Screen Australia and SBS have announced production funding for Digital Original series Iggy & Ace, to premiere on SBS On Demand. The Digital Originals initiative was created to develop exciting and innovative scripted short-form projects providing opportunities for writers from backgrounds that are currently underrepresented in the screen industry, and it will return in 2021.
Iggy & Ace follows gay alcoholic best mates Iggy and Ace who live, work and party together. But when Ace decides to get sober and join AA, a rift develops between the two friends as Iggy balks at the idea of recovery.
Exploring friendship, addiction and recovery through a queer lens, this 6 x 10 minute dramedy series is written by AB Morrison and produced by Hannah Ngo who previously teamed up on short films Carnal Privilege and Tribunal.
Monica Zanetti whose feature film Ellie and Abbie (& Ellie’s Dead Aunt) opened the 2020 Mardi Gras Film Festival, will direct the series and will mentor Morrison to direct two episodes. It will also be produced by Melissa Kelly (Upright), with SBS executive producer Amanda Duthie.
Screen Australia Senior Online Investment Manager, Lee Naimo said, “We’re excited to discover such powerful talents in AB Morrison and Hannah Ngo. With whip smart, funny scripts and complex characters, this series wastes no time in delving into serious content to create something special. We’re also thrilled to continue to partner with SBS on Digital Originals and open the door to more distinctive and emerging voices.”
SBS Director of TV and Online Content, Marshall Heald says: “SBS has a proud heritage of building career pathways for the next generation of diverse and First Nation’s storytellers. We’re committed to sharing stories that truly explore, reflect and celebrate the diversity of Australia today and short-form content provides a really exciting way to tell unique and compelling stories from a range of experiences.
“The Digital Originals initiative has been a great success and we’re incredibly excited to premiere bite-sized comedy Iggy & Ace on SBS On Demand in 2021. We’re also thrilled to be extending our partnership with Screen Australia for another three years, to ultimately bring more diverse stories to our screens.”
Hannah Ngo and AB Morrison said, “We’ve been working on this for a long time so it’s a massive opportunity for us to be able to do this in WA with some great people around supporting us. We are so stoked to be teaming up with SBS and Screen Australia to see if we can punch up a serious issue with some comedy, and hopefully some heart.”
Monica Zanetti said, “Iggy & Ace is the exactly the type of story I want to be part of and I’m so excited to be joining the team.”
More details for Digital Originals 2021 will be announced in the new year.
Iggy & Ace is a Lazy Susan Films production for SBS. Principal production funding from Screen Australia in association with SBS. Developed with the assistance of Screenwest and Lotterywest.
ABOUT DIGITAL ORIGINALS
The Digital Originals initiative is an evolution of SBS’s Short-Form Content Initiative, which aims to provide opportunities and support for writers from diverse backgrounds. This includes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, people living with a disability, women, those who identify as LGBTIQ+ and gender diverse, and people living in rural and remote areas.
In 2019, 10 teams were selected to develop their short form projects through two workshops, with mentorship from Australian television director and producer, Anna Dokoza (Flight Of The Conchords, Shrill) and Ryan O’Connell, writer, producer and star of the Emmy-nominated Netflix short-form series, Special.
From this group, three projects were selected to receive development funding from Screen Australia and SBS. Iggy & Ace is the first project to receive production funding.