EXCLUSIVE: Australian outfit Bronte Pictures is lining up musical feature film 1978, written by Pete McTighe, whose credits include Doctor Who, A Discovery of Witches, The Rising and The Pact.
The screenplay will take in the key narrative moments in the birth of Sydney’s gay and lesbian Mardi Gras and reimagines them in musical form.
Set in the heart of Kings Cross, the film explores the now infamous riots, community response and the internal conflict within the community leading up to the first Mardi Gras parade. The project is described to us as a “coming-of-age love story set gainst the backdrop of what would become a major civil rights milestone.”
Attracting 500,000 people each year, Sydney Mardi Gras has the largest Pride event in Oceania.
Producers are aiming to shoot in Australia in early 2024. Conversations are underway with key creatives.
Writer-exec producer McTighe is best known for writing multiple episodes of Doctor Who (including episode Kerblam! pictured above), Sky Originals A Discovery of Witches and The Rising and BBC and AMC+ drama The Pact, on which he was writer/creator/showrunner. He was also the originating writer of prison drama Wentworth, which screened internationally on Foxtel in Australia and internationally on Netflix for nine seasons.
Bronte Pictures’ current slate comprises multiple film and TV series in different stages of production, including The Greatest Surf Movie In The Universe which is set to star Luke Hemsworth (Westworld), and eleven-time world surfing champion Kelly Slater (Baywatch). Previous movies include Wyrmwood: Apocalypse.
Managing Director of Bronte Pictures, Blake Northfield, said of 1978: “This film has been in the works for quite some time. It’s something so special and a film we are so proud to be producing. Pete has penned an incredibly moving screenplay and it’s a privilege to be working with him on this.”
McTighe added: “What a project to be a part of! Most of us in the LGBTQ+ community are very aware that the freedom we enjoy in Australia today was forged in the fires of conflict, decades ago, by those brave enough to march the streets and fight for our rights.
“This film is a love letter to a turbulent time in our political history, celebrating the people who changed our society for the better. With dancing! It’s a story of romance born amid the conflict, a message of hope and joy that we hope will resonate with audiences all across the world.”
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