Screen Australia Supports Two New Dramas for Stan


Screen Australia and Stan have unveiled major production investment in two new drama series from Matchbox Pictures and Jungle Entertainment.

This includes Critical Incident, a six-part crime drama from Matchbox. While on patrol in Western Sydney for a teenage suspect, a policeman pursues teen Dalia and critically injures a bystander, only to find out Dalia was not the perpetrator. Under immense public scrutiny and with the encouragement of his fellow officers, he becomes obsessed with finding something to pin on Dalia.

Starring Akshay Khanna and Zoë Boe, it is created, written and co-executive produced by Sarah Bassiuoni (The Secrets She Keeps). It is directed by Neil Sharma (Heartbreak High) and Daniel Nettheim (Line of Duty), with writers Ruth Underwood, Hannah Fitzpatrick (Drop Dead Weird season two) and Natasha Henry (Aunty Betelnut).

Critical Incident has received major production investment from Screen Australia in association with Stan and is financed with support from Screen NSW. All3Media International is handling international sales.

Screen Australia is also supporting Jungle Entertainment and Echo Lake Entertainment’s Sunny Nights, an eight-part drama that follows two siblings who get caught up in the criminal underworld while navigating the beauty cosmetics industry. As they attempt to turn their startup into a multi-million-dollar operation, their bond is tested by corporate rivals and dangerous mobsters.

The series is directed by Trent O’Donnell (The Good Place, Hacks, Colin from Accounts) and written by Nick Keetch and Ty Freer (Almost Paradise), Marieke Hardy (Heartbreak High), Lally Katz (Squinters), Clare Sladden (Eden) and Niki Aken (The Newsreader). It received major production investment from Stan in association with Screen Australia and additional financing from Screen NSW through the Made in NSW Fund. Cineflix Rights is handling international sales.

“Screen Australia is delighted to be supporting these two new distinctive Australian dramas and the story makers behind them,” said Grainne Brunsdon, director of content at Screen Australia. “Viewers can expect compelling storylines, complex characters and the perfect mix of action, high-stakes drama and wit.”

Brunsdon continued, “Critical Incident is a fresh and modern take on the crime drama genre from a very experienced creative team, promising honest insights and an authentic representation of Western Sydney. Sunny Nights is set to draw audiences into the absurdity of the siblings’ misadventures as they are swept up in their new and dangerous world. With Jungle Entertainment and this highly skilled creative team at the helm, Sunny Nights is going to be an enthralling and brilliant series. I can’t wait to watch them when they land on Stan.”

Critical Incident and Sunny Nights are fresh Australian stories from world-class creative teams,” noted Cailah Scobie, chief content officer at Stan. “Sarah Bassiuoni and Matchbox Productions have crafted a compelling series with Critical Incident, a crime drama in Western Sydney introducing a suite of brand-new Australian actors. From the talented team at Jungle Entertainment, Sunny Nights is a madcap adventure guaranteed to entertain and uplift. We thank Screen Australia for their continued support in bringing premium Australian drama to screens.”

Kyas Hepworth, head of Screen NSW, added, “Critical Incident and Sunny Nights demonstrate the range and ambition of our screen creatives in NSW, and I congratulate Matchbox Productions and Jungle Entertainment on each of their unique and compelling series. We are excited to see the high volume of work being produced in our state, showcasing our diverse locations and ensuring a solid pipeline of exciting projects for audiences to enjoy.”