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Production starts in Adelaide on Netflix series Gymnastics Academy: A Second Chance

08 October 2021
Jada Lee Henry (Kyra), Stella Shute (Tess), Zoe Burns (Scarlett), Akira Van (Li), Luciana Valdez Tirdao (Maya), Eva Grados (Alkira) on set for Gymnastics Academy: A Second Chance, image courtesy of Glen Pictures
Jada Lee Henry (Kyra), Stella Shute (Tess), Zoe Burns (Scarlett), Akira Van (Li), Luciana Valdez Tirado (Maya), Eva Grados (Alkira) on set for Gymnastics Academy: A Second Chance, image courtesy of Glen Pictures

Production has commenced in Adelaide on the Netflix young adult drama series Gymnastics Academy: A Second Chance!.

Written, produced and created by South Australian Clay Glen of Glen Pictures, who also directs, with a series adaptation by Clay Glen and Vanessa Shapiro, and co-produced by South Australian producer Sally Clarke, the 10-episode series is the first Netflix series commission from a South Australian production company. Nicely Entertainment is the worldwide distributor with Vanessa Shapiro attached as Executive Producer. The production has received major production funding from the SAFC.

Minister for Innovation and Skills David Pisoni said “I congratulate Glen Pictures on becoming the first South Australian production company to secure a commission from Netflix. This exciting new South Australian made series is good news for screen sector jobs, employing more than 100 South Australians in a near 100% local cast and crew, and is expected to generate more than $3.7 million worth of international investment into South Australian screen businesses.”

Set in the world of teenage competitive gymnastics, Gymnastics Academy: A Second Chance! is a TV spin-off from Glen’s global hit feature films A Second Chance (2011) and A Second Chance: Rivals! (2019), which have both found a strong global audience after being acquired by Netflix and extends the story with new additions to the much-loved characters in Australia’s Elite Gymnastics Program.

Eva Grados (Alkira), Zoe Burns (Scarlett), Jada Lee Henry (Kyra), Stella Shute (Tess) in Gymnastics Academy: A Second Chance, image courtesy of Glen Pictures
Eva Grados (Alkira), Zoe Burns (Scarlett), Jada Lee Henry (Kyra), Stella Shute (Tess) in Gymnastics Academy: A Second Chance, image courtesy of Glen Pictures.

Clay Glen said “I’m thrilled to partner up with Netflix, SAFC, Vanessa Shapiro (Nicely Entertainment, USA) and Sally Clarke to bring ‘Gymnastics Academy: A Second Chance’ based on the feature films to life as a series. I’ve always been very passionate about filming, casting and crewing out of SA and this series continues that commitment. South Australia with its amazingly diverse and easily accessible locations is the best place to film in Australia!”

Vanessa Shapiro, CEO, Nicely Entertainment and Executive Producer said “It’s been a real pleasure and privilege to develop this new Series with Clay Glen based on his A Second Chance amazing IP and to work with the Netflix’s team to bring it to life”.

SAFC CEO Kate Croser said “The SAFC is delighted to be providing major production funding for this exciting new South Australian made Netflix series, which will not only provide significant employment and skilling opportunities for local crew and cast but will grow South Australia’s pool of ‘greenlighters’ by providing the first television credits for local director, writer and producer Clay Glen as well as key creative credits for co-writer Kristian Leadbeater, and directors Kelly Schilling and Stephen de Villiers.  The SAFC welcomes Netflix’s ongoing engagement with South Australian creatives and production companies.”

Gymnastics Academy: A Second Chance! is the latest in a string of Netflix’s local investments catering to families and young adults – including the Heartbreak High reboot, Surviving Summer, MaveriX (co-pro with ABC), and Dive Club (co-pro with Network 10).

In Gymnastics Academy: A Second Chance!, 14-year old Kyra Berry (Jada Lee Henry) is an African American gymnast whose dream is to compete in the Olympics. When she injures her knee her USA Academy offers all withdraw. Maddy Cornell (Emily Morris), the ex-world champion Australian gymnast, now a coach (A Second Chance: Rivals!), sees Kyra’s great potential and, having gone through her own injury dramas, invites her to join Australia’s Elite Gymnastics Program on a trial.

As soon as Kyra arrives in Australia, she is swept up into an unforgettable journey of amazing friendships, important life lessons, personal growth and her first boy crush, all of which she shares with an incredible group of Australian young teen teammates who audiences first met in A Second Chance: Rivals! including Tess (Stella Shute), Li (Akira Van) and Alkira (Eva Grados).

The young cast is rounded out by emerging South Australian screen talent Zoe Burns, Luciana Valdez Tirado, Ava Maios, and Jett Gazley. The adult cast sees the return of Emily Morris (who began her acting career as a young teen in the very first A Second Chance), Alexander Lloyd and Melanie Munt, added to by Trung Le, Justina Ward and Michelle Nightingale.

Gymnastics Academy: A Second Chance! is Produced by Clay Glen, and Co-Produced by Sally Clarke. Executive Producer is Vanessa Shapiro of Nicely Entertainment. Clay Glen is lead Director and Writer on the series with Kristian Leadbeater as Co-Writer, and Directors Kelly Schilling and Stephen deVilliers. Director of Photography is Michael Tessari, Production Design by Rita Zanchetta, Costume Design by Anita Seiler and Make-up/Hair Supervisor is Marie-Lyne Morant. Editors Kristian Leadbeater and David Banbury, Sound Design by Todd Telford.

Worldwide sales by Nicely Entertainment.


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