Nine starts work on first Underbelly telemovie

Channel Nine has begun production on its Underbelly telemovies.    The annoucement:

In a boost for Australian drama, the Nine Network announced production has commenced on the first ofthree new telemovies today. The telemovies, known as the Underbelly Files, will focus on three compelling, true-life stories that lay bare human behaviour at its best and worst.

Production began today on the first telemovie, Tell Them Lucifer Was Here. Starring Brett Climo, Greg Stone, Paul O’Brien, Todd Lasance, Jane Allsop and Annie Jones, the two-hour telemovie tells the tragic story of the 1998 murders of Victoria Police officers Rod Miller and Gary Silk.

It centres on the enormous efforts of the Lorimer Task Force in tracking down the killers. The two policemen were brutally gunned down in the course of duty by petty criminals Bandali Debs and his young accomplice, Jason Roberts.

“This tragic story – the biggest criminal investigation in Victoria’s history – made headlines in newspapers

across the country for more than two years and captured the imagination of the nation,” Jo Horsburgh, Nine Network Head of Drama, said.

The three telemovies are another collaboration between the Nine Network and production company Screentime, which has made a reputation for its world-class dramatisation of criminal events. “Nine is thrilled to once again be working with Screentime,” Horsburgh said. “The landmark Underbelly series has set new benchmarks for local television production.”

Screentime’s Executive Director, Des Monaghan, said: “The telemovie format allows us to expand the Underbelly franchise to include some fascinating stories best told over two hours.” Underbelly Files will be produced by Peter Gawler and Elisa Argenzio. Des Monaghan, Jo Horsburgh and Screentime’s Head of Drama, Greg Haddrick, will be the executive producers. Tell Them Lucifer Was Here is written by longstanding Underbelly writer Peter Gawler and directed by Shawn Seet.

Infiltration, slated as the second telemovie, will chronicle the story of Victorian cop Colin McClaren, who infiltrated the local Calabrian mafia and risked his life daily. Infiltration was written by Graeme Koetsveld and will be directed by Grant Brown.

The third film, The Man Who Got Away, recounts the incredible tale of British-Australian drug smuggler David McMillan, the only man ever to escape from Bangkok’s Klong Prem prison. Cherie Nowlan will direct, with Kris Mrksa taking the writing credit.

Source: Nine press release

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