Cate Blanchett, Yvonne Strahovski and Dominic West are set to star in “Stateless,” a six-part TV series about people stuck in an immigration detention center. NBCUniversal will handle worldwide distribution on the drama, which is being produced by Blanchett and her husband, Andrew Upton, through their Dirty Films banner, alongside the Australian Broadcasting Corp., Screen Australia and Matchbox Pictures.
Production begins next month at Adelaide Studios in South Australia. Major production funding comes from Screen Australia and the ABC, with additional financial support from the South Australian Film Corp.
Co-created by Blanchett, Tony Ayres and Elise McCredie, the series centers on four strangers — a flight attendant escaping a suburban cult, an Afghan refugee fleeing persecution, a young Australian father escaping a dead-end job and a bureaucrat caught up in a national scandal — who are stuck in an immigration detention center in the Australian desert. Each character deals with the contradictions of protection and border control from a unique perspective, offering relevant and timely insight into issues that countries are grappling with around the world.
The cast also includes Jai Courtney, Asher Keddie, Fayssal Bazzi, Rachel House, Kate Box, Clarence Ryan, Claude Jabbour, Rose Riley and Helana Sawires.
“Stateless” is written by McCredie and Belinda Chayko, and will be directed by Emma Freeman and Jocelyn Moorhouse, and produced by Sheila Jayadev and Paul Ranford for Matchbox Pictures. Blanchett, Upton and Ayres are executive producers. McCredie is showrunner and executive producer, and Liz Watts will serve as executive producer. ABC executive producers are Sally Riley and Andrew Gregory.
“Whilst this story centers on Australia, the dilemmas that it explores through four absorbing characters will resonate globally: the desire for personal freedom, the need for social stability, an escalating lack of faith in the political process and the deeply unsettling impact this has on individual lives,” Blanchett said.
“We were pleased to support the development of this landmark series, with its all-female writing and directing team, including some of Australia’s leading key creatives,” said Courtney Gibson, chief executive of the South Australian Film Corp.