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Sundance Channel: Miniseries co-directed and co-written by Oscar winner Jane Campion featured in 2012-13 programming overview

Melissa Hayer Published: July 2, 2012

“Top of the Lake,” a seven-episode miniseries directed by Acadamy Award winner Jane Campion  (“The Piano, “Portrait of a Lady”) and Australian director Garth Davis and written by Campion and Gerard Lee (“Sweetie”) is among the upcoming programming to be featured in 2012-2013 on the Sundance Channel, according to a news release.

An overview of Sundance Channel’s upcoming programming, provided by the network, includes:

NEW ORIGINAL UNSCRIPTED SERIES

GET TO WORK

Premiere: August 13, 2012
1 Hour, 8 Episodes

It’s no secret that getting, and keeping, a job in this economy takes more than just luck. After enough rejection, it’s easy to feel entirely locked out of the game. Right now there are millions of Americans out of work, and this August, Sundance Channel’s original docu-series “Get to Work” will take you inside a groundbreaking back-to-work program in San Diego, a hardcore boot camp that gives hope to the chronically unemployed: those who have no jobs, no direction, and seemingly no chance. It’s a high-stakes make-or-break moment and, for most of the students, this is their last crack at a real future. But it doesn’t come easy; as they push their students to learn workplace skills that will land them a job, the Instructors contend with those who have never learned anything other than bad attitudes and bad behavior. Not everyone makes it to graduation.

ORIGINAL SCRIPTED MINI-SERIES

RESTLESS

Premiere: December 2012
2-Part Mini-Series

Award-winning contemporary British novelist William Boyd penned both the book and script of this 2-part original mini-series, which depicts the thrilling story of a daughter who discovers that her mother was recruited as a spy during World War II.  The series, slated to premiere in December 2012, will be produced by Emmy Award winner Hilary Bevan Jones (“State of Play,” “The Girl in the Café”) under her shingle Endor Productions and directed by acclaimed theater and television director Edward Hall.

The cast includes Hayley Atwell (“Any Human Heart,” “Captain America”) Rufus Sewell (“Pillars of the Earth,” “Zen”), Michelle Dockery (“Downton Abbey”, “Anna Karenina”), Michael Gambon (“Page Eight,” Luck) and Charlotte Rampling (“Melancholia,” “The Eye of the Storm”).  Filming will commence this summer in South Africa and the UK.

NEW ORGINIAL SCRIPTED SERIES

TOP OF THE LAKE

Premiere: 2013
1 Hour, 7 Episodes

“Top of the Lake,” is a seven-part mini-series directed by Oscar winner Jane Campion (The Piano, Portrait of a Lady) and Australian director Garth Davis, and written by Jane Campion and Gerard Lee (Sweetie).  The project stars SAG Award winner and three time Emmy Award-nominated actress Elisabeth Moss (“Mad Men,” On the Road).   In addition, Holly Hunter, who won a Best Actress Oscar for her performance in Campion’s The Piano, stars alongside BAFTA nominee Peter Mullan (War Horse, Trainspotting) and AFI Award-winning actor David Wenham (The Lord of the Rings, Australia). Lucy Lawless (Spartacus) has a featured cameo.

Produced by Academy Award winners Emile Sherman and Iain Canning (The King’s Speech, Shame) of See-Saw Films, and Philippa Campbell (Black Sheep) of Escapade Pictures, “Top of the Lake” is a powerful and haunting mystery about the search for happiness in a paradise where honest work is hard to find.  Set in the remote mountains of New Zealand, the story follows the disappearance of a five months pregnant 12-year-old named Tui who was last seen standing chest deep in a frozen lake. In this classic mythic struggle, investigating detective, Robin Griffin (Moss), must lose herself in order to find the missing girl.  During the investigation, she collides with Matt Mitcham (Mullan), Tui’s father, a local drug lord, and G.J (Hunter), a guru at a local women’s camp.  Robin will find this the case that tests her limits and sends her on a journey of self-discovery. This project marks the first time that Campion and Hunter have worked together since each won an Oscar for their work on The Piano in 1993.

RECTIFY

Premiere: 2013
1 Hour, 6 Episodes

“Rectify,” Sundance Channel’s first wholly owned scripted production, follows the life of Daniel Holden (Aden Young) upon his release from prison. After serving nineteen years on Georgia’s Death Row, DNA evidence casts doubt on the prosecution’s case. Holden was only eighteen years of age when convicted and sentenced to die for the brutal rape and murder of a sixteen-year-old girl. With doubt surrounding his innocence, Holden returns to his family and to his hometown where the murder occurred and where many still believe he is guilty. Daniel spent all of his adult life waiting to die. Now he must learn how to live again or decide if he even wants to while others determine whether or not he will have that chance.

The hour-long drama was created and written by Academy Award winner Ray McKinnon (The Accountant, That Evening Sun, Mud) who also serves as executive producer on the project under his shingle Zip Works. Gran Via’s Mark Johnson (Rain Man, The Notebook, The Chronicles of Narnia) and Melissa Bernstein will serve as executive producers. This marks the second project for Johnson and Bernstein with AMC Networks. The first is AMC’s Emmy Award-winning series, “Breaking Bad”.

RETURNING ORIGINAL SERIES

ALL ON THE LINE WITH JOE ZEE

Premiere: September 2012
1 Hour, 8 Episodes

Season 3

This fall, fashion authority Joe Zee (Creative Director at ELLE Magazine) will work to save the industry one designer at a time in the third season of his critically-acclaimed fashion-rehab series, “All On The Line with Joe Zee.” In season two, Joe broke out his little black book to call on the help of celebrity friends and industry experts like: American Fashion Designer Rachel Roy, Socialite and Fashion Trendsetter Olivia Palermo, Rock Musician Adam Lambert and Model Veronica Webb, but this time around he’s rolling out the red carpet once again with even more surprise guest appearances. Working with well-known labels under pressure to stay relevant and up-and-coming designers suffering from glitches in their design and business, no line is too big or too small to escape the advice and demands of Joe Zee and his influential friends.

THE MORTIFIED SESSIONS

Premiere: October 8, 2012
30 Minutes, 6 Episodes

Season 2

This fall, Sundance Channel’s riveting interview series “The Mortified Sessions” returns for a second season.  Born out of host David Nadelberg’s headline-making storytelling project and book series “Mortified,” the television series offers a first person account of the life-changing moments from the past that define who they are today and showcases a new and irreverent side of some of Hollywood’s most creative personalities; in season one David sat down with celebrities including Bryan Cranston, Ed Helms and Megan Mullally.

ICONOCLASTS

Premiere:  October 9, 2012 (tent)
30 Minutes, 6 Episodes

Season 6

Each episode of “Iconoclasts,” the highly acclaimed profile series, explores the lives of two creative visionaries in an intimate setting and features an unpredictable exchange that reveals their life’s work and the alchemy of their different fields. The upcoming 6th season will feature an unprecedented roster of innovators, celebrating the best in art, cinema, music, cuisine, sports and philanthropy, with each episode pairing talent from entirely unlike worlds.

CURRENTLY ON AIR

PUSH GIRLS

Premiered: Monday, June 4th – New episodes air every Monday at 9 p.m.
Finale: August 27th
30 Minutes, 14 Episodes

In the same way “Murderball,” winner of the 2005 Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival, took the lid off the competitive world of “wheelchair rugby,” Sundance Channel brings an unfettered, uncensored glimpse at what it means to be sexy, ambitious and living with paralysis in Hollywood with “Push Girls”, a new original non-fiction series from producer Gay Rosenthal (“Ruby,” “Little People, Big World”). The 14 episode docu-series traces the lives of four dynamic, outspoken and beautiful women who, by accident or illness, have been paralyzed from the neck or the waist down.

Follow me on Twitter: @MelissaHayer



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