Bold, Genre-Bending Cinematic Thriller ‘Hungry Ghosts’ Is Coming to SBS

Hungry Ghosts

For fifteen days in September, it is believed that the ghosts of Vietnam’s past, come back to earth. To honour these ancestors, food and drink is put out to satisfy their needs during what is called, The Hungry Ghost Festival.

If haven’t yet heard of this, you are about to become very familiar with it. In August, SBS is releasing a four-part drama series led by an Australian ensemble cast.

Hungry Ghosts is as chilling as it is captivating and follows four families that find themselves haunted by ghosts from the past.

When a tomb in Vietnam is accidentally opened on the eve of the Hungry Ghost Festival, a vengeful spirit is unleashed, bringing the dead with him.

As these spirits wreak havoc across the Vietnamese-Australian community in Melbourne, reclaiming lost loves and exacting revenge, young woman May Le (Catherine Văn-Davies) must rediscover her true heritage and accept her destiny to help bring balance to a community still traumatised by war.

“Playing May Le was an extremely significant experience as a second-generation Vietnamese actor. When you’re second generation, you tend to exist between two worlds – particularly being mixed race,” Văn-Davies said in a press release.

“Expressing that uncertainty and the feelings of being an imposter and an outsider is not often conveyed in conventional dramas. So, to play someone coming into their power through a mystical journey was a real revelation to me. Not to mention with great jackets and an excellent best friend. I’ve loved being a part of Hungry Ghosts alongside other brilliant actors we don’t often see on our screens. Hungry Ghosts is a very human and universal story of trauma, grief, guilt and survival that spans a number of generations; it’s about connecting to our past, in the hope for our future.”

Hungry Ghosts

Hungry Ghosts will reflect the extraordinary lives and spiritual stories of the Vietnamese community and will also explore the inherent trauma passed down from one generation to the next.

The series also looks at how notions of displacement impact human identity – long after the events themselves.

With one of the most diverse casts featured in an Australian drama series, Hungry Ghosts comprises more than 30 Asian-Australian actors and 325 Asian-Australian extras.

The all-star cast features Văn-Davies (Going Down), Jillian Nguyen (The True History of the Kelly Gang), Ryan Corr (Bloom), Bryan Brown (Bloom), Clare Bowen (Nashville), Ferdinand Hoang (Rake), Gabrielle Chan (The Commons), Suzy Wrong (Crownies), Gareth Yuen (LA Confidential), Justine Clarke (Dead Lucky), Oakley Kwon (Neighbours), Lap Phan (The Quiet American), Haiha Le (Back to the Rafters), Susie Porter (Wentworth), Gary Sweet (House Husbands) and Hazem Shammas (Safe Harbour).

The series was filmed in September last year, during the month of the festival and will premiere over four consecutive nights from Monday 24 August – Thursday 27 August at 9:30 pm on SBS.

It will also be subtitled in Simplified Chinese, Arabic and Vietnamese and will be added to the subtitled collection on SBS On Demand after the premiere.

WATCH: Australian drama series Hungry Ghosts.

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