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Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Bringing star power to town

Following on from their game-changing, $5 million screen fund established in this year’s ACT Budget, Screen Canberra have already been able to secure investment in a star-studded ABC drama set to bring production to town in February 2019.

The six-part TV series with the working title Black B*tch, stars acclaimed Australian actors Deborah Mailman and Rachel Griffiths and will be directed by Rachel Perkins.

Screen Canberra CEO Monica Penders told Canberra Weekly the project has already garnered international interest.

“Even before it was announced, when they went and pitched the idea it immediately sparked interest from major players around the world.

“There’s also a big indigenous focus, which is amazing, and the reaction around the world is spectacular.

“It definitely has global reach, which means Canberra will be on screen around the world,” Ms Penders said.

Penders described Black B*tch as a hard political drama, which makes Canberra an essential filming location.

She said the Screen CBR fund’s investment means they will actually be setting up and filming here.

“It would be easy for them to come and shoot exteriors and recreate elsewhere, but they’ll be shooting in Parliament House and in and around town.

“You will get the feel of being in Canberra, and our town will be a character.”

Black B*tch comprises part of the Screen Canberra fund’s round one of investment, announced back in September, which will see $250,000 invested into three projects.

The other two projects are local works Family, an observational documentary about same-sex families directed by ACT artist of the year for 2018, Kim Beamish, and The Furies, a locally made feature horror film

“We are very pleased with the quality of these projects, the mix of genres and formats and a strong representation of Canberra talent. It’s a great first round of applications,” Penders said.

“It’s a very diverse mix … High-end drama, low-end horror, and then we’ve got this fantastic documentary so that’s where we’re at.”

Penders said round two of funding is currently being finalised, with announcements to be made in early 2019.

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