Scripted

Michela de Rossi to play in While the Men are away

Michela de Rossi to play in While the Men are away
Red Arrow Studios International has picked up the global distribution rights to World War II dramedy While The Men Are Away (8 x 30’), which has been commissioned by SBS in Australia. The series is being produced by Australian production company Arcadia.

The series is created by acclaimed writer Kim Wilson (Wentworth, The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart), Alexandra Burke (Sissy) and Monica Zanetti and it's produced by Arcadia production for SBS with major production investment from Screen Australia in association with SBS. Financed with support from Screen NSW. Red Arrow Studios International is managing international TV sales.

Italian actress Michela de Rossi (Many Saints of Newark, Briganti)  heads the cast with shooting underway in Sydney.
Joining Michela will be key cast Matt Testro (Jack Irish, The Gloaming), Phoebe Grainer, Jana Zvedeniuk (Bump), and supporting cast Googoorewon Knox (Black Snow), Sacha Horler (The Dressmaker, The Letdown), Tara Morice (Dance Academy, Strictly Ballroom), Katrina Foster (Rake) Ella Scott Lynch (Upright), Rebecca Massey (Utopia), Tony Llewellyn-Jones (Colin from Accounts), Evan Stanhope (Thor: Love & Thunder, Christmas Ransom), Jing Xuan Chan (Harrow) Warren Lee and introducing Zavier Morris. Previously announced cast members include Benedict Hardie (Nautilus, The Invisible Man), Gemma Ward (The Great Gatsby), Max McKenna (Jagged Little Pill, Muriel’s Wedding the Musical); and Shaka Cook (Hamilton).

While The Men Are Away is a revisionist World War II dramedy set in 1940s rural Australia.

While the men are off fighting in World War II, the people who have been excluded from power suddenly find themselves running the show. Two Women’s Land Army recruits from Sydney arrive in the country and undergo a heady course in race relations, rural politics, spirituality, sex, and personal growth – oh, and farming.

De Rossi plays Francesca, an Italian immigrant struggling to run her husband’s farm after he enlists (or does he?) “Frankie” is joined by Gwen (McKenna) and Esther (Zvedeniuk), somewhat naive city recruits of the Women’s Land Army to deliver the farm’s annual apple harvest. Helping Frankie is Aboriginal farmhand Kathleen (Grainer), and conscientious objector Robert (Testro).

The series will premiere on SBS in 2023.

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