Filming has commenced this week in Melbourne on THE WARRIORS, a provocative new 8 x 30’ Indigenous comedy drama series for ABCTV.
Created by Tony Briggs (The Sapphires) and Robert Connolly (Paper Planes, Barracuda), THE WARRIORS is set in the world of Australian Rules Football. It explores the elite world of professional sport through the eyes of two new recruits - plucked from obscurity to fame and fortune - and two established players as they are thrown together in a share house in Melbourne.
With temptation at every turn and a lot of football, there’s no guarantee these young men will run through the banner for the first game of the season.
After a nationwide casting search, 18 year old Gordan Churchill will make his acting debut as Maki, the number one draft pick. Gordan was discovered in the remote Indigenous community of Warmun in the Kimberley Region. The series also introduces WAAPA graduate Nelson Baker as Zane, the number five draft pick.
Lisa McCune is the team’s tireless communications manager, Vince Colosimo is Coach Mark ‘Spinner’ Spinotti charged with getting the wooden spooners back in finals contention. Club president, footy legend Bill Shepherd, is played by John Howard, returning to the world of Australian Rules Football after starring in the 1980’s classic The Club.
Comedian Ben Knight is Scottie who is returning from his third knee reconstruction, andReece Milne (Home and Away) plays Doc, the seasoned team-captain charged with showing the rookies the ropes. Newcomer Tasia Zalar is Zane’s sister Ava, who joins the boys to try out for the women’s league.
“What attracted us to this project was both the concept of following four mischievous footballers experiencing the highs, lows and often funny situations of life as an elite athlete, as well as the opportunity for Indigenous creatives to partner with highly regarded practitioners and accelerate along their career trajectory” said Penny Smallacombe, Head of Indigenous at Screen Australia.
“Film Victoria is delighted to be supporting the team behind The Warriors and also providing skills development opportunities for a number of Victorian Indigenous screen practitioners” said Jenni Tosi, CEO at Film Victoria.
“The Warriors is a wild ride that sees our characters teeter between temptation and dedication with the added layer of cross-cultural relations. It’s brilliant to be able to deal with this subject matter through a no-holds-barred comedy” said Sally Riley, the Head of Scripted Production.
THE WARRIORS is a landmark Australian television project, exclusively written and directed by some of the country’s finest Indigenous talent including Jon Bell (Cleverman),Tony Briggs (The Sapphires) and exciting newcomer Tracey Rigney. Directed by Adrian Russell Wills (Wentworth), Beck Cole (Black Comedy), Steven McGregor (Croker Island Exodus, Redfern Now) and straight from a director’s attachment on Alien: Covenant with Ridley Scott – Catriona McKenzie (The Circuit, Redfern Now and The Gods of Wheat Street). Produced by Arenamedia with John Harvey.
THE WARRIORS will air on ABC in 2017.