Asher Keddie and Darren Gilshenan in ‘Stateless’ (Photo: Lisa Tomasetti).

Netflix has acquired worldwide rights excluding Australia to Stateless, the six-part drama about four strangers whose lives collide in an immigration detention centre in the Australian desert, co-created by Cate Blanchett, Tony Ayres and Elise McCredie.

The series produced by Matchbox Pictures and Blanchett and Andrew Upton’s Dirty Films, which premieres on the ABC this Sunday, will roll out on the streamer later this year.

The first two episodes of the drama starring Yvonne Strahovski, Jai Courtney, Fayssal Bazzi, Asher Keddie and Blanchett have their world premiere on Wednesday night at the sixth edition of the Berlin International Film Festival’s Berlinale Series.

Emma Freeman and Jocelyn Moorhouse directed the series scripted by the showrunner McCredie and Belinda Chayko and produced by Sheila Jayadev and Paul Ranford.

Strahovski plays Sofie Werner, an airline hostess on the run from her life and her family who seeks support in a self-improvement sect.

Bazzi is Ameer, a young Afghan father fleeing persecution who tries at all costs to save his family and preserve his dignity.

Courtney is Cam Sandford, a warden in the refugee camp searching for his mission in life, with Keddie as an ambitious bureaucrat caught between her professional ambitions and an escalating national scandal.

In her first Australian TV role since Rake in 2014, Blanchett plays Pat Masters, one of the leaders of the self-improvement group along with her husband Gordon (Dominic West).



Fayssal Bazzi and Claude Jabbour in ‘Stateless’ (Photo: Lisa Tomasetti).

The supporting cast includes Marta Dusseldorp, Rachel House, Darren Gilshenan, Kate Box, newcomer Soraya Heidari and Claude Jabbour.

In a joint statement Blanchett, Ayres and McCredie said: “Stateless has been a labour of love for many years and we could not be more thrilled that it will reach an international audience on Netflix.

“The issues addressed in the series have universal resonance but have been cloaked in silence and muddied by fear and misinformation. Our hope is that Stateless will generate a global conversation around our systems of border protection and how our humanity has been affected by them.”

Matchbox Pictures MD Alastair McKinnon added: “Stateless thrillingly taps into one of the biggest socio-political issues of our time. Netflix, with its unparalleled global reach, is the perfect platform to take this brilliant series to the world.”

The Netflix deal negotiated by Matchbox Pictures and NBCUniversal Global Distribution boosts the platform’s slate of Australian commissions including Clickbait (albeit US-set), Cargo, Glitch, Pine Gap, The Letdown, Legend of Monkey and The InBESTigators.

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