ROLL CALL FOR DISNEY CHANNEL'S "AS THE BELL RINGS"; 13 YOUNG AUSTRALIAN ACTORS STAR IN NEW SHORT-FORM COMEDY SERIES
Disney Channel announced its locally produced comedy series "As The Bell Rings", currently in production in Melbourne, will star 13 break-out Australian actors in career-launching roles. "As The Bell Rings" marks the first major television role for most of the cast members, who are high school students from Victoria and New South Wales.
Michael Cairns, Managing Director, Walt Disney Television International (Australia/New Zealand) said: "We undertook a wide-spread casting process, auditioning more than 500 kids across Australia. I'm thrilled we've discovered 13 exciting young actors who will not only bring the show's Australian characters and stories to life, but will connect with our viewers as they see kids just like themselves on their Disney Channel. This is our first locally-produced comedy series made especially for, and starring, Australian kids."
"As The Bell Rings" is a Disney Channel original short-form series that offers a fly-on-the-wall look at the everyday antics and tween drama that takes place in the school corridors, in between classes. From school crushes, exams, friendships and teachers, the comedy series explores diverse and relatable themes as seen through the eyes of Australian tweens.
"As The Bell Rings" - Roll Call:
Deniz Akdeniz, 17, from Melbourne's Eastern suburbs plays "Raff", the sporty member of the group. Deniz started performing at the age of eight. He made his professional theatre production debut in "Angels with Dirty Faces" and his feature film debut in "Puppy". "As The Bell Rings" is his first major television role.
Sianoa Smit-McPhee, 15, from Melbourne stars as the chatterbox "DJ". Adelaide-born Sianoa played the role of Bree Timmins in "Neighbours" for three years. She also appeared in "Blue Heelers" and has had roles in numerous short-films.
Jack Pearson, 17, from Melbourne's Northern suburbs is the unlucky in love "Jonesy" and big brother to "Annie". Jack studies musical theatre, breakdance and acrobatics. This is his first major acting role.
Alicia Banit, 16, from Melbourne's Northern suburbs plays the role of the fashionable and fun-loving "Amber". Alicia is a multi-talented dancer, model and actor and has made guest appearances on "Halifax FP", "Rove", "In Melbourne Tonight" and "Neighbours". This is her first major television project.
Martin Quinn, 14, from Melbourne's Inner West is the generous, but always hungry "Spud". Martin is a newcomer to acting and "As The Bell Rings" is his first major role.
Nicole Gulasekharam, 16, from Melbourne's Eastern suburbs plays the role of "Hayley" a sassy and clever student who her friends often turn to for advice. Nicole is an all-round performer with experience spanning film, television, singing and dancing. This is her first major television role.
Rhiannon Fish, 16, from Melbourne's Eastern suburbs is "Rocky" the sporty tom-boy of the group. Canadian-born Rhiannon has always had a passion for singing, dancing and acting. This is her first major television role.
Bardiya McKinnon, 15, from Sydney's Northern suburbs is the highly intelligent "Parker". Bardiya is a newcomer to television and this is his first major television role.
Tessa Whelan, 14, from Melbourne's Northern suburbs is "Annie", "Jonesy's" deceptively sweet younger sister. This is Tessa's first television role.
Max Pfeifer, 16, from Melbourne's Eastern suburbs is "Rusty", the fun-loving joker of the group. Max has had a guest-role in "Blue Heelers" and will also appear in the upcoming feature film "Where the Wild Things Are". "As The Bell Rings" is Max's first major role for television.
Zoe Agtoft, 16, from Melbourne's Eastern suburbs plays the role of "Chloe" and is "Amber's" closest rival for the boys' affections. Zoe has studied singing and dancing since age nine, and is currently undertaking full-time performing arts studies. This is her first major role for television.
Zac Sheehan, 16, from Melbourne's Western suburbs is the elusive "Tommy". This is Zac's first major television role.
Aleksa Kurbalija, 14, from Melbourne's Eastern suburbs plays the role of "S.A.M - Secret Agent Man" who is the school spy and the most likely to spill the beans on a secret. Aleksa is a talented singer, dancer and actor, and has appeared in numerous local musical theatre productions. This is his first major television role.
The series will feature 40 six-minute episodes and will premiere on Disney Channel Australia later in the year. "As The Bell Rings" is directed by David McDonald ("Comedy Inc - The Late Shift", Life Support", "The Election Chaser") and produced by FremantleMedia. The series is being filmed at the Melbourne Film Studios, Port Melbourne.
Disney Channel first launched in Australia in June 1996, and has since grown to become the first-choice TV destination for Australian kids and families.
Back row, left to right - Nicole Gulasekharam, "Hayley"; Aleksa Kurbalija, "SAM"; Max Pfeifer, "Rusty"; Zoe Agtoft, "Chloe"; Zac Sheehan, "Tommy"
Middle row, left to right - Alicia Banit, "Amber"; Martin Quinn, "Spud"; Bardiya McKinnon, "Paker"; Jack Pearson, "Jonesy"; Rhiannon Fish, "Rocky"; Sianoa Smit-McPhee, "DJ"
Front row, left to right - Tessa Whelan, "Annie"; Deniz Akdeniz, "Raff"
About Disney Channel
Disney Channel is a general entertainment television network that taps into the world of kids and families through original series and movies and locally produced programming. Disney Channel features an array of animated series, sitcoms and dramas such as "Hannah Montana", "Kim Possible", "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody" and "Cory in the House". Disney Channel also features Disney Channel Original movies including "High School Musical", blockbuster and classic Disney animated movies. Disney Channel is available on Austar, Foxtel, Optus, TransACT and Neigborhood Cable, and in New Zealand on SKY. Walt Disney Television International (Australia/New Zealand) is part of Walt Disney Television International (Asia Pacific).