Canada and NZ deals for First Australians

12 March, 2009 by IF

[press release from Access PR]

SBS is proud to announce that Canada’s Knowledge Channel and New Zealand’s Maori Television have acquired the landmark documentary series, First Australians.


Described as “one of the most significant documentary series in the history of Australian television”*, First Australians heads up SBS’s MIPTV and MIPDOC 2009 showcase.

SBS Content Sales and Distribution National Manager, Sharon Ramsay-Luck, said: “We are as proud of First Australians as we have been of any SBS-commissioned series, in particular for the extraordinary way in which the series tells the story of modern Australia. It is highly appropriate that Canada and New Zealand – two nations with their own complex
indigenous histories – are the first territories to acquire First Australians.”

Produced over more than six years by some of Australia’s finest Aboriginal filmmakers, First Australians chronicles the birth of contemporary Australia and explores what unfolds when the oldest living culture in the world is overrun by the world’s greatest empire. This is Australian history as it has never been told before, from the perspective of its first people: the First Australians.

The multi-platform project is the most ambitious ever to be undertaken on indigenous Australia. Encompassing seven captivating television episodes, the series is enhanced by a substantial online experience (which has been nominated for three Australia Interactive Media Industry Association Awards), an educational and a retail DVD, a hard cover pictorial
book and a community outreach program.

The First Australians DVD was SBS’s top selling DVD in Australia over the critical Christmas and January sales period in 2008 / 2009. The series delivered 12% audience growth in its timeslot on SBS in 2008, with a cumulative audience of more than 2.6 million people watching the program in capital cities and regional locations.

Kristin Burgham, Manager of SBS Content Sales, will be showcasing the series at MIPDOC and MIPTV. Other acclaimed titles in SBS’s MIPDOC showcase include The Nest, The Miscreants and Best Undressed. SBS Content Sales will be located at Stand 04.36 at MIPTV.