TAP’s ‘The Survivors’ to offer a taste of Tasmania

Tony Ayres.

Netflix will film Jane Harper adaptation The Survivors in Tasmania next year, in what is to be the largest production ever shot in the state.

Unveiled in August as part of the streamer’s next phase of Australian production, the series is a crime-mystery series that explores the impact of unresolved grief through the lens of a storm that takes the lives of three young people in the fictional Tasmanian seaside town of Evelyn Bay.

Fifteen years later, the respective families of the deceased, as well as the community of friends, and the very town itself, became haunted and defined by these immeasurable losses.

The Matchbox Pictures and Universal International Studios-backed Tony Ayres Productions is producing the series. Ayres serves as showrunner, executive producing with Andrea Denholm, Matt Vitins, Cherie Nowlan, and Harper, and also writing with Belinda Chayko, Christian White, Peter Templeman and Alberto Di Troia. Nowlan will direct alongside Ben C Lucas with Andy Walker producing.

In addition to the Tasmanian shoot, production and post-production will also take place in Victoria. VicScreen has supported the project through the Victorian Production Fund and with production support from Screen Tasmania. NBCUniversal Global Distribution will manage international sales.

The Survivors is expected to create more than 200 jobs in Victoria, as well 110 roles for Tasmanian cast and crew and an estimated 720 extras.

Netflix has also committed $100,000 to support attachments for six emerging Tasmanian and Victorian screen practitioners on the production.

Of these, Vee Shi will be a director’s attachment, and candidates will be selected for a First Nations Introductory attachment, Q-Take video split operator attachment, sustainability attachment, and post-production supervisor attachment.

Speaking about the series, Ayres said the goal was to “intrigue and move” viewers the same way Harper “does with her readers”.

“Jane Harper’s brilliant writing has the rare ability to speak to an audience both widely and deeply, and that’s our ambition in adapting The Survivors to screen,” he said.

“We’re blessed to be working with the brilliant Netflix team, a stunning cast and crew led by the indomitable Andy Walker and Cherie Nowlan.”

Netflix content director for ANZ Que Minh Luu said it was a thrill to be able to shoot among the “rich, stunning” landscapes of Tasmania for the first time, and be back working with the “world-class creatives in Victoria”.

“We’re excited to join forces with Tony Ayres Productions, bringing Jane Harper’s acclaimed book The Survivors to life as a gripping crime-mystery limited series that delves into the complex themes of unresolved grief through a uniquely Australian lens. We’re proud to support our country’s best creators and talent and invest in stories that connect deeply with our local audiences, and throughout the world.”

Vitins said The Survivors would present a sophisticated Australian story to an international audience.

“Our production model will access incredible Tasmanian locations; and state-of-the-art Victorian facilities and post-production infrastructure,” he said.

“It will also provide significant direct investment in each State’s economy. We thank VicScreen, Screen Tasmania, and each of the Victorian and Tasmanian governments for being exceptional partners in this project.”