In a distinguished career spanning more than 30 years, writer-producer Andrew Knight has rarely been so busy.
The co-writer (with Andrew Anastasios) of The Water Diviner concurrently is working on the Jack Irish series, the fourth season of Rake and three movies.
He is collaborating with actor-writer Osamah Sami on the screenplay of Ali’s Wedding, a feature which is due to start shooting in June, directed by Wayne Blair for Matchbox Pictures. He’s developing two other features, The Cartographer (co-written with Anastasios) for South Pacific Pictures, and King of Thieves, a co-production between Essential Media and Entertainment’s Ian Collie and UK producer David Parfitt’s Trademark Films.
“It’s a fantastic time to be writing and producing drama; I am doing exactly what I want to do,” Knight tells IF.
In January he won AACTA’s Longford Lyell Award which recognises outstanding contribution to the enrichment of Australia’s screen environment and culture. That was a fitting accolade for a prolific creative whose credits as head writer or co-writer include SeaChange, The Broken Shore, Fast Forward, Full Frontal, The D-Generation and After The Deluge and the movies Siam Sunset and Spotswood.
Also, he penned an episode of the upcoming drama The Kettering Incident commissioned by Foxtel, produced by Vicki Madden’s Sweet Potato Films and Vincent Sheehan’s Porchlight Films.
Jack Irish starts shooting in August, scripted by Matt Cameron, Knight and Anastasios, produced by Collie and Knight. The directors are Mark Joffe, Daniel Nettheim and if his schedule allows, Jonathan Teplitzy.
Guy Pearce’s Jack gets a new love interest and his ex-wife Linda (Marta Dusseldorp), a journalist, is despatched to Manila on an assignment. The regulars from the telemovies, Shane Jacobson, Aaron Pederson and Roy Billing return.
Rake 4 rolls on September 28 after Roxburgh finishes the Sydney Theatre Co. production of The Present, Andrew Upton's new adaptation of Chekhov's first play, which co-stars Cate Blanchett.
King of Thieves is a caper movie based on the true story of the infamous Australian “Kangaroo Gang,” which fleeced millions of pounds of jewellery, fine clothes, linen and white goods from department stores in London in the 1960 and 70s.
Knight co-wrote the script with journo Adam Shand, who authored the book King of Thieves: The Adventures of Arthur Delaney and the Kangaroo Gang.
Ali’s Wedding is a romantic comedy that follows Ali, the son of a Muslim cleric, who is caught between his sense of duty to his family and following his heart. It’s due to shoot in June and casting is underway.
The Cartographer is based on the Australian novel by Peter Twohig, set in Melbourne in 1959, the saga of a nameless child who handles the terrors of his life by copying the attributes of fictional pop culture characters he admires. Subsequently he recreates himself as a superhero who saves himself by mapping but is forced to give up his persona so another may live again.
Jeffrey Walker, who recently directed four episodes of BBC First’s Banished, set in penal colony NSW, and episodes of Modern Family, will make his feature directing debut. “He’s the best new talent we have in this country,” says Knight.