17 February 2023

Singapore film company set to make Canberra the stage for 20-episode drama series

| James Coleman
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Filming sign

Sections of Civic were closed off during the filming of Blacklight in January 2021. Photo: Thomas Lucraft.

Could Canberra become the movie capital of Australia?

The largest overseas film crew the city has ever seen will descend on a variety of locations for 10 days between 22 February and 4 March 2023 to shoot a new 20-episode drama series for Singaporean broadcast company Mediacorp.

Mediacorp has backed other Singaporean television series, including its local version of Masterchef and Tamil reality singing competition Vasantham Star.

The new production, Shero, will follow a young woman who, after losing her sister, decides to join her sister’s bodyguard company to continue her legacy. But in doing so, she discovers many things about her sister and a web of complications that has her running to save the company, her loved ones and herself.

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Described as “fast-paced” and “action-packed”, Shero is understood to include “a variety of tourist and scenic locations across Canberra, including hotels, attractions, the airport, bustling cityscapes, café scenes, and picturesque outdoor vistas”.

Behind-the-scenes footage, interviews with talent and additional tourism experiences in Canberra will also be captured by the accompanying online short-video crew ‘JustSwipeLah’, which will deliver “trending, attention-grabbing content to a Singapore audience”.

For one, ACT Assistant Minister for Economic Development Tara Cheyne is looking forward to it.

“With a production crew of 27 people travelling from Singapore to Canberra, including four Singaporean A-list actors to shoot and star in the filming, this will be the largest film crew that has ever come to Canberra from overseas,” she said.

Tara Cheyne

Assistant Minister for Economic Development Tara Cheyne is excited about what Shero means for Canberra’s relationship with Singapore as Chief Minister Andrew Barr prepares to head off to Singapore for a trade mission later this year. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

“In a boost for the Canberra economy and local businesses, Mediacorp will hire local film industry specialists and contribute to our economy with 27 crew members staying, eating and working locally over the 10 days of filming.”

Ms Cheyne also expects the project to show off Canberra to an estimated audience of 2.5 million people in Singapore – “a key international tourism market for Canberra”.

“This project will help raise the profile of Canberra as a tourist destination in Singapore through television, print, online and social media publicity,” she said.

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It comes as the ACT Government prepares to embark on a trade mission to Singapore later this year after it was identified as one of our strongest international partners. The purpose of the $21,000 mission is to “continue building tourism, aviation, investment, infrastructure and industry relationships in Singapore”, touching on co-developed space technologies and the return of direct Singapore Airlines flights.

Ms Cheyne said the ACT Government will look at opportunities to “leverage screen industry and tourism connections” as a result of Shero.

It also joins a rapidly growing list of Canberra-based films, including science-fiction thriller Blue World Order, horror movie Sissy, and action thriller Blacklight, which had Liam Neeson’s stunt double racing through Civic in a dark-grey Dodge in early 2021. Around the same time in Namadgi National Park, a Netflix crew was stalking a kangaroo and her joey for docudrama, Kangaroo Valley.

Namadgi National Park

Filming the Netflix docudrama Kangaroo Valley in Namadgi National Park in 2021. Photo: Netflix.

And, of course, we have to mention local video production company Good Shout, who put together a trailer for Now Ya Know: The Movie, inspired by the classic Seears Workwear ad last month.

Either Canberra makes for a particularly beautiful backdrop, or there are so many films in production nowadays all the usual places are booked out (we’ll go with the former).

The series is expected to air in the Singaporean market later this year.

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