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Brighton church in the action


St Joseph’s Church, Brighton, was transformed into a movie set on July 31 when a 70-strong production crew and a star-studded cast filmed one of the most dramatic scenes in the new ABC mini-series Stateless.

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The Brighton parish was approached by the producers about using the Strathmore Tce church and after inspecting the site signed a location agreement and notified other residents in the street.

Cate Blanchett co-created and stars in the six-part drama about four strangers who are connected by an immigration centre in the Australian desert.

It is inspired by the wrongful detention of mentally-ill Australian woman Cornelia Rau who in 2005 was discovered in high security in the former Baxter Detention Centre near Port Augusta after absconding from a mental health facility in Sydney.

Once her identity was known, she was flown to Adelaide for psychiatric treatment and later received $2.6 million for wrongful detention.

The scene shot at St Joseph’s involved well-known Australian actress Yvonne Strahovski (The Handmaid’s Tale) playing the character based on Cornelia Rau.

Five trucks carrying props and cameras took over the street which was closed intermittently to traffic for much of the morning.

Other stars in the drama include UK actor Dominic West (The Wire), Australian actors Asher Keddie (Offspring) and Jai Courtney (Storm Boy).

The Matchbox Pictures and Dirty Films production is being shot in various locations around South Australia. It will screen on the ABC later this year.


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