The Assembly

Leigh Sales is at the helm of a groundbreaking new factual series, The Assembly (6 x 1hr), focusing on a group of autistic student journalists as they prepare for and eventually interview Australia’s best-known personalities, including the Prime Minister. Sales will closely mentor and prepare the students for their encounter with each guest, as they learn how to get underneath spin and soundbites to get to the real person behind a public persona. With the students all undertaking a specifically designed journalism course delivered by Macquarie University, which is the first of its kind in Australia, The Assembly is being made with full support in place for the student journalists in partnership with: Aspect – Australia’s largest service for people on the autism spectrum, and Bus Stop Films - Australia’s leading social enterprise supporting people with disabilities in filmmaking.

Production Credit: A HELIUM Pictures production for the ABC with production funding from Screen NSW, from a format created by Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache, originally produced by KIOSCO.TV & QUAD+TEN, and distributed by CAN’T STOP Media. ABC Commissioning Editor Julie Hanna, ABC Head of Factual Susie Jones.

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Deadline has a brief interview with showrunner of the Australian version, Melissa Maclean, who revealed that autistic people have been hired for numerous off-camera roles. Julie Hanna and Mark Fennessy are also quoted in the article.

Helium began production yesterday, and will continue for six weeks with a potential network premiere date in Q3.

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