Series Mania Melbourne heads online with ‘Total Control’, ‘Preppers’

Deborah Mailman and Rachel Griffiths in 'Total Control'.

The second season of ABC/Blackfella Films’ Total Control will headline this year’s Series Mania Melbourne, which will be held online next month.

Organised by ACMI and Film Victoria, in partnership with Series Mania France, the four-day event includes a public screening program comprising a mix of web series, comedy, and drama.

The festival also features a Screen Industry Day on October 14 that incorporates craft-focused panels, keynotes, and masterclasses with global creators.

Series Mania Melbourne will commence with the opening two episodes from political drama Total Control, starring Deborah Mailman and Rachel Griffiths. The second instalment picks up where Senator Alex Irving’s (Mailman) crusade left off, as she vies to hold everyone to account. Mailman and Griffiths are joined by a host of new cast members for the second season, including Wayne Blair, who is also directing.

Other program highlights include ABC doomsday comedy Preppers from writers/creators Nakkiah Lui and Gabriel Dowrick. The series, produced by Porchlight Films in association with Spirit Pictures, follows Charlie (Lui), a young Aboriginal woman whose world crumbles around her after experiencing a personal, cataclysmic event. Escaping the fallout, Charlie finds herself at the centre of a hilariously mismatched community of doomsday preppers.

The international contingent is led by Yeon Sang-ho’s Hellbound, which is the South Korean director’s first live-action series and comes directly from its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.

There is also the French series L’Opera, an immersive journey through Paris’ prestigious ballet company for which star Ariane Labed won Best Actress at Series Mania France.

ACMI director and CEO Katrina Sedgwick said the organisation was proud to bring the latest binge-worthy series to Melbourne.

“With a rich and diverse program providing exclusive first access to some of the most anticipated and finest screen content from across the globe, it is wonderful to be opening this year’s festival with the premiere of highly anticipated second series of Australian political drama Total Control,” she said.

Film Victoria CEO Caroline Pitcher said the event held broad appeal.

“Whether you’re a voracious consumer of television or a creator with a story idea to launch into the small-screen stratosphere, Series Mania Melbourne is the television event of the year for Victoria’s screen industry,” she said.

“We can’t wait to reveal this year’s mega line-up of talent from across the globe who will deliver a jam-packed program of talks and masterclasses for Screen Industry Day.”

Series Mania Melbourne will take place online at ACMI from October 14 – 17. Bookings for the public screenings open September 29 and bookings for the screen industry program open from October. Find out more information here.