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Australian streamer Stan commissions three high-end original dramas

Dylan River is behind Thou Shalt Not Steal

Nine Entertainment-owned Australian streamer Stan has greenlit three original scripted series from local prodcos Ludo Studio, Thirdborn and Feisty Dame Productions.

Jennie Hughes

Ludo Studios is producing eight-part road series Thou Shalt Not Steal, which is set in the 1980s across Central and South Australia. Developed with the assistance of Stan and Screen Australia, the series will be directed by filmmaker Dylan River (Mystery Road: Origin, Robbie Hood), who co-created it alongside executive producer Tanith Glynn-Maloney (Robbie Hood). Since1788 Productions is also on board.

The mystery outback road trip features young Aboriginal delinquents and friends who flee a small desert community to get answers about a family secret. The series will be distributed by UK-based DCD Rights and has attracted funding from Screen Australia, the South Australian Film Corporation, Screen Territory and Screen Queensland’s Post, Digital & Visual Effects (PDV) incentive.

Lucy Coleman

Thou Shalt Not Steal is the second collaboration between Ludo and Since1788, following the critically acclaimed and successful series Robbie Hood.

“With Dylan River and Tanith Glynn-Maloney returning to film once again in their home town of Alice Springs, we anticipate a series that will captivate audiences, challenge perceptions and leave a lasting impact,” said Screen Territory director Jennie Hughes.

Stan and Screen Australia have also invested in six-part coastal New South Wales mystery thriller Exposure. Created and written by rising talent Lucy Coleman (Hot Mess) and directed by Bonnie Moir (Love Me S2), the series centres on a photographer returning to her home town following the death of her childhood best friend.

Bonnie Moir

Exposure is produced through Thirdborn, a collective of award-winning producers including Nicole O’Donohue (Love Me, Frayed), Justin Kurzel and Shaun Grant (Nitram, True History of the Kelly Gang). All3Media International has distribution rights outside Australia.

In Western Australia, production will commence on Invisible Boys, a 10-part drama set in the regional town of Geraldton. Based on the 2019 book by author Holden Sheppard, the young-adult series examines small-town sexual politics and discrimination when a closeted gay teenager’s affair with a married man is revealed on social media.

The series is the product of a Stan/Screenwest development initiative to foster new talent and is created and directed by Nicholas Verso (Crazy Fun Park, Boys in the Trees). The writing team includes Sheppard, Enoch Mailangi, Alan Clarke and Declan Greene. The series is being produced by Verso and Tania Chambers (How to Please a Woman).

Nicholas Verso

Invisible Boys will be distributed internationally by Banijay Rights. It has received production investment from Screen Australia and Stan, and support from Screenwest, Lotterywest and the Western Australia Regional Screen Fund.

Stan chief content officer Cailah Scobie said: “Bound to captivate a diverse range of Australian audiences, these three new Stan Original series highlight our strong commitment to invest in local content that champions Australian voices and narratives.”

Scobie added that the involvement of international partners DCD Rights, All3Media International and Banijay Rights was a clear signifier of the global reach and relevance of Stan Original content.

Screenwest CEO Rikki Lea Bestall said: “The Western Australia screen sector is experiencing its busiest year to date, with local creatives, crew and production companies making unprecedented levels of screen content, showcasing WA stories and locations to audiences around the world.”

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