Cate Blanchett is to star in and has co-created Australian drama Stateless. She will appear in the six-part limited immigration drama alongside Dominic West. It was commissioned by Australian broadcaster ABC.
The series, which also stars Yvonne Strahovski, Jai Courtney, Asher Keddie and Fayssal Bazzi, follows four people caught up in an immigration system that profoundly affects their lives. Each character deals with the contradictions of protection and border control from a unique perspective, offering relevant and timely insight into issues that countries are grappling with around the world.
Co-created by Cate Blanchett, Tony Ayres and Elise McCredie, the series centres on four strangers in an immigration detention centre in the Australian desert. They are an airline hostess escaping a suburban cult, an Afghan refugee fleeing persecution, a young Australian father escaping a dead-end job and a bureaucrat caught-up in a national scandal. When their lives intersect they are pushed to the brink of sanity, yet unlikely and profound emotional connections are made amongst the group. Inspired by real events, the series intertwines gripping and devastating personal stories revealing a system struggling with the irreconcilable contradictions of border protection.
NBCUniversal-backed Matchbox Pictures is producing alongside Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton’s Dirty Films. The show has been in the works for a number of years, first emerging in 2015. Production is set to begin in South Australia in June, based at Adelaide Studios.
Rachel House, Kate Box, Clarence Ryan, Claude Jabbour, Rose Riley and Helana Sawires round out the cast. It will be distributed worldwide by NBCUniversal.
Stateless is written by Elise McCredie and Belinda Chayko and will be directed by Emma Freeman and Jocelyn Moorhouse, produced by Sheila Jayadev and Paul Ranford for Matchbox Pictures with Cate Blanchett, Andrew Upton and Tony Ayres as Executive Producers. McCredie is Showrunner and Executive Producer and Liz Watts will serve as Executive Producer. ABC Executive Producers are Sally Riley and Andrew Gregory.
Blanchett said, “Whilst this story centres on Australia, the dilemmas that it explores through four absorbing characters will resonate globally: the desire for personal freedom, the need for social stability, an escalating lack of faith in the political process and the deeply unsettling impact this has on individual lives.”
Ayres said, “We have assembled the most extraordinary array of Australian talent to make this show, both in front of and behind the camera. In each case, people were drawn to Stateless because it asks one of the most vexing questions of our times – how do we as a nation maintain control of our sovereign borders whilst retaining our own humanity?”
Sally Riley, Head of Scripted Production at the ABC added, “The ABC is proud to be collaborating with such a high calibre of homegrown talent to create this thought-provoking, ambitious and gripping series that is sure to connect with Australians and audiences around the world.”
Cate Blanchett is represented by CAA, Wolf-Kasteler PR and RGM, Yvonne Strahovski is represented by Paradigm, McKeon/Myones Entertainment and Sue Barnett and Associates, Jai Courtney by Morrissey Management, Silver Lining Entertainment and UTA, Asher Keddie by United Management and Independent Talent Group, Fayssal Bazzi by Shanahan, Dominic West by WME, Tavistock Wood Management and Narrative PR.
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