Amazon Prime Video greenlights seven new Australian productions

Amazon Prime Video had added seven new Australian Amazon Original productions to its slate. This brings the production company’s local investment to $150 million since 2019.

In a massive Australia-focussed announcement, Amazon Prime Video has greenlit seven new local productions, and acquired the distribution rights to the series adaptation of Liane Moriarty’s Nine Perfect Strangers, which filmed in Australia last year. This new investment brings the company’s local investment to $150 million since 2019, which includes 14 Australian Amazon Originals. 

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The seven new productions span a wide range of formats and genres, from feature-length drama productions, to docuseries, to sketch comedy, including the first Amazon Original feature length documentary to be made in Australia: Burning, which explores the painful reality of the Black Summer bushfires. Also on the slate are feminist noir comedy series Deadloch, from Get Krack!n and The Katering Show’s Kate McCartney and Kate McLennan, and a series adaptation of Australian Holly Ringland’s international best-seller The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart, starring Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner Sigourney Weaver.

‘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.’

Erika North, Amazon Studio’s Head of Originals, Asia Pacific

Erika North, Amazon Studio’s Head of Originals, Asia Pacific, described these productions as ‘underlin[ing] our commitment to investing significantly in Australia within the creative community. She continued: ‘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.’

The full list of upcoming Australian Amazon Originals follows: 

  • Burning, from executive producers Cate Blanchett, and Eva Orner, who also serves as director, Burning takes an unflinching look at the deadly Australian bushfires of 2019-2020, known as ‘Black Summer’ from the perspective of victims of the fires, activists and scientists. Produced by Propagate Content, Dirty Films and Amazon Studios, Burning will launch on Amazon Prime Video in 2021 in over 240 countries and territories around the world.

  • Eight-part Australian Original comedy series Class of ‘07 created by award-winning Australian writer and director Kacie Anning (Amazon Prime Video’s Upload, The Other Guy) 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 former classmates must find a way to survive not just armageddon, but also each other, as decade-old drama inevitably resurfaces. Class of ‘07 will commence filming in Australia this December.

  • Deadloch, is a new Australian Original comedy series written by ‘The Kates’ (Kate McCartney and Kate McLennan) and produced by Guesswork Television, OK Great Productions and Amazon Studios. ‘The Kates’ latest creation is a dark feminist comedy set against a bucolic backdrop with a rising body count. Filming of the eight part Amazon Australian Original series will commence in Tasmania this November.

  • Head Above Water is an Amazon Original 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.

  • The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart is a series adaptation of the international best-selling book by Australian author Holly Ringland, and and starring Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner Sigourney Weaver. The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart tells the enchanting and compelling story of a young girl, Alice Hart, whose violent childhood casts a dark shadow over her adult life. The series will be spearheaded by an All Australian team, with director Glendyn Ivin, producer Bruna Papandrea from Made Up Stories, and screenwriter Sarah Lambert who serves as the series showrunner. 

  • The Moth Effect is a a satirical, new six part, Amazon Australian Original sketch comedy produced by Bunya Entertainment, Amazon Studios and created by Nick Boshier (Bondi Hipsters) and Jazz Twemlow (Tonightly). The series will launch one episode per month from30 July 2021 on Prime Video in Australia and select countries around the world, and will feature brilliant local talent, including Miranda Otto, David Wenham, Nazeem Hussain, David Woodhead, Zoë Coombs Marr and many more.

  • Warriors On The Field is an Amazon Original documentary presented by former AFL champion and Kaurna, Ngarrindjeri, Narungga man Michael O’Loughlin, set to premier later in 2021. The documentary offers a compelling insight into the stories of three Indigenous AFL players, celebrating Aboriginal Australia and its association with the Australian Football League. Sharing their stories alongside Michael is current AFL player Michael ‘Sonny’ Walters, a Noongar man from Fremantle Dockers, and up-and-coming North Melbourne star Tarryn Thomas who is Kamillaroi and Lumaranaana man.

In addition to these seven new productions on Amazon Originals Slate, Amazon Prime Video also announced the acquisition of an eight-part series based on Australian author Liane Moriarty’s best-selling book Nine Perfect Strangers, which will be produced by the teams behind Big Little Lies and The Undoing. 

Nine Perfect Strangers is set at a boutique health-and-wellness resort that promises healing and transformation as nine stressed city dwellers try to get on a path to a better way of living, overseen by the resort’s director Masha (played by Nicole Kidman), a woman on a mission to reinvigorate their tired minds and bodies. However, these nine strangers have no idea what is about to hit them.  The series features an all-star cast including Melissa McCarthy, Luke Evans, Michael Shannon, Samara Weaving and more. Already filmed in Australia in 2020, the series has been acquired by Amazon Prime for global distribution outside of the US and China. 

‘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,’ said 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.’

Jini Maxwell is a writer and curator who lives in Naarm. They are an assistant curator at ACMI, where they also host the Women & Non-binary gamers club. They write about videogames and the people who make them. You can find them on Twitter @astroblob