Tele­vi­sion: Dra­matic re­turn for Red­fern Now .................

Sap­phires di­rec­tor Wayne Blair may go to Hol­ly­wood, writes Dar­ren Cartwright

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAYCONTENTS -

THE Sap­phires’ di­rec­tor Wayne Blair may be on the move. The writer-di­rec­tor-ac­tor has been too busy work­ing on the ac­claimed TV drama Red­fern Now to sift through the over­seas job of­fers that have come in since The Sap­phires be­came an in­ter­na­tional hit.

Blair writes, acts and di­rects on the sec­ond sea­son of the ABC1 drama, which re­turns tonight.

He plays po­lice­man Aaron Davis, who is dev­as­tated when an Abo­rig­i­nal teenager dies in cus­tody dur­ing his shift.

The se­ries also stars Deb­o­rah Mail­man, Noni Ha­zle­hurst, Kirk Page and Craig McLach­lan.

Blair wrote and di­rected the sixth and fi­nal episode, Dogs Of War, which goes to air in the first week of De­cem­ber.

He says since The Sap­phires gained world­wide recog­ni­tion, job of­fers have started to flow through from the US and from closer to home. But he has not had time to fol­low them up thor­oughly.

That’s be­cause, since The Sap­phires was re­leased, he has worked on two sea­sons of Red­fern Now and the yet-tobe-re­leased se­ries Gods Of Wheat Street.

He has also trav­elled the globe pro­mot­ing the film.

‘‘We re­leased The Sap­phires last Au­gust and we started shoot­ing (sea­son one of) Red­fern Now last June and another show . . . so I’ve been busy for the last 12 months,’’ Blair says.

‘‘I’ve trav­elled with the film, be­cause you be­come an am­bas­sador for the film, and that has taken up a lit­tle bit of time.

‘‘I went to live in LA re­cently for a few months and it has opened a few doors, both there and in Aus­tralia, and I’m not too sure what is go­ing to hap­pen . . . It’s just a bit of a wait­ing game.’’

Red­fern Now gained not only crit­i­cal ac­claim but also won a Lo­gie for the Most Out­stand­ing Drama Se­ries for 2012. Cast mem­ber Shari Sebbens re­ceived the Gra­ham Kennedy Award for Most Out­stand­ing New Tal­ent.

Blair says al­though Red­fern Now cen­tres on in­dige­nous peo­ple, any Aus­tralian can re­late to them and be moved by them.

‘‘Aus­tralia is still such a young coun­try and a lot of the poli­cies for in­dige­nous peo­ple are a lit­tle back­ward,’’ Blair says.

‘‘In the arts, in my field, if I can tell sto­ries that ed­u­cate peo­ple a lit­tle then it’s good. They ( Red­fern Now episodes) have an in­dige­nous flavour through­out, but they are hu­man sto­ries as well.’’

Blair says fans of the se­ries will not be dis­ap­pointed with the sec­ond of­fer­ing, with all as­pects of sea­son two su­pe­rior to sea­son one.

‘‘I reckon we have taken it up a cou­ple of notches from last year,’’ Blair says.

‘‘I’m just cross­ing my fin­gers for Oc­to­ber 31 and I can’t wait to see how it rates and how it’s re­ceived.’’

Red­fern Now: Re­turns tonight, 8.30pm, ABC1.

Lisa Flana­gan, as Al­lie, and Wayne Blair, as Aaron, in a scene from award-win­ning drama Red­fern Now.

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