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Media release

Cast and crew on the stage at the Premiere of Population : 11

The announcement has been made at the premiere of Population: 11 (above), the first Stan Original Series filmed in Western Australia; a production creating a significant employment and economic boost

This funding will support Western Australia’s soon-to-be launched Screen Industry Strategy and help local industry keep up with the rapidly growing demand to film productions in WA. The total includes more than $15 million for incentives to attract major productions to the screen production facility currently under-construction near Malaga Station and to market and promote WA as a film destination nationally and internationally.

Culture and the Arts Minister, Perry Mooney and Ben Feldman

Photo: (L-R) Hon David Templeman,  Culture and the Arts Minister, Perry Mooney and Ben Feldman.

It comes after Screenwest recently received a blockbuster $9.2million this year, an additional $1.5 million from Lotterywest, with $1 million for local productions and $500,000 towards First Nations programs.

To date, the scheme known as the WA Production Attraction Incentive has attracted high profile productions to the state including The Twelve Season 2 starring Sam Neill and Frances O’Connor and The Surfer starring Nicolas Cage.

Meanwhile American actor Ben Feldman has returned to WA after filming the quirky comedy crime thriller Population:11 in Derby in the Kimberley in 2023. The star known for roles in Superstore, Silicon Valley and Mad Men flew in from LA and took to a blue carpet (Stan’s signature colour) for the Population: 11 premiere at Luna in Leederville. He was joined by co-lead Perry Mooney, creator Phil Lloyd and co-stars including WA actor Ethan Gosatti.

Cast of Population: 11 at the premiere. co-lead Perry Mooney left, Phil Lloyd creator fourth from left, Ben Feldman star second from left, WA actor Ethan Gosatti left

Photo:  Population: 11 co-lead Perry Mooney left, Phil Lloyd creator fourth from left, Ben Feldman second from right, WA actor Ethan Gosatti on right.

“The Kimberley is a stunning part of the world I didn’t know existed; I loved the colours. It was infinitely beautiful and dramatic – if you want beautiful and dramatic, shoot in WA,” Ben Feldman said. While Perry Mooney who hails from Queensland remarked on the incredible sunsets.

Also in attendance at the premiere were Danielle Laidley, Fremantle actor Lee Tiger Halley who starred in Boy Meets Universe, Pallavi Sharda who was in The Twelve and well known for her role in Lion, and Tyroe Muhafidin of Lord of the Rings fame.

Tyroe Muhafidin and Lee Tiger Halley on blue carpet at the Premiere of Population: 11

Photo: Tyroe Muhafidin and Lee Tiger Halley on blue carpet.

CEO of Screenwest Rikki Lea Bestall and actress Palavi Sharda at the premiere of Population: 11Photo: Rikki Lea Bestall,  CEO of Screenwest and actress Pallavi Sharda.

The State Government has also realised its return on investment after providing $1.9 million towards production of Population 11 via Screenwest, Lotterywest and the WA Regional Screen Fund. As well as 100 jobs including 49 regional jobs, there was an estimated $7.1 million in direct expenditure with $3.4 million of that regional expenditure. That included all 62 rooms at King Sound Resort booked for the full duration of production equalling 8,620 overnight stays.

Population: 11 is a 12-episode series about a man who goes missing from a tiny outback town of only 12 residents (11 after the missing man), and his estranged son played by Ben Feldman, who journeys from the United States to find him. It will be available in Australia through Stan’s streaming service from 14 March 2024.

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Page reviewed 27 February 2023