News & Events
New series Firebite begins production in South Australia with Yael Stone, Rob Collins, Callan Mulvey and Shantae Barnes-Cowan
24 August 2021
New original series Firebite has commenced production in South Australia this week with Yael Stone (Orange is the New Black), Rob Collins (Cleverman, Extraction) and Callan Mulvey (Avengers: End Game) in leading roles, AMC+ has announced today. The series will also introduce First Nations Australian star Shantae Barnes-Cowan.
A co-production between AMC Studios and See-Saw Films, Firebite is a high-octane, highly original spin on the vampire genre and fantasy series that follows two Indigenous Australian hunters, Tyson (Collins) and Shanika (Barnes-Cowan), on their quest to battle the last colony of vampires in the middle of the South Australian desert. The series is comprised of eight, one-hour episodes set to debut on premium US streaming platform AMC+ later this year.
Created and written by one of Australia’s most celebrated First Nations auteur voices Warwick Thornton (Samson and Delilah, Sweet Country), who also directs along with Brendan Fletcher (Mad Bastards) and Tony Krawitz (The Tall Man, Dead Europe), Firebite is set in a remote desert mining town, a hive for the last vampire stronghold shipped from Britain to Australia in 1788 by the colonial superpower to eradicate the Indigenous populations. Sheltering from the sun in the underground mines and tunnels that surround the town until the present day, the colony’s numbers and hunger is growing. War is coming. Tyson and Shanika stand vanguard to the war. But what hope does an expertly reckless man full of bravado and a 17-year-old orphan possibly have to defeat these vicious blood-thirsty parasites, when legions of warriors before them have failed?
Thornton and Fletcher said, “Our only rule was to find great people, no matter where they came from. We have actors who’ve worked on big Hollywood blockbusters, and others that are flying in from remote Aboriginal communities who light up the screen with natural presence. To us, they are all movie stars.”
Executive Producer Rachel Gardner said: “We love our cast. They bring these characters to life with authenticity, power and a solid dose of naughty. It feels like this is going to be something special.”
Kristin Jones, Executive Vice President, International Programming and Program Innovation, AMC Networks said: “We are committed to creating compelling programming with diverse voices and representation for our viewers, and Firebite delivers on this goal. We’re thrilled to bring this unique original series to life authentically with a stellar cast and crew on Indigenous lands with Indigenous storytelling.”
See-Saw’s Managing Directors and Executive Producers Emile Sherman and Iain Canning said: “As we start principal photography, we’re delighted to announce our exceptional cast and the addition of our friend Tony Krawitz to the directing team. Led by visionary director Warwick Thornton, we’re going to be in for an exciting ride”
Kristin Jones is overseeing the series for AMC Networks. Executive Producers for See-Saw Films are Emile Sherman and Iain Canning, alongside Rachel Gardner, Thornton and Fletcher. See-Saw’s Simon Gillis serves as co-executive producer, with Kodie Bedford as co-executive producer, Libby Sharpe as co-producer and Billy Bowring as associate producer. South Australian producer Paul Ranford (Stateless, True History of the Kelly Gang) will produce the series alongside First Nations filmmaker Dena Curtis (Elements, Grace Beside Me), who is co-producing. The writing team include Kodie Bedford and newcomers Devi Telfer and Josh Sambono.
The series has received major funding from the South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC). The production is providing employment opportunities for First Nations practitioners.
AMC+ is US network AMC’s new premium streaming bundle featuring an extensive lineup of popular and critically acclaimed original programming from AMC, BBC America, IFC, and SundanceTV and full access to targeted streaming services Shudder, Sundance Now and IFC Films Unlimited, which feature content such as A Discovery of Witches, Creepshow, Riviera and Boyhood. The service features a continually refreshed library of commercial-free content, including fan favourites Mad Men, Rectify, Orphan Black, Portlandia, Hell on Wheels, NOS4A2 and series from The Walking Dead Universe, among many others. The service also offers a growing slate of original and exclusive series including Gangs of London, The North Water, The Beast Must Die, The Salisbury Poisonings, Cold Courage, Spy City, Too Close, and forthcoming drama Kin. AMC+ recently launched in Canada on Apple TV Channels and Amazon Prime Video Channels and is currently available in the U.S. through AMCPlus.com, the AMC+ app, and a number of digital and cable partners.
About See-Saw Films
See-Saw Films is a world leading film and television production house, founded in 2008 by Academy Award®, BAFTA and Emmy winning producers Iain Canning and Emile Sherman, with offices in London and Sydney.
See-Saw’s first television series was the multi-award winning first season of Jane Campion’s Top of the Lake. Campion returned with Top of The Lake: China Girl starring Elisabeth Moss, Nicole Kidman and Gwendoline Christie which premiered at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for a Golden Globe. State of the Union, written by Nick Hornby, directed by Stephen Frears and starring Rosamund Pike and Chris O’Dowd had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival 2019 and won three Emmy Awards. Recent projects include Samantha Strauss’ The End for Foxtel, Sky Atlantic and Showtime, starring Harriet Walter and Frances O’Connor. Upcoming projects include The North Water for BBC Two written and directed by Andrew Haigh, starring Colin Farrell, Jack O’Connell and Stephen Graham; Slow Horses for Apple TV+, starring Gary Oldman; a second season of State of the Union written by Nick Hornby, directed by Stephen Frears and starring Brendan Gleeson, Patricia Clarkson and Esco Jouléy; The Essex Serpent for Apple TV+ to be directed by Clio Barnard, starring Claire Danes and Tom Hiddleston; and Heartstopper for Netflix, to be directed by Euros Lyn.
See-Saw produced the six-time Academy Award nominated Lion, starring Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman and Rooney Mara, as well as The King’s Speech, which was nominated for twelve and won four Academy Awards in 2011 including Best Motion Picture. Recent projects include Widows directed by Steve McQueen and starring Viola Davis and Ammonite, written and directed by Francis Lee, starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan. Upcoming film projects include Operation Mincemeat, directed by John Madden and starring Colin Firth, Matthew Macfadyen and Kelly Macdonald; South Australian shot The Unknown Man starring Joel Edgerton and Sean Harris; and The Power Of The Dog, written and directed by Jane Campion, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons.