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3 items from 2015

Nine bets on Muslim sit-com

18 October 2015 9:21 PM, PDT | | See recent news »

The Nine Network has commissioned a six part half-hour comedy which centres on a Lebanese family from Western Sydney who win the lottery and move to the Eastern Suburbs.

Here Come the Habibs is the first narrative comedy originated by a commercial-free-to-air broadcaster in more than two decades.

Among the last was Acropolis Now, which starred Nick Giannopoulos and Mary Costas and aired on the Seven Network from 1989 to 1992. (Seven commissioned one season of Kath & Kim in 2007 after the first three series screened on the ABC).

Rob Shehadie, Tahir Bilgic and Matt Ryan-Garnsey created the concept and brought it to executive producer Ben Davies.

Davies worked with Shehadie and Bilgic to develop the idea, the characters and their world, before partnering with Jungleboys. Phil Lloyd, Trent O'Donnell and Jason Burrows.

Chloe Rickard is set to produce the series with Darren Ashton (Wonderland, Offspring, Rush, Bed of Roses) as the director. »

- Don Groves

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Drama delves into Australia’s shameful past

4 June 2015 3:35 PM, PDT | | See recent news »

When Daina Reid was offered the chance to direct The Secret River, the ABC miniseries based on Kate Grenville.s novel, she found the subject confronting.

The 2-part drama, which premieres on June 14, depicts the dispossession of Indigenous Australians by the British colonialists.

.I was confronted by my own lack of education about our history,. says Reid, whose recent credits include Nowhere Boys, Offspring, Never Tear Us Apart: The Untold Story of Inxs and Miss Fisher.s Murder Mysteries.

.I knew some of the stories from primary school but I remember learning about Aboriginal culture as if it was a dead culture..

Scripted by Jan Sardi and Mac Gudgeon, the $8.7 million drama stars Oliver Jackson-Cohen (Mr Selfridge, Raven, Dracula) as Will Thornhill, an English convict who is transported to Nsw in 1805.

Sarah Snook plays his wife Sal. Will.s claim over a piece of land on the Hawkesbury River brings »

- Don Groves

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Heath Ledger Scholarship winner named

1 June 2015 6:38 PM, PDT | | See recent news »

When Matt Levett was nominated for this year.s Heath Ledger Scholarship along with 17 other rising talents, the actor didn.t fancy his chances amongst what he described as a .an intimidating. line-up.

So he was both stunned and stoked to win the award presented on Monday night Us time in Los Angeles.

The 2009 Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts (Waapa) graduate says the $US10,000 cash prize will enable him to further his ambitions in Hollywood.

.It will give me the ability to stay longer and give me a foot in the door,. says Levett, who first went to the Us last September/October, when he signed with the Gersh Agency. The runners-up are fellow Waapa graduate Emilie Cocquerel and Lily Sullivan, who each get a round-trip ticket to Los Angeles and a scholarship to attend Masterclasses at Screenwise Film & TV School for actors in Sydney.

On behalf of the judges, »

- Don Groves

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