As ferocious debates over borders and sovereignty continue to dominate headlines the world over, Australians will be forced to reflect on our own immigration system with the arrival of Stateless. A new six-part television series from the ABC, its pedigree – it stars and is executive produced by Cate Blanchett – saw it premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival ahead of its domestic premiere on March 1.

StatelessElise McCredie, Tony Ayres and Cate Blanchett. Photo © Ben King

The idea for Statelesscame about in conversations between showrunner and writer (as well as co-creator and executive producer) Elise McCredie and Blanchett. The pair had gone to high school and university together and had stayed in touch with the aim of eventually collaborating on a project.

“I think it was six years ago that we were in Cate’s kitchen and just chatting about television,” McCredie says. “She was talking about how her company [Dirty Films] was interested in moving into television and I had been writing for television for a few years, so we were just throwing ideas around and were both keen on looking at Australia’s history of detention policy before it...