Media Release: Friday, July 21, 2017
Foxtel’s Picnic at Hanging Rock sold to Amazon U.S. in
landmark deal for Australian drama
Foxtel’s upcoming event drama series, Picnic at Hanging Rock is the latest series to be added to the Amazon Prime Video US line-up following a deal with FremantleMedia International. The epic new series, starring Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Parts 1 and 2, In Darkness) as English headmistress Mrs Hester Appleyard, is a re-imagining of Joan Lindsay’s timeless Australian novel.
Picnic at Hanging Rock will have its world premiere on Foxtel in Australia in 2018. It is a FremantleMedia Australia production made with key production investment from Screen Australia. The series was shot in Victoria, Australia, with the significant assistance of the Victorian Government through Film Victoria.
“The sale of Picnic At Hanging Rock marks the largest U.S. commercial deal ever for an Australian television series,” said Brian Walsh, Foxtel’s Executive Director of Television.
“Negotiations between Foxtel, the distributor, Fremantle, and four major American based networks/streaming services, have been in train for many weeks. The partnership with Amazon marks the most lucrative programme sale ever struck for a locally produced television series and Foxtel is delighted with the outcome. The placement ensures that U.S audiences will see the outstanding craftsmanship of the Australian film and television industry on display, including the performances of an illustrious group of acting newcomers, who will now have their careers launched on the world stage.
“This is a landmark moment for our industry and for Australian storytelling. We are absolutely thrilled for everyone involved,” he said.
Picnic At Hanging Rock is Foxtel’s third major Australian drama series to be sold to the U.S market. All five seasons of prison drama Wentworth are seen in North America on Netflix, The Kettering Incident is available on Amazon Prime U.S. and long running rural drama A Place To Call Home is screened on Acorn and American Public Television.
A major sale of TV Week Logie Award-winning political thriller Secret City is expected to be concluded soon.
Picnic at Hanging Rock will plunge viewers into the mysterious disappearances of three schoolgirls and one teacher on Valentine’s Day 1900, taking the audience on a new journey into the revered Australian novel. The complex, interwoven narrative follows the subsequent investigation and the event’s far-reaching impact on the students, families and staff of Appleyard College, and on the nearby township.
The Appleyard College student roles are filled with an exciting contingent of rising stars, including Lily Sullivan (Camp, Jungle) as Miranda Reid, Madeleine Madden (Tomorrow When The War Began, High Life) as Marion Quade, Samara Weaving (Monster Trucks, The Babysitter) as Irma Leopold, Ruby Rees (Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries) as Edith Horton and introducing Inez Curro as Sara Waybourne.
Picnic at Hanging Rock is a FremantleMedia Australia production for Foxtel. Executive producers are FremantleMedia Australia’s Jo Porter and Anthony Ellis and Foxtel’s Penny Win, script producer and establishing writer is Beatrix Christian, Writer Alice Addison, producer Brett Popplewell, directors are Larysa Kondracki, Michael Rymer and Amanda Brotchie. For Amazon, the series will be overseen by Amazon Studios’ Head of International Series Morgan Wandell.