ABC Australia Orders Tasmanian Crime Series


ABC Australia has commissioned the eight-part crime-thriller series Bay of Fires to be filmed in Tasmania in 2022.

Created by Andrew Knight, Marta Dusseldorp and Max Dann, Bay of Fires follows single mother Stella Heikkinen (played by Dusseldorp), who is betrayed by her own company and must move to a tiny community rife with feuds, crime and sometimes murder.

Knight (SeaChange, Jack Irish, Rake, Hacksaw Ridge), Dann (Siam Sunset, Dance Academy, Spotswood) and Sarah Bassiuoni will write the series. Archipelago Productions, founded and run by Dusseldorp (Janet King, Jack Irish, A Place to Call Home), and Fremantle will produce.

With major production investment from Screen Australia in association with ABC and Screen Tasmania and support from Film Victoria, the series will film in mid-2022, with a premiere on ABC TV and ABC iview set for 2023.

Sally Riley, head of drama, entertainment and indigenous at ABC, said: “Marta has long been a favorite 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 humor and unique characters that will take audiences into a world full of intrigue, truffle pigs and, oh yeah, murder of necessity.”

Dusseldorp 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.”

Oliver-Taylor, CEO Asia Pacific at 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.”

Sally Caplan, head of content at Screen Australia, commented: “Bay of Fires is a distinctive drama that is set to reshape the Tassie-noir genre with its dark humor 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 at Screen Tasmania, added: “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.”

Caroline Pitcher, CEO of Film Victoria, 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.”