ABC announces new Australian drama series STATELESS starring Cate Blanchett, Asher Keddie, and Dominic West

Cate Blanchett
image - The Independant

The ABC and Screen Australia has announced the commissioning of a brand new powerful six-part limited drama series Stateless.

Stateless is described as an urgent and compelling drama about 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.

Production on Stateless is set to begin in South Australia in June. The new series will feature a multi award-winning cast including Yvonne Strahovski, Jai Courtney, Asher Keddie, Fayssal Bazzi, Dominic West and Cate Blanchett.

Additional cast members include Rachel House, Kate Box, Clarence Ryan, Claude Jabbour, Rose Riley and Helana Sawires.

Co-creator, executive producer and actor Cate Blanchett says of the story,

“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.” 

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, yetunlikely 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.

Tony Ayres, co-creator and executive producer says,

“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 says,

“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.”

Alastair McKinnon, Managing Director of Matchbox Pictures says,

Stateless is at once both intimate and epic in its scope and ambition, and this stellar cast is testament to the power of this story. Thrilling, courageous and intensely relevant, this is certain to be an unmissable drama series.”

Stateless received major production funding from Screen Australia and the ABC and is financed with support from the South Australian Film Corporation. It will be distributed worldwide by NBCUniversal.

Sally Caplan, Head of Production at Screen Australia says, 

“Emma Freeman and Jocelyn Moorhouse are two directors at the top of their game, and combined with this immensely talented cast I look forward to seeing this remarkable story on screen.”

Courtney Gibson, Chief Executive of the South Australian Film Corporation says,

“We were so pleased to support the development of this landmark series, with its all-female writing and directing team including some of Australia’s leading key creatives. We look forward to full production and post at Adelaide Studios and locations in South Australia, with SA producer Paul Ranford working alongside the team at Dirty Films and Matchbox, together with Matchbox SA’s Kirsty Stark, who is a co-producer on this major series.”

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.

Elise McCredie is Showrunner and Executive Producer and Liz Watts will serve as Executive Producer. ABC Executive Producers are Sally Riley and Andrew Gregory.  The series will be distributed worldwide by NBCUniversal International Distribution.