New Gold Mountain brings to the screen the untold story of the Chinese miners who arrived in the Victorian Goldfields in their thousands in the 1850s to try to make their fortune. Using inspired-by-real-life characters and shining a light on forgotten events, this revisionist Western is based in the harsh wild west era of the Australian gold rush and unearths a murder mystery.
Filmed in Sovereign Hill and around Melbourne and regional Victoria, the epic four-part series from Goalpost Television will air over two weeks, starting October 13 at 9.30pm on SBS and SBS On Demand.
Directed by Corrie Chen, New Gold Mountain stars Yoson An, Alyssa Sutherland, Christopher James Baker, Dan Spielman, Mabel Li, Leonie Whyman, Sam Wang, Rhys Muldoon, Alison Bell, Chris Masters Mah and Travis Cotton.
The mini-series is created and written by Peter Cox and produced by Kylie du Fresne and Elisa Argenzio. Writers include Yolanda Ramke, Benjamin Law, Greg Waters, and Pip Karmel. Jean Tong, Olivia Cheung and Samantha Kwang were supported by Film Victoria to undertake industry placements on the production.
New Gold Mountain opens in Ballarat, in 1857, where European, Chinese and Indigenous Australian characters live together in a wild-west frontier town as they seek to strike it rich by finding gold. Tensions between rival camps run high, and Wei Shing, the charismatic leader of the Chinese operation, struggles to remain in control as he secretly amasses his own riches. A further threat to his authority is Cheung Lei, a formidable woman who has arrived with orders from China from her powerful father. When a white woman is found murdered, Shing is fearful the prejudiced Europeans will blame the Chinese. Determined to remain in power and keep his fortune, Shing must find out what really happened. As Shing unravels the mystery, he encounters the recently widowed Belle, who is making her name in town through the local newspaper she has inherited, and Hattie, a young Aboriginal girl trying to get by.
SBS will also present a special half-hour program – New Gold Mountain Unwrapped – featuring the creatives discussing the making of the series. It will be available on SBS On Demand following the series finale on October 21.
Major production investment from Screen Australia, in association with SBS. Financed with support from Film Victoria and Screen NSW. all3media International is the global partner.
The series will be subtitled in Arabic, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean.