Boutique co-producer and distributor, APC Studios, has participated in the financing of Porchlight Films’ new drama for ABC Australia Fallout (working title) and taken worldwide distribution rights to the six-part series which is set to expose Britain’s atomic past in Australia. Inspired by true events, Fallout shines a spotlight on a controversial time in Australia’s modern history, the 1950’s British nuclear testing in outback South Australia. This is APC Studios’ first investment in an Australian series and reinforces the company’s strategy of broadening its slate of English-language dramas.
Fallout is written by renowned Australian writer Peter Duncan (Rake) and produced by Porchlight Films’ Vincent Sheehan (The Kettering Incident, Animal Kingdom, Kiki & Kitty) and Tanya Phegan, who co-created the series with Duncan. Production started this summer on the high profile new project, which is being made with major production investment from Screen Australia in association with the ABC and Create NSW and with support from the South Australian Film Corporation. Fallout will air on the ABC in 2020.
Acclaimed Australian actor Ewen Leslie (The Cry, Top of The Lake) will star alongside Jessica de Gouw (Riot, Dracula, Arrow) and Academy Award-nominated James Cromwell (LA Confidential, The Green Mile, Babe) in Fallout.
According to the show’s blurb, “There is no more lethal cocktail than a combination of blind faith and paranoia. And it seems in 1956, everyone was drinking it. It’s the height of the Cold War. The Menzies Government has welcomed British atomic bomb testing at remote, ‘uninhabited’ Maralinga, in outback South Australia. Charged with keeping the base functioning smoothly is Major Leo Carmichael (Leslie), an Australian Army Engineer and WWII hero. But testing the most dangerous weapon in the world is no easy task for Leo with a Commanding Officer (Cromwell) who is not fit for purpose; a new meteorologist, Dr Eva Lloyd-George (De Gouw) who starts asking questions; and the Government and press watching his every move. And as it turns out, the land of Maralinga may not be so uninhabited after all, when Leo’s faced with the arrival of a family of Indigenous Australians, curious about the giant clouds that explode occasionally … This is a story of our infinite capacity for betrayal, and no one is immune, not even the traitors themselves.”
ABC’s Head of Scripted Production Sally Riley says: “The ABC is incredibly pleased to be reunited with Peter Duncan to work on this excellent new drama series, exploring a vitally important part of Australian history and the long term, devastating ramifications for the local indigenous community.”
Emmanuelle Guilbart and Laurent Boissel (pictured), Joint-CEOs and Co-Founders at APC Studios say: “Fallout is a perfect example of the kind of drama we are committed to supporting – a locally grounded story which tackles universal themes and complex characters we know will resonate globally. We are excited to board our first Australian drama alongside world class creatives who we are confident will deliver a powerful series.”
Vincent Sheehan, Producer at Porchlight Films adds: “We are thrilled to be partnering with APC on Fallout and to be included in their quality catalogue. It was clear from my first conversation with Emmanuelle and Laurent that they appreciated the many layers and bold ambition and were set to embark on a journey with us to share this little known story worldwide.”