additional cast members include Rachel House, Kate Box, Clarence Ryan, Claude Jabbour, Rose Riley and Helana Sawires.

Tony Ayres, co-creator and executive producer says, “We have assembled the most extraordinary array of Australian talent to make this show, both in front of and behind the camera. In each case, people were drawn to Stateless because it asks one of the most vexing questions of our times – how do we as a nation maintain control of our sovereign borders whilst retaining our own humanity?”

Co-creator, executive producer and actor Cate Blanchett said, “Whilst this story centres on Australia, the dilemmas that it explores through four absorbing characters will resonate globally: the desire for personal freedom, the need for social stability, an escalating lack of faith in the political process and the deeply unsettling impact this has on individual lives.”

Sally Riley, ABC Head of Scripted Production says, “The ABC is proud to be collaborating with such a high calibre of homegrown talent to create this thought-provoking, ambitious and gripping series that is sure to connect with Australians and audiences around the world.”

Sally Caplan, Head of Production at Screen Australia says, “Emma Freeman and Jocelyn Moorhouse are two directors at the top of their game, and combined with this immensely talented cast I look forward to seeing this remarkable story on screen.”

Alastair McKinnon, Managing Director of Matchbox Pictures says, “Stateless is at once both intimate and epic in its scope and ambition, and this stellar cast is testament to the power of this story. Thrilling, courageous and intensely relevant, this is certain to be an unmissable drama series.”

Courtney Gibson, Chief Executive of the South Australian Film Corporation says, “We were so pleased to support the development of this landmark series, with its all-female writing and directing team including some of Australia’s leading key creatives. We look forward to full production and post at Adelaide Studios and locations in South Australia, with SA producer Paul Ranford working alongside the team at Dirty Films and Matchbox, together with Matchbox SA’s Kirsty Stark, who is a co-producer on this major series.”

When the project received Screen Australia development funding, Blanchett was announced as making her TV directing debut, but is no longer directing.

Stateless is written by Elise McCredie and Belinda Chayko and will be directed by Emma Freeman and Jocelyn Moorhouse, produced by Sheila Jayadev and Paul Ranford for Matchbox Pictures with Cate Blanchett, Andrew Upton and Tony Ayres as Executive Producers. Elise McCredie is Showrunner and Executive Producer and Liz Watts will serve as Executive Producer. ABC Executive Producers are Sally Riley and Andrew Gregory. The series will be distributed worldwide by NBCUniversal International Distribution.

Production Credit: Stateless is a Matchbox Pictures and Dirty Films production for the ABC. Major production investment from Screen Australia and the ABC. Financed with support from the South Australian Film Corporation. Matchbox Pictures is an NBCUniversal International Studios company.

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