Global streaming giants push ahead with local content production

Production has begun on Disney+’s first entry into the Australian documentary market, with Shipwreck Hunters Australia beginning filming in Western Australia.

This follows a recent push for more Australian made content from international streaming companies.

The documentary series, Shipwreck Hunters is being principally produced by Screen Australian in association with Screenwest and the Western Australian Screen Fund.

Shipwreck Hunters Australia screen team

Netflix has also picked up Australian documentary series The Mosque Next Door, to be streamed on its Australian and New Zealand services.

The series, produced by Sydney based Southern Pictures takes a look inside a Mosque, where viewers are introduced to the Holland Park community and its colourful personalities as they “confront Islamophobia, manage the challenges of love and family and struggle to make a place for themselves in Modern Australia,” according to a release.

Promotional picture for The Mosque Next Door

Southern Pictures CEO, Laurie Critchley, said: “We are immensely grateful to the Holland Park Mosque community for opening their doors and working with us on this series. We loved making this show, and we are thrilled it has won the hearts and minds of so many viewers, across the world, and is now finding a place on Netflix Australia and New Zealand.”

The Australian Government proposed a local content spend quota for global streaming platforms in November 2020. Several Australian actors, including Simon Baker and Marta Dusseldorp appeared in Canberra in March to lobby parliament into implementing a quota of this sort.

The cast was also announced this week for Netflix’s ‘docu-soap’ Byron Baes, which is set to go ahead with production, despite protests from locals over filming locations, and representations of the coastal town.

The increasingly cluttered streaming market in Australia includes global players such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Apple TV+, Hay U, and BritBox, while locally-owned outlets include Nine’s Stan and Foxtel’s Binge.

Viacom CBS is set to also launch its streaming platform Paramount+ in the coming months. It replaces Ten All Access, and will host original series, Showtime premieres, Paramount Pictures movies, and CBS, CW and locally-produced content.


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