'Operation Buffalo'.

‘Operation Buffalo.’

Porchlight Films’ Operation Buffalo, an espionage thriller set during the British nuclear tests in outback South Australia in the 1950s, will have its world premiere at Series Mania in France next month.

Commissioned by the ABC, the six-part series from writer-director Peter Duncan stars Ewen Leslie, Jessica de Gouw and James Cromwell.

Operation Buffalo (formerly Fallout) and See-Saw Films’ The End, the assisted dying family drama created by Samantha Strauss for Foxtel and the UK’s Sky, will both screen in the International Panorma section.

In addition, Lingo Pictures’ Upright will play in the Midnight Comedies sidebar and Playmaker Media’s The Commons will screen in the International Showcase.

Blackfella Films’ Total Control will have its European premiere in special screenings, attended by Rachel Griffiths (who is serving on the international jury) and Darren Dale. Lingo Pictures’ Helen Bowden will sit on the international short films jury.

Set in 1956 at the height of the Cold War when the Menzies government had welcomed British atomic bomb testing at ‘uninhabited’ Maralinga, Buffalo stars Leslie as Major Leo Carmichael.

An Australian Army engineer and WWII hero, he is charged with keeping the base functioning smoothly during the tests code-named Operation Buffalo, no easy task given Cromwell is his incompetent commanding officer and the government and press are watching his every move. De Gouw is new meteorologist Dr Eva Lloyd-George, who starts asking questions.

As it turns out, the land is not uninhabited with the arrival of a family of Indigenous Australians who are curious about the giant clouds that explode occasionally.

Vincent Sheehan and Tanya Phegan produced the series with funding from Screen Australia, Create NSW, South Australian Film Corporation and Head Gear Films.

There will be 38 world premieres at Series Mania 2020, which runs from March 20-28 in Lille in northern France.

Among them are Working Title Television/BBC2’s The Luminaries, based on Eleanor Catton’s novel starring Eve Hewson, Eva Green, Himesh Patel and Ewen Leslie; Warp Films/Sky Atlantic’s Little Birds, an adaptation of Anais Nin’s collection of erotic short stories starring Juno Temple; and Fifty Fathoms/Channel 4’s porn drama Adult Material starring Hayley Squires and Rupert Everett.

Last year’s event, where Lingo Pictures’ Lambs of God had its world premiere, was attended by 72,231 people including 3,000 industry figures.

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