Press release time!
(geez, it’s been a while – it’s almost as if the industry is in crisis or something)
Comedy series All My Friends Are Racist heading in to production
Enoch Mailangi, Bjorn Stewart, Kodie Bedford
Screen Australia has announced production funding for a new five-part comedy series for ABC iview, with support from Screen Queensland. All My Friends Are Racist follows two Zoomer best friends who make a pact to call their racist friends out, but instead of causing a revolution… they themselves get cancelled.
Created and written by Enoch Mailangi, winner of RAW, a First Nations writers workshop conceived by Artology with the support of Leah Purcell, Wayne Blair and Kyas Hepworth, former Head of AFTRS Indigenous; the series will be directed by Bjorn Stewart (At Home Alone Together, Killer Native) with Kodie Bedford (Robbie Hood, Grace Beside Me) writing and co-producing.
The series is centred on digital natives Casey and Belle who live together in the big smoke. He’s a gay Aboriginal influencer, she’s an Aboriginal budding lawyer. They are the hottest friendship in town and the party is always at theirs. Life couldn’t get sweeter for these first-generation rich kids. But when their ‘burn book’ wall, where they’ve listed all their friends as racists, is discovered, they are suddenly ousted from the friendship group. The pair need to make a decision on who and what they are willing to lose to finally grow up.
Produced and executive produced by Liliana Muñoz launching Maximo Entertainment’s first scripted series, All My Friends Are Racist is executive produced by Hoodlum Entertainment’s Nathan Mayfield and Tracey Robertson (Five Bedrooms, Tidelands), Leah Purcell and Bain Stewart (The Drover’s Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson), with Hoodlum’s Deborah Glover also producing.
Screen Australia’s Senior Online Investment Manager, Lee Naimo, said, “From first reading the scripts for this distinctive project, it was clear that writer Enoch has perfectly created a unique and hilarious friendship between Casey and Belle throughout this outrageously funny and subversive series. Together with Kodie Bedford and Bjorn Stewart who have a solid track record of creating comedy, they are set to deliver a unique series that I’m confident will engage viewers.”
Executive Producer of ABC Indigenous Margaret Ross said “ABC Indigenous are thrilled to be working with emerging screenwriting talent, Enoch Mailangi to bring their creative vision to life with All My Friends Are Racist. Enoch is certainly one to watch, a bold new voice with the comedic flare and timing of a writer well beyond their years. An irreverent and laugh-out-loud web series, we can’t wait to share with our audiences what the talented teams at Maximo Entertainment and Hoodlum Entertainment have crafted.”
Enoch Mailangi said, “I hope this series shows the liberating power young queer people of colour can have when they decide to sleep in, start drama, and more importantly stuff-up whilst trying to figure out who they are. The experience I’ve received seeing this story go from script to screen has been beyond. I’ve learned from professionals who have had a profound impact on the Australian screen industry: Kodie Bedford, Bjorn Stewart, Leah Purcell, Margaret Ross, Liliana Muñoz and Nathan Mayfield. I am humbled and grateful for everything I have been able to learn.”
Kodie Bedford said, “It’s always a privilege getting anything into production and the backing we have received from funding bodies has not only given us confidence in a scary time for artists, but also allowed us to take ownership of our stories and flourish as filmmakers with this unapologetic, gloriously laugh out loud project.”
Bjorn Stewart said, “Enoch has created a world full of eccentric characters that reflect a kick-arse voice of young entitled blackfellas that this country has not seen yet. Look out, because All My Friends Are Racist is a whole new generation of Indigenous storytelling.”
Screen Queensland Chief Creative Officer Jo Dillon, who is also co-chair of the Screen Diversity and Inclusion Network (SDIN) said the state screen agency is deeply committed to fostering an inclusive screen industry.
“Screen Queensland is pleased to invest in productions that contribute to raising diverse voices and creating opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander practitioners on screen and behind the scenes. We look forward to seeing this poignant comedy on our screens.”
All My Friends Are Racist will start production in Queensland in November 2020.
While it’s pretty much good news that any Australian comedy series is getting the go-ahead at the moment, we have to ask: do we really need another series about how young people are entitled dickheads? It’s getting so we’re actually nostalgic for the days when sitcoms were based around wacky situations rather than just unpleasantly smug types getting into trouble when their friends get sick of their shit.
Comedies need strong characters, sure, and plenty of successful comedies have been built around thinly disguised versions of the lead creator / performer. But it seems like a decent chunk of the pilot / Fresh Blood / “hey we just got funding!” series of the last few years were pitched as “think Broad City, only bigger!”, which… well, did you see the fourth season of Broad City? No you didn’t. Because nobody was still watching by then.
Obviously this could be totally hilarious; we haven’t seen it, so we have no idea. And with Australian comedy production rapidly dwindling down to a microscopic dot, it’s hardly this project’s fault if there aren’t another half dozen completely different shows in the offing to give the future of Australian comedy the appearance of variety. So we’re still definitely keen to check this one out when it finally surfaces sometime in 2021… we’re just hoping there’ll be a few more wildly different comedy projects announced between now and then.
(also, please: who wants to watch a comedy about smug dickheads who “finally grow up”?)