SCREEN Australia recently announced a $10.7 million funding for 11 new TV series, with gay-themed stories among the crop.

One of them is an adaptation of Benjamin Law’s The Family Law, a humorous memoir of growing up as a gay Chinese-Australian and coming out in a small town on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

Stylised as a black comedy, the series will revolve around a 14-year-old Law and his dreams to become a TV star — while simultaneously battling with the emotional turmoil of his parents splitting up, coming to terms with his sexual identity, and dealing with the “double minority” of being Asian and gay.

The series, scheduled for release on SBS next year, has also recruited Marieke Hardy (Laid, Wonderland) as co-writer and Matchbox Pictures producers Julie Eckersley and Sophie Miller (Maximum Choppage, Nowhere Boys).

Law previously told meldmagazine that the main motivation for the TV adaption of his book was the lack of diversity on Australia screens.

Benjamin Law

Benjamin Law

“Even in 2011 there’s still very little Asian-Australian representation on TV,” he said.

Law aligned with Matchbox Pictures because of its recent TV series, The Slap, which candidly portrayed multicultural Australia as opposed to the prevalent monoculture depicted in mainstream TV shows.

The crew is currently working to get the show ready by early next year.

“We’re just madly rewriting and polishing scripts,” Law told the Star Observer.

“The cast will be roughly 90 per cent Asian faces.”

Screen Australia’s head of production Sally Caplan said she was very excited to support The Family Law, as well as the other 10 productions.

“We expect the combination of favourite characters in local stories along with some fresh new faces will appeal to all walks of life,” she said.

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