Netflix announces first original series to be filmed in Australia

Source: Xinhua| 2017-05-16 13:28:00|Editor: Liangyu
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SYDNEY, May 16 (Xinhua) --- Netflix has announced on Tuesday the first ever Australian-made original drama series for the international streaming service while speculation about a price hike for Australian users continues.

The series will bring 80 acting and production jobs to the Australian state of Queensland and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will meet with Netflix executives in June as part of a trade and investment mission to the United States.

The new series "Tidelands" is described as a supernatural murder mystery and will be filmed exclusively in Queensland.

"Tidelands will be available through Netflix in 190 countries, leveraging the success of our screen industry and showcasing Queensland to its significant international audience, which will deliver strong cultural tourism," Palaszczuk said in a statement obtained by Xinhua.

When it was founded in 1997, Netflix was only considered a streaming service for movies and television shows but in 2013, the company started producing its own original dramas.

The American media streaming service has more than 98 million subscribers worldwide and though the service is not provided in China, the company will soon start licensing its original content to Chinese streaming companies.

In April, Netflix signed a deal with iQIYI, one of China's major online video platforms, to stream its original dramas.

Netflix had previously came under fire from the Australian film and television industry for its lack of original Australian content, which bypassed the production quotas Australia's free-to-air channels are required to comply with.

In the lead up to production, which will begin in 2018, the show's co-creator Tracey Robertson said Queensland is the perfect place to film their drama series.

"This story is one that has been itching to be told and we are thrilled to be making it on our home soil in Australia, with fantastic creatives and highly skilled crews," Robertson said.

This is not the first foray into film and television production for Queensland, with its picturesque scenery, the northern state continues to attract tourists and film crews alike.

"Aquaman" is currently being filmed in the south-east part of the state, following the production of "Pirates of the Caribbean 5", "Pacific Rim 2" and "Thor: Ragnarok".

Original Australian content may prove to be one solution to keeping Netflix's Australian subscribers, amid unconfirmed reports the streaming giant may be considering a price hike for Australian users.

The streaming service confirmed on Monday that it had recently tested higher subscription prices for new Australian subscribers but has not yet formally announced any price increases.