Chris Anastassiades is a dramatist and script-writer, with extensive experience in television script-writing, particularly comedy and children's television.
Anastassiades's earliest television scripts were for Col'n Carpenter (1990-1991), a spin-off from the successful skit-comedy program The Comedy Company. Following this, he wrote scripts for such programs as G.P., as well as contributing extensively to Acropolis Now.
Anastassiades had a long-running association with the Australian Children's Television Foundation (ACTF), for whom he wrote the script for Yolngu Boy: according to Patricia Edgar, the script was 'developed over two years, with Chris absorbing the culture and working with Gordon Glenn, the principal script editor (p.348). Anastassiades was one of the writers whom Edgar particularly valued as having the 'precise elements' for which she was looking in ACTF writers: indeed, she describes him as a 'close second' to her first-choice director Esben Storm when describing her choice of writers (p.317). As well as Yolngu Boy, Anastassiades worked on such ACTF productions as Legacy of the Silver Shadow, Round the Twist, and Lift Off.
Alexandra Wilson is a normal girl living in an average suburb. She can sing brilliantly (she's a songwriter at heart). She's funny and driven. Alex's band is her life, and her band-mates, expressive Amanda Tucci and realist JB Deekes, are her closest friends. There's also Marcus, their lead guitarist: he's a year older, and, well, rather attractive. Alex has two grounded parents, Anita and Jim, and one very centre-stage younger sister, Zoe. Life is very normal. But ...
Since birth, Alex has caused a succession of strange, somewhat magical events. Fortunately, she's been able to conceal, ignore, or deny them all. But then Kuru, a young man dressed in exotic robes, and Anala, a decorated adult elephant who has a tendency to vanish now and again, arrive on Alex's doorstep. Kuru explains that Alex is actually Princess Liliuokalani Parasha Khaled Persphone Amanirenas of Manjipoor.
Alex is not so sure about that! But the magical effects she seems to cause have recently blossomed. It's scary. Alex asks Kuru and Anala to leave, but they won't go anywhere. They are under the royal command of Omar, Chief Advisor to the former Queen Nefari, to bring the princess home to rule.
Manjipoor is an exotic, mystical kingdom that exists very close to our world--but not in it. The nation was born six hundred years ago when 'gifted' people (sorcerers, oracles, and witches) fled persecution and created their own territory, and later, for their protection, moved it to a parallel location by magical means!
Kuru's mission is made easier when Alex's parents accept him as an 'exchange student' and he is invited to stay at their home. He does his best to fit in at Alex's school. Alex keeps her identity as a princess a secret from everybody but Amanda and JB, but it's an ongoing problem concealing a wilful, sometimes-invisible elephant in her backyard.
Omar's recent revelation of the existence of Manjipoor's secret princess shocks and threatens Vashan, the last royal relative in a conflicted and dying dynasty, who fully expected to rule. Aided by his skilful servant Diva, Vashan acts--first subtly, then overtly--to prevent his cousin Alex from claiming her inheritance.
Back in 'The Old World'--our world--Kuru's persistence with Alex starts to have an effect. Alex begins to practise and accept her magic--and it often goes awry. It's not easy being a teenager with magical powers! Alex uses her magic to rectify some very teenage-related issues, as well as to bend the occasional rule, but she draws the line at using magic in her music or for the band. They've got to prove they're good enough without it!
Following an encounter in Manjipoor where Alex learns some of the history of her real mother, Queen Nefari, and is introduced first hand to Vashan's enmity, she awakens to the strong qualities developing inside her and the need for her in Manjipoor as a princess.
Simultaneously, Alex, Amanda, Marcus, and JB improve as a band. They get gigs, and Alex's confidence as a singer increases. Alex finds the pull between both worlds conflicting. When Vashan becomes increasingly bold in his endeavours to undermine and overtake Alex, his actions precipitate a series of stunning revelations affecting the lives of Alex, Kuru, Anala, and Omar and the future of Manjipoor. Alex finds she must make a choice about where her real destiny lies ...
Source: Jonathan M Shiff Productions website, http://www.jonathan-m-shiff.com.au/ Sighted: 15/12/2009
Mortified2006-2007series - publisher film/TV children's fantasy
Mortified follows the trevails of eleven-year-old Taylor Fry, as she copes with the general embarrassment of having parents, as well as being annoyed by her sister, jealous of her neighbour, and completely oblivious to her best friend's crush on her. The program inserts some fantasy elements into the otherwise straight comedy-drama by having Taylor speak directly to the camera, using elaborate fantasy sequences to explore her daydreams, and showing her over-active imagination as bringing seemingly inanimate objects to life.
Mortified was the last major work of television producer and screenwriter Angela Webber before her early death in 2007.
'Erica Yurken, certain of her glittering career on the stage and her place in the world, is upstaged and forced to come to grips with her own reality when Alison Ashley arrives at the school. A comedy about the trials and tribulations of schoolyard rivalries, embarrassing family situations and the awkwardness of teenage years.'