Television series The Tailings to be filmed in Tasmania later this year

A new television series set in a fictional mining town will showcase West Coast locations, including Queenstown.
A new television series set in a fictional mining town will showcase West Coast locations, including Queenstown.

Tasmania's West Coast will set the stage for a new television series titled The Tailings due to begin filming in the state later this year.

Subject to Public Health advice, the series will begin live production later this year which will include a 14-day shoot in and around Queenstown and Hobart.

The drama, penned by Tasmanian playwright Caitlin Richardson, will follow a daughter's investigation into her father's death and take place in her tight-knit, remote community in the wilderness of the West Coast of Tasmania.

Ms Richardson first pitched the project to SBS executives at Screen Tasmania's offices in 2017.

The state government, through Screen Tasmania, contributed $22,000 in development support in 2018-2019 and on Monday announced further funding of $100,000 for the series.

Arts Minister Elise Archer said the production would see expenditure of $570,000 on Tasmanian good and services and would directly employ up to 50 Tasmanian screen professionals.

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"As Tasmania starts to recover and rebuild from COVID-19, the production is expected to provide much-needed employment opportunities for 45 local cast and crew, as well as cash-flow for various local businesses and suppliers," Ms Archer said.

"Of the 21 scripted roles, at least 18 will be performed by Tasmanian actors."

Queenstown businessman Phil Evans said the series was very exciting news for the region which would add variety to its normal areas of business.

"It is certainly something that will take the interest of the locals if they are looking to utilise some of the local characters here to take part in the film," Mr Evans said.

Mr Evans said the flow-on benefits of the series could be endless.

"It's the type of funds that local businesses here wouldn't have budgeted for so that spike in extra income will do the region a real service," he said.

"There's always been fantastic scenery to highlight - that's always been a focus of tourism promotion - but to look at the avenue of films being made with a backdrop of Queenstown and the West Coast, it will certainly add to that promotional activity."

Mr Evans said production of the series may fill the gap left by the postponing of Queentown's biennial The Unconformity arts festival, which has been delayed until October 2021.

The Unconformity artistic director Travis Tiddy said it was great to see the West Coast being able to tap into a project of this scale.

"There's more and more evidence and realisation by filmmakers and by funding bodies that screen-based projects can really provide significant economic benefits for regional communities," Mr Tiddy said.

"They need venues to utilise, they need to feed and accommodation people who might be coming to regions to create these productions, and they employ people to be a part of it.

"It's a good news story for the West Coast at a time of hardship."

Mr Tiddy said throughout the coronavirus pandemic the arts sector had been trying to solve the "jigsaw puzzle" of how audiences can engage with art and programs at a time where people are not encouraged to socialise or come together.

"That will clearly start loosening fairly soon but the risks still remain from COVID-19," he said.

"The benefit of a screen-based project is you can still culturally engage a wide audience without having to work through some of those logistics that the whole sector has to grapple with."

The Tailings will premiere on SBS On Demand in 2021.

This story West Coast Tassie to be showcased in new television series first appeared on The Advocate.