Cobbstar teams with French firms for mystery-drama series

Brian Cobb pitching the show in Rome.

Brian Cobb’s Cobbstar Productions has teamed up with France’s Black Sheep Films to co-produce Who’s Seen Jessica Bloom? a crime drama created by Australian actor Marin Mimica and his daughter Julia Rose O’Connor.

Wild Bunch TV will handle international distribution to the 8-part series which focuses on seventeen-year-old Jessica Bloom, who disappears during her final year at an elite Eastern Suburbs private school.

The abduction is streamed live via social media along with a series of torture videos. The police investigation reveals life isn’t as it seems for a group of privileged yet disillusioned year 12 students.

Cobb pitched the project, one of 20 chosen from around the globe, at Rome’s MIA market for TV series, feature films and documentaries last month. He had met with executives at Wild Bunch at MIP TV last year, they sparked to the concept and asked to be updated as it progressed.

He finalised the distribution deal with Wild Bunch before MIPCOM and teamed up with Black Sheep Films, which had co-produced the short-form digital series Patricia Moore with Cobbstar, observing: “We complement each other perfectly and are continuing our business partnership.”

Explaining the decision to nail down international deals before addressing the home market, he said: “I wanted to test the overseas market first to ensure there was an appetite for this kind of series. I discovered their certainly is and the deal with Wild Bunch solidified this.”

Julia Rose O’Connor and Marin Mimica.

Cobb says Mimica and Julia, a Victorian College of the Arts film and TV graduate, will serve as creative producers and they are now looking to hire a show runner, writers and directors. Mimica was Cobb’s drama teacher at acting school before he moved into producing.

The producer cast Mimica, whose screen credits include Deep Water, All Saints and Water Rats, to play the villain in writer-director Martin Simpson’s thriller Indigo Lake after Lou Diamond Phillips dropped out due to scheduling.

After filming wrapped Mimica told Cobb he was working with Julia on a Generation Z TV series and asked him to produce. “That was more than two years ago and and since then they have been working extremely hard and developed a four-season narrative arc,” he said. “Each step of the way the series got more and more exciting and in a place where I knew I could pitch it and it would get traction.”

Diana Bartha, head of development and international sales at Wild Bunch TV, added: “The show focuses on the universal question of the role of social media in society and the increasing need we see among teens for self-realization and self-branding…and at what price? We feel this series will fill a gap in addressing the underlying fears and desires of Generation Z in an innovative way.”