First Disney+ local doco commission, Shipwreck Hunters Australia.

Disney+ has commissioned its first Australian documentary, Shipwreck Hunters Australia.

The six-part documentary series is by VAM Media and Terra Australis Productions production in association with Barking Mad Productions. Series producer is Katherine Barrett (Aussie Gold Hunters), with executive producer Steve Bibb (former ABC Head of Factual and owner of Barking Mad Productions).

Filming is taking place off Western Australia’s vast coastline, often referred to as the ‘Treasure Coast’, the resting place for a predicted 1,600 shipwrecks.

Divers and underwater filmmakers along with expert maritime archaeologists from the Western Australian Museum, will dive into one of the planet’s most spectacular ocean environments, looking to solve some iconic shipwreck mysteries.

Director and producer Brendan Hutchens (Drawn to Water) teams up with the professional divers and underwater filmmakers from Terra Australis to bring these long-lost shipwreck secrets and new discoveries to the screen.

“I’m incredibly excited to be working with a unique team of highly skilled divers, master mariners, ocean filmmakers and maritime archaeologists to share these captivating West Australian-based stories with the world,” he said. “And what a platform to be sharing it on! We’re over the moon to be bringing Shipwreck Hunters Australia to Disney+. We’re grateful for the support from our production funding partners and for the hard work of our brilliant production team. Teaming up with the Western Australian Museum brings another level of expertise to these expeditions which will be action packed and full of adventure. It’s going to be epic.”

Screen Australia’s Head of Content, Sally Caplan said, “We’re delighted to have Disney+ on board for their first Australian documentary with Shipwreck Hunters Australia, which will take viewers on an adventure through the remarkable underwater world along Western Australia’s Treasure Coast. I can’t wait for audiences here and around the world to discover these hidden treasures.”

Kylie Watson-Wheeler, SVP and Managing Director The Walt Disney Company ANZ said, “We are incredibly excited at Disney to announce our first local production for Disney+. Shipwreck Hunters Australia brings to life epic shipwreck discoveries from an intrepid ocean adventure team. We know our Disney+ audience will be wowed by some of the most fearless shipwreck hunters in the world, all filmed on our stunning Australian doorstep.”

Screenwest CEO Willie Rowe said, “With the support of the State Government, we’re thrilled to support Shipwreck Hunters Australia, an exciting first for a WA production company to be shooting a project for Disney+. We hope this paves the way for future series and other projects with the streaming giant, as they have shown a dedication to high quality documentary programming and commissions.”

Production credit: Shipwreck Hunters Australia is a VAM Media and Terra Australis Productions production in association with Barking Mad Productions for Disney+. Principal production investment from Screen Australia. Developed and produced with Screenwest and supported by the State Government of Western Australia through the Royalties for Regions Program and the Western Australian Screen Fund. Supported by the Western Australian Museum.

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