ABC, Screen Australia Commission House of Gods


ABC and Screen Australia have ordered the six-part drama House of Gods, which will be produced by Matchbox Pictures for a 2023 release.

Set in Western Sydney, the series centers on an imam’s family and the Australian Arab/Iraqi community he leads, exploring the personal cost of influence as he and his family grapple with power, politics and privilege. Co-creator and writer Osamah Sami (Ali’s Wedding, Savage River), son of a head cleric, brings his own experiences to the series.

House of Gods is created by Sami and Shahin Shafaei and developed by Blake Ayshford. Sami, Ayshford, Shafaei and Sarah Bassiuoni are writers.

The series, set to debut on ABC and ABC iview in 2023, is being produced by Matchbox Pictures for ABC, with major production investment from Screen Australia and financial support from Screen NSW. International sales are being handled by NBCUniversal Global Distribution.

Sally Riley, ABC’s head of drama, entertainment and Indigenous, said, “For the first time, our drama audience will become immersed in this fascinating world, steeped in tradition and custom. Osamah, co-creator Shahin Shafaei and the Matchbox team have created a collection of intriguing characters and a riveting storyline with all the elements of a world-class drama. We cannot wait to film in Western Sydney next year.”

Alastair McKinnon, Matchbox Pictures’ managing director, commented, “House of Gods is a strikingly original and thrilling tale of family, power and privilege set within a community rarely, if ever, seen on our screens. Osamah, Blake and the entire creative team have crafted something truly unique and compelling that will grip audiences to the very end.”

Screen Australia’s head of content, Grainne Brunsdon, added, “The creative team behind House of Gods bring to the table a fascinating and culturally authentic story that, while set locally, has an undeniable global appeal. Audiences here and around the world will be captivated by this intricate, well-crafted and moving story.”