Anthony LaPaglia in 'A Month of Sundays'.
Anthony LaPaglia (Lantana) and Melanie Lynskey (Heavenly Creatures) are set to star in SBS crime thriller Sunshine.
They’ll be joined by local actors Kim Gyngell, Tiarnie Coupland, Vince Colosimo, Leah Vandenberg, Paul Ireland and Trudy Hellier.
The four-part drama is set in the outer-west suburb of Sunshine and its surrounds, and is a co-production between Essential Media and Carver Films.
The show follows Jacob, a young South Sudanese-Australian basketball player who is on the cusp of being picked up by U.S. scouts for the U.S. College league.
LaPaglia plays Eddie, an ex-player now operating a small sports store in Sunshine who agrees to coach Jacob’s underperforming team, The Sunshine Kings.
In the midst of doing everything he can to make the draft, Jacob finds himself answering to Sunshine-raised lawyer Zara Skelton (Lynskey) when he is caught up in a police investigation involving a teenage girl from one of Melbourne’s affluent suburbs.
Written by Matt Cameron (Secret City) and Elise McCredie (Nowhere Boys), the show will be produced by Essential Media’s Ian Collie (Saving Mr. Banks) and Carver Films’ Anna McLeish and Sarah Shaw (Snowtown). SBS’s Sue Masters is executive producing.
SBS Director of Television and Online Content Marshall Heald said Sunshine would build on SBS’s recent successes in the drama space.
“Our recent success with The Principal, The Family Law and Deep Water demonstrates our continued commitment to telling stories with purpose,” he said. “We’re also pleased to be working with Essential Media yet again, after great success with The Principal.”
In a joint statement, Collie, McLeish and Shaw said the project had attracted “a compelling mix of local and international talent alongside newcomers from the South Sudanese community in Australia, highlighting the opportunities as well as challenges for this relatively new migrant group to the Land of Sunshine.”
Sunshine will be directed by Daina Reid (The Secret River) with Bruce Young (The Code) as DP, production design by Chris Kennedy (Lion), costume design by Jeanie Cameron (The Broken Shore) and hair and makeup by Zeljka Stanin (The Dressmaker).
Screen Australia has provided major production funding in association with Film Victoria. Fremantle is handling international sales, with the show set to air on SBS later this year.