SBS has announced key cast for its upcoming new drama, Sunshine, a crime thriller set in Melbourne’s South Sudanese community.
Anthony LaPaglia (Balibo, Lantana, Without a Trace) and NZ actress Melanie Lynskey (Two and a Half Men, Togetherness, Heavenly Creatures) will be joined by Kim Gyngell (Rake, Jack Irish), Tiarnie Coupland (Love Child), Vince Colosimo (Jack Irish, Janet King, Underbelly), Leah Vandenberg (The Wrong Girl), Paul Ireland (Jack Irish, Never Tear Us Apart: The INXS Story, Underbelly) and Trudy Hellier (Winners and Losers, The Doctor Blake Mysteries, The Time of Our Lives).
They will be joined by “fresh and exciting new faces, including an outstanding South Sudanese Australian cast being seen for the very first time on Australian TV.”
Sunshine follows the life of an aspiring South Sudanese-Australian basketball player who is on the cusp of being picked up by US scouts for the US College league, but who is caught up in a police investigation involving a teenage girl from one of Melbourne’s affluent suburbs.
Anthony LaPaglia will play a basketball coach whilst Melanie Lynskey plays a lawyer.
Written by Matt Cameron (Jack Irish, Secret City) and Elise McCredie (Nowhere Boys), the Essential Media (The Principal, Rake, Jack Irish) production will be directed by Daina Reid (The Secret River, The Wrong Girl, Never Tear Us Apart: The INXS Story).
SBS Director of Television and Online Content, Marshall Heald said: “Sunshine is set to be a powerful, bold, and uniquely SBS drama, with a crime mystery at its heart. SBS has a strong history of delivering exceptional drama with impactful storytelling. Our recent success with The Principal, The Family Law and Deep Water demonstrates our continued commitment to telling stories with purpose. We’re also pleased to be working with Essential Media yet again, after great success with The Principal.
“I’m thrilled the show has attracted internationally acclaimed talent like Anthony LaPaglia and Melanie Lynskey, and I’m especially proud that the drama will showcase young, fresh and diverse local talent, something SBS is incredibly passionate about.”
Essential’s Ian Collie and Carver’s Anna McLeish and Sarah Shaw said: “After producing The Principal for SBS, we are thrilled to be returning with another exciting drama, which has attracted a compelling mix of local and international talent alongside newcomers from the South Sudanese community in Australia, highlighting the opportunities as well as challenges for this relatively new migrant group to the Land of Sunshine.”