Cate Blanchett, Yvonne Strahovski, Asher Keddie and Dominic West are among an all-star cast in a new miniseries about Australia’s immigration system, which begins production in South Australia in June. Produced for the ABC by Matchbox Pictures and Dirty Films – the latter headed up by Blanchett and husband Andrew Upton – Stateless tells the story of four strangers in an Australian immigration centre: an airline hostess leaving a cult, an Afghan refugee escaping persecution, a father saddled with a dead-end job, and a bureaucrat steeped in a national scandal.
Cate Blanchett. Photograph supplied
Inspired by real events, the six-episode series is a timely look at the nature of Australia’s border control. Co-created by Blanchett, Tony Ayres and Elise McCredie, Stateless is written by McCredie and Belinda Chayko and will be directed by Emma Freeman and Jocelyn Moorhouse. The cast is rounded out by Jai Courtney, Fayssal Bazzi, Rachel House, Kate Box, Clarence Ryan, Claude Jabbour, Rose Riley and Helana Sawires
“Whilst this story centres on Australia, the dilemmas that it explores through four absorbing characters will resonate globally: the desire for personal freedom, the need for social stability, an escalating lack of faith in the political process and the deeply unsettling impact this has on individual lives,” said Blanchett.
“We have assembled the most extraordinary array of Australian talent to make this show, both in front of and behind the camera,” added co-creator and executive producer Tony Ayres. “In each case, people were drawn to Stateless because it asks one of the most vexing questions of our times – how do we as a nation maintain control of our sovereign borders whilst retaining our own humanity?”
“The ABC is proud to be collaborating with such a high calibre of homegrown talent to create this thought-provoking, ambitious and gripping series that is sure to connect with Australians and audiences around the world,” said Sally Riley, Head of Scripted Production at the ABC.
Stateless received major production funding from Screen Australia and the ABC and is financed with support from the South Australian Film Corporation. It will be distributed worldwide by NBCUniversal.