Screen Queensland (SQ) has shared NITV’s announcement that it has commissioned its first ever of a scripted live-action series, GRACE BESIDE ME. Adapted from the award-winning novel by Queensland’s Sue McPherson with Queensland producer Dena Curtis also on board, production investment naturally comes from SQ. The series is currently in pre-production and will commence filming in early 2017.
In an Australian first, the series – consisting of 13 x 26 minute episodes – will be screened on three subsequent networks. GRACE BESIDE ME will premiere on NITV, followed by a secondary broadcast on the ABC, and a third release on subscription TV channel Disney Australia.
The series, described as a humorous coming of age story, follows Fuzzy Mac, whose life is turned upside down at the age of 13 when she discovers she can see ghosts and spirits. But all she wants is to fit in and have fun with her mates. It’s hard enough navigating the highs and lows of becoming a teenager while living with your eccentric Nan and Pop, without also having to deal with needy ghosts, mischievous totems and cantankerous Ancestors.
“The story of Fuzzy Mac is told with warmth, humour and pathos by the best of our Indigenous screenwriters,” says Tanya Orman, Channel Manager, NITV. Those writers include Danielle MacLean (Little J and Big Cuz, Double Trouble, Blown Away), Jon Bell (The Gods of Wheat Street, Cleverman), original novelist McPherson (Nan and a Whole Lot of Trouble), Briar Grace-Smith (Being Eve, Kaitangata Twitch), Adrian Russell Wills (Redfern Now, Ready for This), Tristan Savage (Gubbament Man, Un-Australian) and Erica Glynn (Little J and Big Cuz).
GRACE BESIDE ME is produced by Lois Randall (The Gods of Wheat Street, Nan and a Whole Lot of Trouble) and Dena Curtis (8 MMM Aboriginal Radio, Nan and a Whole Lot of Trouble ) with direction by Beck Cole (Black Comedy, Redfern Now,The Warriors) and Adrian Russell Wills (Wentworth, Redfern Now, The Warriors).
GRACE BESIDE ME is a Magpie Pictures production, developed with NITV, the Australian Children’s Television Foundation, Screen Australia’s Indigenous Department, SQ, the ABC and Screen NSW.