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The Geography of Friendship comes to TV

Aquarius Films’ have partnered with Dollhouse Pictures to develop and produce Sally Piper’s best-selling novel The Geography of Friendship into a limited TV 6 x 1hr series.

Aquarius Films’ principals Angie Fielder and Polly Staniford will produce alongside Dollhouse Picture’s Jessica Carrera with Rose Byrne as Executive Producer. Fielder is an Academy Award nominated producer known for Lion starring Nicole Kidman, Dev Patel and Rooney Mara.

AACTA nominated Staniford produced  Vertical Entertainment’s  Berlin Syndrome starring Teresa Palmer, directed by Cate Shortland (upcoming Marvel tentpole Black Widow.) Carrera is an ACCTA nominated producer who recently produced the Dolly Parton themed dramady Seriously Red starring Bryne, Bobby Cannavale, Krew Boylan, Celeste Barber and Daniel Webber. Multi -Award winning actress Byrne is currently filming the Apple original series Physical and also serves as an executive producer on Seriously Red.

The Geography of Friendship will be adapted for TV by Giula Sandler (HBO Max’s White House Farm, Glitch, produced by ABC Australia and available for the world on Netflix). Dollhouse’s Gracie Otto (Stan’s Bump and The Other Guy) is attached to direct and writer Krew Boylan (Simply Red), Aquarius and Dollhouse will round out the development & production team with further attachments.

The story follows three female school friends in past and present timeframes. When a hike celebrating the end of school culminates in a violent confrontation, the three friends go their separate ways and remain estranged until decades later, they reunite to retrace their steps, seeking closure, connection and redemption. As memories of the past resurface an air of suffocating suspense builds towards a shocking crescendo.

Piper’s novel was shortlisted for the 2019 Australian Book Industry Awards and published by University of Queensland Press and by Legend Press in the UK. The Australian Women’s Weekly Book Club ‘Great Read’ said of the book “There’s a little bit of Big Little Lies about this deft and powerful study of female friendships under pressure…which sucks you in and holds you in its seductive embrace, almost unable to breathe…a page-turner…a book dripping in the raw beauty of the Australian landscape.” Piper also received acclaim as a writer from Readings Monthly saying, “Piper has achieved that glorious, decisive moment in any great novel where the reader becomes desperate to know the ending”.

“When we read Sally’s amazing novel The Geography of Friendship, we were immediately drawn to the subject matter – this book feeds directly into the conversation today around the way inequality and fear of violence shapes the everyday experience of women.  The book offers up a terrifying dramatic premise as well as three vividly drawn female protagonists, and we imagine endless possibilities for adapting it for the screen. We are incredibly excited to be collaborating with exceptional team at Dollhouse Pictures. We have an enormous respect for their artistic vision and are looking forward to a very successful partnership. We are also thrilled to have the talented Giula Sandler adapt this sensational novel for the small screen,” said Aquarius producers Angie Fielder and Polly Staniford.

Dollhouse’s Jessica Carrera said, “The Geography of Friendship is a provocative novel that reads like a Thelma & Louise journey for contemporary times set against a wilderness hike, an adventure that irrevocably shapes the lives of three women from teens to adults.  As it oscillates between past and present, what unravels from the depths of their friendship is a story about survival, shame and rage – how so often the people we are running away from are ourselves. The material has a ripe foundation to expand this story on and off screen through our collaboration with the Aquarius team. We are thrilled to be working alongside such a formidable group of women on a project that so strongly supports our ethos as a company.”

Rose Byrne added, “I’m thrilled to champion a story with great potential and fascinating lead roles for two generations of women in front of the camera.  Sally Piper’s story explores so many unspoken issues that need to be addressed in a wider sphere and we intend to delve into that more decisively.”


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