Press release from Essential Media

Sydney-based production company Essential Media and Entertainment has won Best Factual Television Series with the landmark space series 'Voyage to the Planets' at the 2011 ATOM (the Australian Teachers of Media) Awards.

The ATOM Awards program is designed to recognise and celebrate the excellence displayed by Australian and New Zealand productions made for the screen, both large and small.

An epic 6-part, CGI-driven space traveller’s guide to exploring the pleasures and pitfalls of our Solar System, 'Voyage to the Planets' was series produced by Richard Smith and executive produced by Chris Hilton for ABC Australia and National Geographic Channel US.

"The overall quality of the entries to the ATOM Awards and the criteria we set in the judging means that this year's winners are really standout works in their category," commented ATOM Awards Executive Officer Simon Wilmot.

Executive Producer and Essential's CEO, Chris Hilton says: “It’s fantastic for 'Voyage To The Planets' to be recognised by ATOM with this award. Richard and the team did an amazing job on this international series, and we’re thrilled to be working with Richard again on his next mammoth project, this time tackling the history of our own planet.”

Richard Smith’s next series is 'Australia: The Time Traveller’s Guide' is a 4-part science spectacular showcasing the deep history of the Australian continent for the ABC, UKTV Eden and National Geographic.

Essential Media and Entertainment's slate also includes upcoming programs 'Dingo: Wild Dogs at War' for the ABC and 'My Brother, The Serial Killer' for Investigative Discovery. A third series of the hit food series 'Gourmet Farmer' is currently in production, as well as the adventure survival series 'Do or Die' for ABC and arts history series 'Raising the Curtain' for STVDIO Australia. Essential's North American offices also have four factual entertainment series in production for Canadian and American broadcasters.

Essential Drama has had a second series of the highly lauded 'Rake' (starring Richard Roxburgh) commissioned by ABC and is currently in production on 'Jack Irish' – a two-part crime drama starring Guy Pearce, also for ABC and ZDF.

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