Kriv Stenders is set to direct new feature Australia Day, produced by Foxtel and Hoodlum, led by Bryan Brown and written by Stephen M. Irwin (Secrets & Lies).
Due to start shooting in Brisbane on August 22, the film will also star Shari Sebbens (The Sapphires, The Gods of Wheat Street), Sean Keenan (Lockie Leonard, Glitch), Matthew Le Nevez (The Kettering Incident, Offspring), Jenny Wu, Daniel Webber, Elias Anton, Isabelle Cornish and Phoenix Raei.
Speaking to IF, Foxtel's Head of Drama Penny Win described the feature, set in Brisbane over 12 hours, as "the other side of Australia Day".
"It’s been with us for two or three years, long before the current topical discussion of racism in Australia. It’s showing Australia Day from the other side. It’s about an Australian farmer, a Chinese illegal immigrant, a Persian family and an Indigenous girl. The structure of it is very like [2004 Oscar winner] Crash. These characters intersect but they don’t know each other. It’s about taking a stand."
Australia Day is financed by Foxtel, Screen Australia and Screen Queensland. Executive Producers are Win, Nathan Mayfield, Tracey Robertson, Leigh McGrath. Edward Herbert is producing.
“As we expand Foxtel’s ongoing commitment to original drama and telling Australian stories, it is natural that we work directly within the feature film format," Foxtel’s Director of Movies Ross Crowley said. "We’re excited to work with Hoodlum, the acclaimed Kriv Stenders and the entire creative team to tell this compelling and contemporary Australian story.”
Hoodlum’s Executive Producer Nathan Mayfield said: “This powerful story is one that every Australian will connect with. We are constantly questioning what it means to be Australian and what it means for both our newest and oldest Australians. Working closely with local communities, Australia Day offers a rare insight into our current hopes and fears at a grass roots level. We are so excited by the ensemble of cast who bring their own unique perspective to the project. Australia Day is bold storytelling we could only make with Foxtel and with Kriv at the helm we are destined to see a drama that will provoke conversation and give hope to audiences.”