The Gods of Wheat Street begins production in NSW

Indigenous drama series The Gods of Wheat Street has begun shooting in northern New South Wales.

The ABC1 series stars Kelton Pell (The Circuit), Lisa Flanagan (Redfern Now), Shari Sebbens (The Sapphires), Mark Coles-Smith (Beneath Hill 60), Rarriwuy Hick, Miah Maddeen (The Sapphires), Ursula Yovich (Australia) and David Field (Wild Boys).

Pell plays Odin Freeburn, head of the sprawling Freeburn clan – a legendary modern local Aboriginal family. The six-part, one-hour series was written by Jon Bell, a Wiradjuri and Bundjalung man, and is set in his home of Coraki, Casino and Lismore.

“The series is an intimate journey into the lives and hearts of a modern Aboriginal family," Bell said in a statement. "Each episode spans a few hectic days with a touch of magic and lots of deadpan humour that help our characters rise above obstacles – like death, financial difficulties and injustice – that would bring mere mortals to their knees so that they can get on with the important matters of love, family and football."

ABC TV's head of Indigenous department, Sally Riley, said The Gods of Wheat Street is part of an ambitious new stream of Indigenous programming being commissioned for ABC TV audiences.

The Gods of Wheat Street is produced by Every Cloud Productions, which previously produced Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries and two series of East of Everything. The series has also received funding assistance from the Indigenous department of Screen Australia and Screen NSW’s Regional Filming Fund.

Meanwhile, Screen Australia also announced that it had funded ABC TV Indigenous documentary series Inside AFL.

Inside AFL is a five-part series written and directed by Kelrick Martin, which follows a team of AFL players from Wooroloo Prison Farm in Western Australia who leave the jail once a week to play AFL.

Synopsis: Filmed on location in Coraki, Casino and Lismore – Jon Bell’s home country – The Gods of Wheat Street tells of Odin Freeburn, head of the family, as he tries to keep the family together under the pesky spiritual guidance of his long-departed mother.
Production Company: Every Cloud Productions
Producers: Lois Randall, Jon Bell
Executive Producers: Fiona Eagger, Deb Cox
Writer: Jon Bell
Directors: Catriona McKenzie, Adrian Wills, Wayne Blair
Broadcaster: ABC1

Synopsis: Inside AFL is a 5 x 28 min documentary series which follows a team of AFL players from Western Australia’s Wooroloo Prison Farm who step outside the walls of jail once a week to prove that they are more than just criminals – to the community and to themselves.
Production Company: Fury Productions & Spear Point Productions
Producers: Veronica Fury & Kelrick Martin
Writer/Director: Kelrick Martin
Broadcaster: ABC1