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ABC takes punt on Indigenous series

The Warriors

The Warriors is set in the world of Australian Rules Football

Australia’s ABC has commissioned an Indigenous comedy-drama series from an all-Indigenous team of directors and writers.

Filming has started on The Warriors (8×30’), the first TV drama from Robert Connolly’s feature film prodco Arenamedia, whose credits include Paper Planes and Tim Winton’s The Turning.

Connolly and Tony Briggs created the series, which stars 18-year-old Gordan Churchill in his screen debut as an Indigenous footballer who is drafted to play in the elite Australian Rules Football league.

EntertainmentOne has the worldwide distribution rights outside Australia. Screen Australia and Film Victoria are among the investors.

The writers are Briggs (The Sapphires), Jon Bell (Cleverman) and newcomer Tracey Rigney. The directors are Adrian Russell Wills (Wentworth), Beck Cole (Black Comedy), Steven McGregor (Croker Island Exodus, Redfern Now) and Catriona McKenzie (The Circuit).

Sally Riley, Screen Australia’s head of scripted production, said: “The Warriors is a wild ride that sees our characters teeter between temptation and dedication with the added layer of cross-cultural relations. It’s brilliant to be able to deal with this subject matter through a no-holds-barred comedy”

Penny Smallacombe, head of Indigenous at Screen Australia, added: “What attracted us to this project was both the concept of following four mischievous footballers experiencing the highs, lows and often funny situations of life as an elite athlete, as well as the opportunity for Indigenous creatives to partner with highly regarded practitioners and accelerate along their career trajectory.”

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