Press release from Showtime

SHOWTIME Australia has commissioned leading producers SCREENTIME to produce the television adaptation of Tim Winton’s highly acclaimed CLOUDSTREET, it was announced today.

An Australian classic, CLOUDSTREET was first published in 1991. The winner of three major literary awards – the NBC Banjo Award for Fiction, the West Australian Fiction Award and the Miles Franklin Award – CLOUDSTREET has been published in eleven countries and has been adapted for radio and published as an audio book.

Studied at secondary and tertiary levels around Australia, Nick Enright and Justin Monjo adapted it for the stage and CLOUDSTREET THE PLAY enjoyed sold-out seasons both nationally and internationally.

In making the announcement CEO of SHOWTIME Australia Peter Rose said: “When SCREENTIME approached us with CLOUDSTREET, we recognised the majesty of this project and its appropriateness for showcase and our platforms – FOXTEL and AUSTAR.

The combined skill and talent of both SCREENTIME as producers and author Tim Winton will bring this iconic Australian work to life on screen, and continues our strong desire and commitment to produce leading, cutting-edge drama.”

SCREENTIME plans to have CLOUDSTREET in production in late 2009/early 2010 with a script by Tim Winton and Ellen Fontana. With a planned premiere in 2011 on showcase part of the SHOWTIME package on FOXTEL and AUSTAR.

SCREENTIME’s Des Monaghan said "This really is a dream come true. We have been in negotiation for some years now to bring the screenrights to CLOUDSTREET back to Australia. Due to the enthusiastic support of Peter Rose and his team at
SHOWTIME, everyone here at SCREENTIME is delighted that we are now in a position to bring this Australian classic to the screen.”

Tim Winton said "For me it’s always been important for CLOUDSTREET to be a home-grown production and I’m really pleased to know that, through the collaboration of SCREENTIME and SHOWTIME, it can be made here in Australia and provide work for local cast and crew. As the book’s twentieth anniversary approaches, this is happy news.”

SCREENTIME’s Bob Campbell said "Our ambition has always been to see great Australian stories brought to television. Along with our partners at SHOWTIME, Tim Winton’s CLOUDSTREET is a marquee project for SCREENTIME, which we are proud to be involved with.”

SCREENTIME’s Greg Haddrick said “We cannot wait to begin working with Tim Winton to bring such an iconic work of Australian literature to the screen. Tim’s quintessential Australian characters and his unique blend of the everyday and the
metaphysical will enable us to showcase the very best of Australian screen talent.”

SHOWTIME’s Kim Vecera said: “I’m honoured to be involved with this production and that showcase will be the instigator in bringing this influential Australian classic to the screen.”

FOXTEL’s Kim Williams said "Tim Winton’s CLOUDSTREET is an Australian literary and theatrical legend and I am thrilled to see its realisation as a major work for television under SHOWTIME’s patronage. FOXTEL will be proud to partner in its promotion and presentation in order to ensure it is celebrated as the significant event its television production represents. I warmly congratulate my colleagues at SHOWTIME for their vision and foresight in pursuing its commissioning under the very able Screentime team.”

AUSTAR’s John Porter said "AUSTAR is committed to investing in innovative, high quality productions, and there is no finer example than the uniquely Australian CLOUDSTREET. Subscription television has set the pace in producing groundbreaking television that Australians want to see, and with our majority shareholder LGI, who is also a shareholder in SHOWTIME, we will continue to support investment in these types of projects."

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