Swift Street

Hustle, punkness and a deliciously dysfunctional family at the heart of SBS’s new crime drama Swift Street

SBS and Screen Australia are thrilled to announce the commission of a new eight-part Australian drama series Swift Street, in partnership with Fifth Season.

Swift Street is a fast, funny, and gritty family crime drama, set in bustling inner-city Melbourne, where the rich and poor collide. This high-paced and big-hearted series tells the story of 21-year-old street smart Elsie who must team up with her jaded old-school hustler father, Robert, to get him out of debt and save him from a merciless crime boss who wants her money NOW.

The pair embark on a series of hectic scrapes and near misses as Elsie commits to help Robert hustle for the money. But with an unhinged gang of debt collectors on the trail the duo must carry out a series of increasingly serious crimes, against a ticking clock while fumbling through their dysfunctional relationship.

Swift Street is written and created by the incredible new talent of Tig Terera (Tinashé, Chenge) and produced by Lois Randall (Black Snow, Seriously Red) and Ivy Mak (Sydney Sleuthers). Global film and television studio Fifth Season (formerly Endeavor Content) is handling global distribution on the project.

SBS Head of Scripted Julie Eckersley said: Swift Street is a fresh take on the crime drama. It is authored, fun and has amazing energy; think Shameless meets Run Lola Run with the heart of Reservation Dogs. Launching this series continues our agenda at SBS Scripted to take exciting creative risks, back new voices and make dramas not seen anywhere else on Australian TV. We’re really thrilled to be launching superstar creator Tig Terera with his first television series as well as working with the wonderful team at Magpie Pictures.

Writer and creator Tig Terera said: It’s truly exciting to have the opportunity to tell a heartfelt and unapologetic black and brown story. Inspired by my sister and the Melbourne community I have grown up with, Swift Street is about embracing our innate hustle and punkness. Thanks so much to Magpie Pictures for supporting me from the start and to SBS for giving us a platform to be bold and fresh.”

Producers Lois Randall and Ivy Mak of Magpie Pictures, said: Swift Street takes audiences on a wild ride with our rebellious young female protagonist in an authentic world created by Tig Terera. At heart, it’s a story about survival, reconciliation and hope. Magpie Pictures is excited to be taking this creative journey with Tig, and so thrilled to have the support of SBS and our other partners to bring Swift Street to life.

Screen Australia’s Head of Content, Grainne Brundson, said: “Tig Terera has created a clever and compelling story that’s unlike any other crime drama we’ve seen before. Set against the gritty backdrops of urban Australia, the series brings to life themes of family and personal identity in a playful and powerful way, and I’m confident it will engage viewers on SBS.”

VicScreen CEO, Caroline Pitcher, said: “We are beyond excited to support Swift Street, an exhilarating collaboration between Tig Terera and Magpie Pictures. The project is set to pack a punch and have audiences rooting for Elsie throughout her various escapades. Filming is set to commence in Victoria this year, adding to our vibrant pipeline of screen projects.”

Prentiss Fraser, EVP, Television Distribution at Fifth Season said: “We are driven to champion fresh voices on a global stage, recognising the importance of raising up the next generation of creators with new perspectives and stories to tell. We look forward to working alongside SBS, Screen Australia and Magpie Pictures to ensure Tig’s brilliant Afro-Punk heist drama finds audiences far and wide.”

Production on Swift Street will commence in 2023 and will be filmed in Victoria. Cast announcements will follow in the coming months.

Swift Street is a Magpie Pictures production for SBS. Major production investment from Screen Australia in association with SBS. Financed with support from VicScreen. Fifth Season are managing international sales.



Swift Street

8 x 30

Created and directed by Tig Terera, Swift Street features an ensemble cast including acclaimed Hollywood star Cliff Curtis (Avatar: The Way of Water, Traffic, Fast and Furious: Hobbs & Shaw), Tanzyn Crawford (Tiny Beautiful Things, Servant), Keiynan Lonsdale (My Fake Boyfriend, Love, Simon, The Divergent Series), Eliza Matengu (Thor: Love and Thunder, Jack Irish), Bernie Van Tiel (Class of ‘07, SBS drama anthology series Erotic Stories), and introducing Alfred ‘Alfie’ Chuol.*

When 21-year-old Elsie (Tanzyn Crawford) – a new-school illicit entrepreneur in her ownright – discovers that her old-school hustler father Robert (Cliff Curtis) is being hunted down by a merciless crime boss over a bad debt, she decides to help him, sparking the beginnings of a reconciliation and a dubious reign as partners in crime.

Swift Street is a Magpie Pictures production for SBS. Major production investment fromScreen Australia in association with SBS. Financed in association with VicScreen and Screen NSW. Global film and television studio Fifth Season (formerly Endeavour Content) is handling international sales.

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Crime is relative in SBS’s new Canneseries-nominated urban crime drama ‘Swift Street’

Swift Street premieres Wednesday 24 April on SBS and SBS On Demand

Starring Tanzyn Crawford, Cliff Curtis, Keiynan Lonsdale, Bernie Van Tiel, Eliza Matengu and Alfred Chuol.

Embark on a thrilling urban heist-escapade through inner-city Melbourne in SBS’s wildly entertaining new crime-family drama Swift Street which premieres on Wednesday 24 April. Alleight thirty-minute episodes will be available to stream free on SBS On Demand from 24 April**,** with double episodes airing at 8:30pm on SBS each Wednesday.

Fast, funny and big-hearted, Swift Street features a line-up of incredible creative talent. Rising star Tanzyn Crawford (Tiny Beautiful Things) and acclaimed Hollywood actor Cliff Curtis (Avatar: The Way of Water) lead a stellar cast as dysfunctional father-daughter duo Robert and Elsie.

They are joined by actor, musician and internet sensation Keiynan Lonsdale (Love, Simon), Eliza Matengu (Thor: Love and Thunder), triple-threat Bernie Van Tiel (SBS drama Erotic Stories and face of Beatbox Australia) and Alfred Chuol in his first television role.

Swift Street was created and directed by the incredible new talent of Tig Terera (Tinashé, Chenge), who is rapidly becoming one of Australia’s most exciting creative voices. Episodes 5-8 were directed by Nicholas Verso and the series was executive produced by Magpie Pictures’ Lois Randall. Filmed on location in Melbourne’s bustling inner-city cultural hub, Swift Street is a love letter to the Melbourne where Tig grew up.

This action-packed crime drama follows 21-year-old street smart Elsie (Tanzyn Crawford) who must team up with her jaded old-school hustler father, Robert (Cliff Curtis), to get him out of a $26,000 debt and save him from a merciless crime boss (Eliza Matengu). The unlikely pair embark on a series of crimes while navigating their complicated father-daughter relationship.

Along the way, Elsie must juggle her relationship with high school sweetheart Tatenda (Alfred Chuol), her growing attraction to Aisha (Bernie Van Tiel) and face a shocking revelation about her new friend Tom (Keiynan Lonsdale).

SBS Head of Scripted, Julie Eckersley, says “Swift Street is unlike anything we’ve seen on Australian television before. It’s a great story that takes audiences on a really fun ride,”

“The series fearlessly melds compelling characters and biting drama with genuine heart and irreverent humour that will resonate strongly with a new generation of SBS viewers.”

Swift Street creator and director Tig Terera says: “Swift Street is a story from my heart, set in the multicultural inner-Melbourne community that I live in and love.”

“SBS is the perfect home for Swift Street because they champion bold new stories. It’s a privilege to be part of that with Magpie Pictures,”

Swift Street Executive Producer/Producer Lois Randall and Producer Ivy Mak say: “We’re so proud of Tig Terera, our extraordinary cast, and all the talented creatives and crew who brought their passion to making this highly original and entertaining series”.

“We hope audiences will rush to SBS and SBS on Demand to experience the heart and hustle of life on Swift Street!”

Screen Australia Director of Content Grainne Brunsdon says: “Anchored by a fantastic cast and crew, Swift Street is a gripping re-imagining of the crime genre. The show’s recent selection for Canneseries is testament to Tig and the team’s ability to create engaging television that transcends borders – it certainly has the makings of a hit and we’re absolutely thrilled to have supported its production.”

The series has already garnered international acclaim and will have its World Premiere in competition at the Cannes International Television Series Festival, Canneseries which runs from April 5th-10th.

Swift Street will be available to stream on SBS On Demand with subtitles in five languages: Simplified Chinese, Arabic, Vietnamese, Traditional Chinese and Korean.

Swift Street is a Magpie Pictures production for SBS with major production investment from Screen Australia in association with SBS. Produced in association with VicScreen and financed with the assistance of Screen NSW. Fifth Season is managing international sales for this project.

All 8 episodes of Swift Street will be available to stream free on SBS On Demand from Wednesday 24 April, with double episodes premiering on SBS each Wednesday at 8.30pm.

Starts tonight.

They really need to have good hard look at what sort of dramas they have been commissioning lately. It’s been a while since SBS has had a really good local series.

Mentioned last week how low the numbers were. SBS’s share was down 2