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Paramount+, Network Seven explore life story of con girl Samantha Azzopardi

Four-part true crime series Con Girl

Paramount+ in the UK and Ireland has acquired a true crime series backed by Network Seven in Australia about the life and lies of serial ‘con girl’ Samantha Azzopardi.

Content creation, funding and distribution company BossaNova Media and Australian factual indie CJZ have entered into a partnership with Network Seven to coproduce Con Girl.

Paramount+, meanwhile, will exclusively stream the four-part series later this year in the UK and Ireland, where it launched over the summer.

It tells the stranger-than-fiction story of Australian con artist Azzopardi, who has amassed at least 70 false identities since she embarked on her career of deception as a 14-year-old girl from Brisbane. On the surface, Azzopardi is innocence personified, but behind the sweet facade is a brazen and sophisticated confidence trickster — and a psychological enigma.

Most con artists are middle-aged men, who typically target women and the most vulnerable for financial gain. Azzopardi, by contrast, doesn’t hurt, steal or want sex — although, as the series will reveal, her impact on her victims’ lives has been devastating.

Part classic detective story, part psychological mystery, Con Girl features input from several of Azzopardi’s traumatised victims, along with psychological experts, forensic psychiatrists, law enforcement agents and investigative journalists.

The creative team behind Con Girl includes: CJZ executive producer and showrunner Paula Bycroft, whose credits include Deadly Women for Investigation Discovery and The Good Cop for Foxtel; and CJZ’s head of factual, Andrew Farrell, who has produced more than 100 hours of true-crime documentary for networks across Australia, the US and the UK.

CJZ and BossaNova have a working relationship that stretches back to the latter’s founder Paul Heaney’s previous distribution company TCB Media Rights. In March 2021, BossaNova signed a 600-plus hour catalogue agreement with CJZ and New Zealand’s largest factual indie, Greenstone.

Heaney, CEO of BossaNova, said: “Our involvement with Con Girl grew out of BossaNova’s first Development Day pitching event in 2021. CJZ brought the project to London, having already secured Network Seven’s backing, and we are delighted that Paramount+ has picked it up for the UK & Ireland too. Our Development Days aim to match promising ideas with the right commissioners and buyers to move them across the start line.”

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