The first test screening for Gymnastics Academy: A Second Chance! took place over the weekend, showcasing the first Netflix series commissioned from a South Australian production company.
Set in the world of competitive teen gymnastics, Gymnastics Academy: A Second Chance! is a television spin-off of Glen’s worldwide hit feature films A Second Chance (2011) and A Second Chance: Rivals! (2019), both of which found strong global audiences after being acquired by Netflix and extend the story with new additions to beloved characters from Australia’s Elite Gymnastics programme.
Netflix and the South Australian Film Corporation announced the start of production in October last year.
Nicely Entertainment is the worldwide distributor with Vanessa Shapiro attached as executive producer. The production received major production funding from the South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC).
Innovation and Skills Minister David Pisoni said: “I congratulate Glen Pictures on becoming the first production company in South Australia to secure a commission from Netflix. This exciting new series made in South Australia is good news for jobs in the screen sector, employing over 100 South Australians in an almost 100% local cast and crew, and is expected to generate over 3.7 million dollars of international investment in South Australian screen companies. ”
Clay Glen said: “I’m thrilled to partner with Netflix, SAFC, Vanessa Shapiro (Nicely Entertainment, USA) and Sally Clarke to bring the feature-length based ‘Gymnastics Academy: A Second Chance’ to life as a that series. I have always been very passionate about the filming, casting and crew of SA and this series continues that commitment. South Australia, with its incredibly diverse and easily accessible locations, is the best place to film in Australia!
Vanessa Shapiro, CEO of Nicely Entertainment and Executive Producer, said, “It was a real pleasure
and the privilege of developing this new series with Clay Glen based on his amazing IP A Second Chance and
working with the Netflix team to bring it to life”.
SAFC CEO Kate Croser said: “The SAFC is delighted to provide major funding for the production of this exciting new Netflix series made in South Australia, which will not only provide significant employment and skills for the team and local players, but will expand South Australia’s pool of ‘green lights’. ‘ providing first TV credits to local director, writer and producer Clay Glen as well as key creative credits to co-writer Kristian Leadbeater and directors Kelly Schilling and Stephen de Villiers. The SAFC welcomes Netflix’s continued engagement with South Australian creators and production companies.
Gymnastics Academy: A Second Chance! is the latest in a series of Netflix local investments aimed at families and young adults, including the reboot of Heartbreak High, Surviving Summer, MaveriX (co-pro with ABC) and Dive Club (co-pro with Network 10).
In Gymnastics Academy: A Second Chance!, 14-year-old Kyra Berry (Jada Lee Henry) is an African-American gymnast whose dream is to compete in the Olympics. When she hurts her knee, her American academy offers everyone to retire. Maddy Cornell (Emily Morris), the former Australian world champion gymnast, now a coach (A Second Chance: Rivals!), sees great potential in Kyra and, after going through her own injury dramas, invites her to join the Australian elite gymnastics program on a trial.
As soon as Kyra arrives in Australia, she is taken on an unforgettable journey of incredible friendships, important life lessons, personal growth and her first boy crush, which she shares with an incredible group of young Aussie teammates that the public met for the first time. in A second chance: rivals! including Tess (Stella Shute), Li (Akira Van) and Alkira (Eva Grados).
The young cast is complemented by emerging South Australian screen talents Zoe Burns, Luciana Valdez
Tirado, Ava Maios and Jett Gazley. The adult cast sees the return of Emily Morris (who began her acting career as a young teenager in the very first A Second Chance), Alexander Lloyd and Melanie Munt, joined by Trung Le, Justina Ward and Michelle Nightingale.
Gymnastics Academy: A Second Chance! is produced by Clay Glen and co-produced by Sally Clarke. The executive producer is Vanessa Shapiro of Nicely Entertainment. Clay Glen is the series’ director and lead writer with Kristian Leadbeater as co-writer and directors Kelly Schilling and Stephen de Villiers. Director of photography is Michael Tessari, production design by Rita Zanchetta, costume design by Anita Seiler, and makeup/hair supervisor is Marie-Lyne Morant. Editors Kristian Leadbeater and David Banbury, sound design by Todd Telford. Worldwide sales by Nicely Entertainment.
Gymnastics Academy: A Second Chance! will be a 10-episode series that will be released later this year. To follow the progress of the series, follow Gymnastics Academy: A Second Chance on Facebook.