Bushfire Feature Doc From Cate Blanchett & Eva Orner Leads Amazon’s Latest Australian Originals Slate

Amazon has ordered seven new originals from down under as part of its latest Australian originals slate.

Deadline revealed earlier this evening that Sigourney Weaver is starring in and exec producing a series based on The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart. This will be joined by a slew of new shows including a bushfire feature doc from director Eva Orner and exec producer Cate Blanchett.

It comes as the streamer revealed that it has invested $150M in local productions in Australia since 2019.

Burning, which is Amazon’s first Australian Original feature-length documentary, looks at the deadly Australian bushfires of 2019-2020, known as ‘Black Summer’. Burning is an exploration of what happened as told from the perspective of victims of the fires, activists and scientists. Produced by Propagate Content, Dirty Films and Amazon Studios, Burning will launch in 2021. Orner, who helmed Netflix’s Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator, directs and exec produces alongside Blanchett.

Elsewhere, it has ordered two scripted comedies, a sketch comedy series and two documentary series.

Eight-part comedy series Class of ‘07 is created by Australian writer and director Kacie Anning (Upload) and produced by NBCUniversal International Studios’ Matchbox Pictures. When an apocalyptic tidal wave hits during the ten-year reunion of an all-girls high school, a group of women must find a way to survive on the island peak of their high school campus. Like Lord of the Flies (in cocktail dresses), the series follows a group of former classmates, now freshly entangled in decade-old drama, as they attempt to survive not just the apocalypse but each other.

Deadloch is a comedy series written by Kate McCartney and Kate McLennan and produced by Guesswork Television, OK Great Productions and Amazon Studios. It is a feminist noir comedy set against a bucolic backdrop with a rising body count.

The Moth Effect is a satirical, six part, sketch comedy produced by Bunya Entertainment, Amazon Studios and created by Nick Boshier (Bondi Hipsters) and Jazz Twemlow (Tonightly). The Moth Effect will launch one episode per month premiering in July. It will feature talent including Bryan Brown  Miranda Otto, David Wenham, Ben Lawson, Jonny Brugh, Peter O’Brien, Kate Box, Sam Cotton, Christiaan van Vuuren, Sarah Bishop, Nazeem Hussain, David Woodhead and Zoë Coombs Marr.

On the doc series side, Head Above Water is a four-part docuseries that follows elite Australian swimmers Ian Thorpe AM, Bronte Campbell OAM, Kyle Chalmers OAM, as well as former-junior-champion-turned-international-musician, Cody Simpson in the lead up to the Games in July.  Produced by McAvoy Media, Swimming Australia and Amazon Studios, Head Above Water will launch on June 4, 2021 on Amazon Prime Video in Australia, United States, United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand and select countries and will complete its global rollout later in 2021.

Warriors On The Field is presented by former AFL champion Michael O’Loughlin, and tells the deeply personal and poignant stories of three Indigenous AFL players. Sharing their stories alongside Michael (a Kaurna, Ngarrindjeri, Narungga man) is current AFL player Michael ‘Sonny’ Walters, a Noongar man from Fremantle Dockers, and up-and-coming North Melbourne star Tarryn Thomas, a Kamillaroi and Lumaranaana man, originally from Sydney.

“We’re incredibly focused on investing in and developing the world’s best talent to deliver the highest quality content for our Prime Video customers in Australia and around the world,” said Erika North, Head of Originals, Asia Pacific, at Amazon Studios. “We believe that putting the spotlight on the very best stories from Australian creators will not only excite our Australian viewers, but also our Prime members around the world. Today’s announcements are another step in our mission to bring outstanding content to fruition. We are proud to greenlight seven new Australian Amazon Originals with talented Australian’s, and today underlines our commitment to investing significantly in Australia within the creative community.”

“We know that viewers in Australia want to see new, fresh, unique and authentic stories that they can connect with, and we’re committed to producing diverse Australian programming for Prime members globally,” added Tyler Bern, Head of Content, Prime Video Australia. “Australians are incredible storytellers and we are delighted to be working with some of the best filmmakers, writers, directors, producers and actors in the world. We have something for everyone from captivating sports documentaries, to hilarious comedy shows and world-class scripted originals. Amazon

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