2020-05-15 13:32:18 #coronavirus #MEAACrew #MEAAECS #MEAAEquity MediaRoom Other statements Releases

With just a week left to vote, the battle to be named Australia’s most bingeworthy television program or film is boiling down to a five-cornered contest.

McLeod’s Daughters, Mystery Road, Wentworth, Neighbours and Kath and Kim are currently the frontrunners in The Great Australian Binge, which gives audiences the chance to vote for their favourite home-grown screen production of all time and show their support for the creatives who put them together.

But as voting continues, several dark horses could still emerge to steal the crown, with The Heights, The Castle and ratings giant Home and Away all lingering near the top five.

As the battle hots up, creatives from around the country have joined in by performing new renditions of the theme songs of popular shows. Next week, the singers who lead Australia’s national opera company will gather at the Sydney Opera House to perform the theme to the beloved children’s TV show Round the Twist.

Members of the entertainment industry have been among the hardest hit by COVID-19, with their jobs and industry virtually disappearing overnight. While the Federal Government has to date failed to deliver a rescue package, The Great Australian Binge has found an adoring audience with more than 5000 votes cast.

A similar number have also signed a petition to Arts Minister Paul Fletcher, calling on him to do more to support the people who make the entertainment Australia loves.

McLeod’s Daughters and Upper Middle Bogan star Michala Banas says there’s never been a more important time to support Australian stories and storytellers: “We need to remind the public and our politicians of the value of what we do, and of just how much it would be missed it if it disappeared.”

Australian actor and director Wayne Blair, who last year directed feature film Top End Wedding and co-directed the second series of Mystery Road, is among the campaign’s supporters. “I think it’s unreal to shine a spotlight on the great local stories we’ve produced in this country and to raise awareness about the fact that we need more support to keep telling our stories with our creatives.”

The Great Australian Binge is backed by the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance, Screen Producers Australia, Australian Directors’ Guild and Australian Writers’ Guild, who are also behind the Make it Australian campaign to maintain television content quotas and extend them to streaming services.

Voting is open here until midnight Sunday May 24, 2020. Campaign highlights here.