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Biography

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Josh Wakely is an Australian director, screenwriter, producer and published author. A principal partner at Grace: a storytelling company, a film and television production company, Wakely runs offices in Sydney and Los Angeles.

Wakely is the creator, director and co-producer of the Emmy-winning children's animated television series "Beat Bugs," a Netflix original program that globally premiered two seasons in 2016. The show premiered on Channel 7 and now airs on Nick Jr. in Australia.

Inspired by music of The Beatles, "Beat Bugs" follows five best friends who band together to discover life's most important lessons in an overgrown suburban backyard. For the series, Wakely acquired for Grace the worldwide rights to record covers of the entire Lennon/McCartney 'Northern Songs' music catalog. Featured artists who cover songs in the show include, P!nk, Eddie Vedder, Rod Stewart, Jennifer Hudson, James Corden and Sia.

A staple on the international awards circuit over the last year, Wakely won the 2017 Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in a Preschool Animated Program for his work on "Beat Bugs," and the show won the 2017 Leo Award for Best Animation - Program or Series, the 2016 AWGIE Award in Animation and the 2016 Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) award for Best Children's Television Series.

The series was nominated for a total of five Daytime Emmy Awards, Best Animated Program or Series at the 2017 Canadian Screen Awards, and Outstanding Children's Program at Australia's TV Week Logie Awards.

"Beat Bugs" also inspired a line of merchandise that is exclusively available at Target in the U.S. and Tesco in the U.K.

Wakely additionally secured for Grace the rights to international music icon Bob Dylan's entire 600-plus song catalog, and is creating a television drama series based on his music. Wakely considers Dylan one of the best storytellers of all time, and the series will feature characters and settings drawn from the iconic artist's songs.

Building on the popularity of "Beat Bugs" and the added success of the Dylan deal, Wakely secured additional groundbreaking deals for Grace, locking in the rights to the Jobete and Stone Diamond catalogs that comprise hundreds of Motown's greatest hits and Universal Music Group's (UMG) vast collection of recorded master and publishing catalogs to create scripted entertainment based on the characters and themes found within these hallowed songbooks.

For what will be his second show for Netflix, Wakely has written an animated series based on the Motown classics found in the Jobete and Stone Diamond catalogs for which Smokey Robinson will serve as executive music producer. The show is currently in production.

With extensive access to UMG's illustrious collection of catalogs, Wakely is also currently developing three television series: "27," "Melody Island," and "Mixtape" (all working titles), all based on the music found within these catalogs.

On the feature film side, Wakely for Grace has optioned the rights to the best-selling memoir "Half a Life," which tells the haunting story of one man's 20-year struggle with the accidental death of his high school classmate. The book was awarded the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2011. Wakely will adapt the memoir for the screen and direct.

Most comfortable behind the camera and fueled by his passion for both film and music, Wakely wrote and directed "My Mind's Own Melody," a cinematic modern musical that came out in 2011. The short film featured original music and lyrics by former Silverchair front-man Daniel Johns and stars Golden Globe winner Lisa Gerrard and was officially selected for and screened at the 2013 New York Film Festival. The project also inspired a TED Talk by Wakely and Johns in which they shed light on their creative process behind making film.

Wakely also served as a writer on the acclaimed family series "Lockie Leonard," which was nominated for a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) award in the "Best International Children's Drama Series" category and won an Australian Film Institute award for "Best Children's Drama."

Wakely was raised in Newcastle, an industrial town three hours north of Sydney on the East Coast of Australia. He grew up in a household that was filled with music inspiring in him the firm belief that storytelling is the core of both scriptwriting and song-writing, a belief which has guided him in his career. He studied acting at Australia's prestigious Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) before transitioning behind the camera and into the world of storytelling.

Wakely is represented by Jeremy Zimmer (United Talent Agency) and Matt Johnston (Ziffren Brittenham LLP), and splits his time between Los Angeles and Sydney with his wife and son.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Beck Media

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