Sundance Now acquires US rights for Lingo Pictures’ Upright

• The eries is co-written, composed by and stars Australian actor, comedian, and musician Tim Minchin.

AMC Networks’ streaming service Sundance Now has acquired US rights to the eight-part drama series Upright from international distributor Entertainment One (eOne).

Produced by Australia’s Lingo Pictures (Lambs of God, The Secrets She Keeps), the new drama series is co-written, composed by and stars internationally renowned Australian actor, comedian, and musician Tim Minchin.

“I’m so excited that our show has made it to the US, and thrilled that it has landed at Sundance Now,” said Minchin. “The reactions to Upright in the UK and Australia have been like nothing I’ve ever experienced, and I can’t wait for Americans to see it. It’s quintessentially Aussie and, at the same time, utterly universal. And I’m pretty sure it’ll make you really laugh and properly cry, which – for me – is always the goal.”

Producer, Lingo Pictures’ Jason Stephens, said: “I’m immensely proud of Upright and how it resonates with an audience. This is a very special drama that stays with you way beyond the last frame.”

When family outcast Lucky Flynn (Minchin) learns that his mother is dying, he decides to drive to the other side of Australia to see her, packing nothing but an upright piano for the journey. But his plans are soon turned upside-down when he meets runaway teenager Meg (Milly Alcock, 2018 Rising Star Award, Casting Guild of Australia), who’s dealing with some family demons of her own. Together, they forge an unlikely friendship, as they embark on a road trip adventure across the Nullarbor Plains in a race against time. Along the way, they encounter feral camels, a magical pink lake, highway thieves, cliff-top parties, a speed-loving truckie, an underworld fight ring, suspicious cops and the world’s most musically appreciative motorcycle gang. Over eight hot days, Lucky and Meg drive, hitch and scam their way across the scorching desert continent – with the upright piano never leaving their side – on a journey that will ultimately make them both feel more at peace with everything in life that they’ve been kicking against.

Upright is a Lingo Pictures production for Foxtel and Sky UK, with major production investment from Foxtel, Sky UK, and Screen Australia in association with the South Australian Film Corporation plus financed with support from Create NSW and Screenwest. The deal with Sundance Now was brokered by Rosanna Canonigo, director, US, International Distribution, eOne, which handles international television rights.

Besides Minchin, the creative team behind Upright includes Chris Taylor (satirical comedy group The Chaser) and award-winning writer-actors Kate Mulvany (Fighting Season) and Leon Ford (Offspring, No Activity). The director is Matthew Saville (Please Like Me). Minchin has also written the music for the series and is executive producer with Penny Win and Helen Bowden. Upright is produced by Jason Stephens from Lingo Pictures with Melissa Kelly (Hounds of Love) and Chris Taylor also as producers.

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