The move was announced by Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and by Australia’s federal Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher.
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The federal government will provide A$9.8 million ($7.58 million) to Disney subsidiary ABC Signature for the season. Palaszczuk said that the relocation was “thanks to the Queensland Government’s Production Attraction Strategy,” but she did not disclose a financial injection from the state coffers. Instead she said that filming the series would “inject A$28 million ($21.7 million) into the state and create around 150 jobs for local crew.” Production is expected to start at Gold Coast from April. Hoodlum Entertainment is the show’s local service partner.
“The Wilds” follows a group of young girls who become stranded on a deserted island after their plane crashes. The first season consisted of 10 episodes, which all released on Amazon Prime Video Dec. 11. The streaming giant announced commission of a second season less than ten days later.
“The Wilds” was created by Sarah Streicher and stars Rachel Griffiths (Gretchen Klein), Sophia Taylor Ali (Fatin Jadmani), Shannon Berry (Dot Campbell), Sarah Pidgeon (Leah Rilke), Erana James (Toni Shalifoe), Jenna Clause (Martha Blackburn), David Sullivan (Daniel Faber), Troy Winbush (Dean Young), Helena Howard (Nora Reid), Reign Edwards (Rachel Reid) and Mia Healey (Shelby Goodkind). The show is executive produced by Streicher, Amy B. Harris, Dylan Clark and Jamie Tarses.
Screen Queensland CEO Kylie Munnich acknowledged that the arrival on Australian shores of yet another high-profile international production adds to the country’s current film- and TV-making boom.
“Although the current boom is attributable in part to the pandemic, it’s also given Queensland the chance to really shine, to show what we are made of to the rest of the world. International producers, directors and showrunners are here and getting to know us well, to experience the caliber of our crews and the great diversity of our locations first-hand, in a way that bodes well for the long- term growth of our local industry.” Among them, Ron Howard’s Thai caves rescue film is poised to start production not far up the coast in Brisbane, Queensland.
Fletcher said that in order to win federal funding “The Wilds” had to commit to more than hiring temporary workers. “A major benefit of international productions filming in Australia is building capacity in areas of skills shortages for our screen industry. I’m pleased that ABC Signature has committed to undertake training and development opportunities for Australian crew – both for those who live in Queensland and across Australia,” said Fletcher in a statement.
“We have a world-class film industry, extremely diverse filming locations, outstanding studio facilities, and a careful management of COVID-19 risks. These factors have cemented Australia as an attractive destination for international studios to film their productions.”
In January, “The Wilds” first season was nominated for a GLADD Media Award for Outstanding Drama Series.
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