‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’.
FremantleMedia Australia’s re-imagining of Picnic at Hanging Rock has landed another key sale, this time to France, after Amazon Prime Video bought the US rights.
France’s Canal+ snapped up the six-part series which stars Game of Thrones’ Natalie Dormer as English headmistress Mrs Hester Appleyard and revolved around the mysterious disappearances of three schoolgirls and one teacher on Valentine’s Day 1900.
French actress Lola Bessis (Cassandra, Swim Little Fish Swim) who plays Mademoiselle Dianne de Poitiers, mistress of French conversation, music and dance, no doubt enhanced the drama’s appeal to the French broadcaster.
“We are delighted that the international buzz around Picnic at Hanging Rock continues to build momentum ahead of its debut on Foxtel with the announcement of its sale to premium channel Canal+,” said Jo Porter, FMA’s director of drama and executive producer of the series commissioned by Foxtel.
Directed by Larysa Kondracki, Michael Rymer and Amanda Brotchie, the series based on Joan Lindsay’s novel is produced by Brett Popplewell. The script producer and establishing writer is Beatrix Christian, working with writer Alice Addison
The other teachers are played by Yael Stone (Orange is the New Black, Deep Water), Anna McGahan (The Doctor Blake Mysteries, Anzac Girls) and Sibylla Budd (Tomorrow When The War Began, Winners & Losers).
The schoolgirls are played by Lily Sullivan (Jungle), Madeleine Madden (Tomorrow When The War Began, High Life), Samara Weaving (Monster Trucks, The Babysitter), Ruby Rees (Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries) and newcomer Inez Curro.
The partnership with Amazon Prime Video, hailed by Foxtel director of TV Brian Walsh as the “largest US commercial deal ever for an Australian television series,” enabled the producers to increase the shooting schedule to 13 weeks and to extend the second unit’s workload.
FremantleMedia International will pitch the series to buyers in other territories at Mipcom, which starts in Cannes today.