Marta Dusseldorp to make and star in Tassie-noir drama Bay of Fires for ABC

Marta Dusseldorp

Series to be produced by Marta Dusseldorp’s production company Archipelago Productions and Fremantle

ABC and Screen Australia, along with investment partners Screen Tasmania, Film Victoria and Fremantle have announced an eight-part crime/thriller drama series Bay of Fires has been commissioned to be filmed in Tasmania in 2022.

Created by Andrew Knight (Seachange, Jack Irish, Rake, Hacksaw Ridge), Marta Dusseldorp (Janet King, Jack Irish, A Place to Call Home) and Max Dann (Siam Sunset, Dance Academy, Spotswood), Bay of Fires will be produced by Marta Dusseldorp’s production company Archipelago Productions and Fremantle. The series will be written by Andrew Knight, Max Dann and Sarah Bassiuoni.

Set in the wilds of Tasmania, Dusseldorp will play lead character Stella Heikkinen whose fall from grace is as spectacular as it is life-threatening.

ABC head of drama, entertainment and Indigenous Sally Riley said, “Marta has long been a favourite of ABC audiences so we are delighted to have the opportunity to support her in taking the leap into producing. Bay of Fires is a drama with heart, dark humour and unique characters that will take audiences into a world full of intrigue, truffle pigs and oh yeah, murder of necessity.”

Marta Dusseldorp and her production company

Marta Dusseldorp, co-creator, producer and starring as Stella Heikkinen said: “The opportunity to collaborate and create an original Australian drama with the extraordinary Andrew Knight and Max Dann has been an amazing journey. Executive producer Greg Sitch and producer Yvonne Collins, along with Sally Riley, Louise Smith and the entire team at the ABC have been paramount to bringing Bay of Fires into being.

“My company Archipelago Productions partnering with Chris Oliver-Taylor at Fremantle is a natural fit and with Screen Tasmania, Screen Australia and Film Victoria’s belief and investment we are now preparing for production on the beautifully rugged West Coast of Tasmania in 2022.

Taking the step into co-creating, producing and acting is something I have always dreamed of. It’s being closer to the process which I think is such an honour and a privilege. Being this close, I believe, also means you can be better and the stories can be better. Maybe it’s time to put down my make-up brush!”

“I am proud Bay of Fires is Australian and I am thrilled it will be on ABC and iview for everyone to see. When I moved to Tasmania it gave me the full inspiration to make this show. There are a lot of untold stories here, and a huge range of creative talent, and that’s what I am working to explore with Archipelago Productions.

“I had a development deal with Fremantle, and during that collaboration I always felt nurtured, respected and listened to. Partnering feels like a natural fit to me. With Chris Oliver Taylor by my side and Greg Sitch and Yvonne Collins I am generously supported and it feels like the dream team for me.”

Fremantle’s Chris Oliver-Taylor

Chris Oliver-Taylor, CEO Asia Pacific Fremantle and executive producer, said: “Fremantle are delighted to partner with the amazing Marta Dusseldorp to bring Bay of Fires to ABC viewers. Marta, Andrew Knight and Max Dann’s vision to tell such a compelling, yet grounded story will no doubt resonate with local audiences here and internationally. I am thrilled that Fremantle are part of this world class series.”

Screen Australia’s head of content Sally Caplan said, “Bay of Fires is a distinctive drama that is set to reshape the Tassie-noir genre with its dark humour and complex characters, zinging with sharp tongues. Along with a talented creative team, we’re also thrilled to support Marta Dusseldorp as she moves into producing, as well as starring in the series. This show will be one to look out for in 2023.”

Alex Sangston, executive manager Screen Tasmania said, “The Tasmanian Government through Screen Tasmania is thrilled to be supporting this landmark new series from Marta and her team. The series will also showcase Tasmania’s extraordinary West Coast landscape around the world, enabled by a generous regional and remote production grant.  In addition, the Government’s investment will provide invaluable expenditure into regional Tasmania and jobs for our creatives, actors and crews.”

Film Victoria chief executive officer Caroline Pitcher said, “We are always looking to back gripping and compelling drama to feed our audience’s hunger for great content. The delightfully dark crime thriller Bay of Fires will do exactly that, and we can’t wait to see local and global audiences alike devour this addictive new series.”

Filming will commence in Tasmania in mid-2022 and the series will air on ABC TV and ABC iview in 2023. Bay of Fires will be distributed by Fremantle International.

Production credit: Bay of Fires is an Archipelago Productions and Fremantle production for the ABC. Major production investment from Screen Australia in association with the ABC and Screen Tasmania. Financed with support from Film Victoria.

See also: Fremantle announces expansion of development team

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