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August 17, 2020 |

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‘The Cry’ prodco Synchronicity hires BBC alum to lead new Australia arm

Ruth Underwood

Scottish producer Synchronicity Films is launching an Australia-based division and has hired a former BBC drama exec to head it up, with its first project an adaptation of a novel by the author behind The Cry.

Synchronicity Australia will be based out of Melbourne and is to be headed by former BBC drama development producer Ruth Underwood. She will source local IP and produce scripted content locally while exploring potential UK-Australia co-productions.

Underwood previously worked with the Glasgow-based prodco on The Cry, which debuted on the UK’s BBC and the ABC in Oz, and also has credits on shows including Clique and Stonemouth. Prior to that, she was a story producer at Kudos Film & Television and also held roles at Shed Media Group and STV.

Ash Mountain

The first project to emerge from Synchronicity’s Australian arm is a TV adaptation of Helen FitzGerald’s domestic noir novel Ash Mountain, which is to be published on 20 August in the UK and March 2021 in Oz. NENT Studios UK will represent the international distribution rights.

The book is described as “simultaneously a warm, darkly funny portrait of small-town life in rural Victoria and a shocking and truly distressing account of a catastrophic event that changes things forever.”

Claire Mundell, founder and creative director at Synchronicity Films, said: “A key goal for Synchronicity is to expand our production reach so we can focus on truly universal stories with global appeal. Having spent a considerable amount of time in Australia filming The Cry, we feel a real affinity with the country, so it’s a natural place for us to set up a new office to originate projects.

“We are thrilled that someone of Ruth’s calibre is helming this new venture and look forward to working on Ash Mountain and other upcoming projects which will have their genesis in Australia.”

FitzGerald added: “I am so excited to be developing Ash Mountain with Claire and the team. This one is really special to me for a whole host of reasons, but mostly the setting. I’ve been away from Australia for so long, but the country is in my bones. I’m so excited about Synchronicity Australia and can’t wait to binge watch this show, and hopefully many more.”

Underwood said she would “develop the creative relationships I’ve already established in Australia and further explore the great pool of talent” on Synchronicity’s behalf. |I have a long-standing professional and personal relationship with Claire, and I love Synchronicity’s ethos of positivity and inclusion, coupled with their editorially-led approach to development.”

Synchronicity Films has revealed a flurry of scripted projects over the past six months, including developing a TV series based on Heather Morris’s best-selling novel The Tattooist Of Auschwitz. It has also partnered with Nashville executive producer Steve Buchanan to develop a music-focused scripted thriller set in a small Scottish village.

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