This article was published in May 2019. Head to the Hungry Ghosts program page for updated information about the series and its stars.
Australian actors Clare Bowen (Nashville) and Bryan Brown (Bloom, Sweet Country, Old School) lead an ensemble cast in the new four-part SBS original supernatural drama series Hungry Ghosts.
Joining these stars are Catherine Davies (Going Down), Justine Clarke (Dead Lucky, Love My Way), Ryan Corr (Bloom, Holding the Man) and Ferdinand Hoang (Rake, The Quiet American). Rounding out this superb ensemble are Gareth Yuen (LA Confidential, Party Tricks), Jillian Nguyen (The True History of the Kelly Gang), Hoa Xuande (Ronny Chieng: International Student), Suzy Wrong (Crownies), Gary Sweet (House Husbands, Janet King) and Susie Porter (Wentworth, Seven Types of Ambiguity).
Produced by Matchbox Pictures for SBS, with major production investment from Screen Australia in association with Film Victoria, Hungry Ghosts is a chilling, character driven ghost story that explores the lives of three generations of Vietnamese Australian families, all haunted by the traumatic events of war.
When a powerful amulet is broken on the eve of the Hungry Ghost Festival in Melbourne, a vengeful spirit is unleashed, bringing the dead with him. As they wreak havoc across the Vietnamese Australian community, reclaiming lost loves and repaying old grudges, a young woman who’s never taken responsibility for who she could be, must finally step up and accept her destiny.
SBS Director of Television and Online Content, Marshall Heald said: “Hungry Ghosts continues SBS’s run of making diverse and thought-provoking drama, following Safe Harbour, On The Ropes and the recently announced The Hunting. This series is full of heart and resilience – a captivating drama that will engage audiences. I’m proud that Hungry Ghosts will showcase fresh, diverse local talent, which is something that SBS is incredibly passionate about.”
Matchbox Pictures Managing Director, Alastair McKinnon said: “Hungry Ghosts is a stunningly original story that will shock, haunt and move audiences with its bold examination of how we, as humans, confront the painful stories of our past. In the hands of the immeasurable director Shawn Seet, this series is unlike anything we’ve seen before.”
Producer Stephen Corvini said: “We’re immensely excited to be working with SBS on a drama as bold and imaginative as Hungry Ghosts. A genre bending series, Hungry Ghosts will reflect the extraordinary lived and spiritual stories of our Vietnamese community and their place in modern Australia.”
Screen Australia’s Head of Content, Sally Caplan said: “Screen Australia is committed to supporting diverse and distinctive Australian stories. What excites us about Hungry Ghosts is that it will take viewers into the rich world of Vietnamese culture, and tell a story that hasn’t been seen before on our screens. Director Shawn Seet and producer Stephen Corvini have a proven track record in delivering thought-provoking dramas and with strong scripts from a mix of Vietnamese-Australian writers including Jeremy and Alan Nguyen, plus an outstanding cast, I look forward to seeing this series premiere on SBS later this year.”
Film Victoria CEO, Caroline Pitcher, said: “We’re thrilled to support Hungry Ghosts, the latest Victorian high-quality television drama. Set firmly within Melbourne’s Vietnamese community and with a strong and diverse creative team behind it, this new series from Matchbox Pictures is a prime example of the unique stories and perspectives we want to see on screens.”
Hungry Ghosts is directed by Shawn Seet (Deep Water) and produced by Stephen Corvini (Safe Harbour), Timothy Hobart (Wanted) and executive producers Sue Masters (The Hunting, The Family Law)and Debbie Lee (The Family Law, Barracuda). The series is written by Timothy Hobart, Michelle Lee, Alan Nguyen, Jeremy Nguyen and John Ridley.
The four-part series is a Matchbox Pictures production for SBS, with principal production funding from Screen Australia in association with SBS and Film Victoria. NBCUniversal International Distribution will distribute the series internationally.
Hungry Ghosts premieres over four nights at 9.30pm from Monday 24 August to Thursday 27 August on SBS. Episodes will be available at SBS On Demand each night at the same time as broadcast. The series will also be available with Simplified Chinese, Arabic and Vietnamese subtitles at SBS On Demand. Watch episode 1 now: