Eliza Scanlen and Hunter-Page Lochard in 'Fires'. (Photo: Ben King)

The ABC and Tony Ayres Productions’ (TAP) anthology drama Fires is underway in Victoria, with a stellar cast that boasts Eliza Scanlen, Sam Worthington, Richard Roxburgh, Sullivan Stapleton, Miranda Otto, Hunter Page-Lochard, Anna Torv, Kate Box, Helana Sawires, Daniel Henshall, and Noni Hazlehurst.

Joining the ensemble are also newcomers Ameshol Ajang, Stacy Clausen and Nyawuda Chuol.

Fires, co-created by Tony Ayres and Belinda Chayko, is inspired by accounts from people who survived the catastrophic fire season of late 2019 and early 2020. 

Each episode is based around a different community, drawn from reports of ordinary people and the impossible choices they were forced to make.

Chayko, who is the showrunner and lead writer, said: “So many people were affected by the fires of 2019/2020 and we wanted to honour their experiences and the losses they suffered – to ensure that their stories were not forgotten. Fires is a series about ordinary people, caught in the unimaginable, and the ways they came together in the face of a devastating natural disaster.”

Joining Chayko in the writing team are Jacquelin Perske, Mirrah Foulkes, Steven McGregor and Anya Beyersdorf.

Directors include Michael Rymer, Ana Kokkinos and Kim Mordaunt, while Elisa Argenzio produces.

Ayres, Andrea Denholm and Liz Watts will executive produce, together with Sally Riley and Brett Sleigh from the ABC. Nikki Barrett is the casting director.

The ABC has been developing the series with the NBCUniversal/Matchbox Pictures-backed TAP since August last year. Screen Australia and Film Victoria have supported the production, the latter through the Victorian Screen Incentive and Regional Location Assistance Fund.

Riley, ABC head of drama, entertainment and Indigenous, said: “The ABC is honoured to be able to share some of the very real and personal experiences of individuals and communities touched by the 2019 bushfires.

“This series will illuminate their resilience, determination and the community spirit that endures. We are proud to celebrate the start of production which champions this compelling and reflective storytelling with a stellar cast and a phenomenal creative team.”

Fires will air on the ABC and ABC iview later this year, and NBCUniversal Global Distribution will handle international sales.

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