‘Hardball.’

Northern Pictures’ Hardball has been nominated for an International Emmy Kids Award, one of four competing in the Kids: Live Action category.

So that is more acclaim for the ABC-commissioned comedy which won two prizes in June: The Prix Jeunesse International Award for the world’s best fiction program for 7-10-year-olds, and the Rockie Award for the Best Children and Youth Fiction Series at the Banff World Media Festival in Canada.

Created and written by Matt Zeremes and Guy Edmonds and produced by Joe Weatherstone, Hardball centres on Mikey and his dream to become the ‘sweetest-bestest-acest’ handball champ in Western Sydney.

The international distributor the Australian Children’s Television Foundation sold the show last month to the BBC kids’ channel CBBC after earlier deals with France Televisions (France), NRK (Norway), RTE (Ireland), TVO (Canada), TFO (Canada), TVB (Hong Kong), RTP (Portugal), RTV (Slovenia), and SABC (South Africa).

Co-funded by Screen Australia and Screen NSW, the ABC commissioned a season season which sees Mikey and the gang try to win the state doubles handball tournament, before they reach the end of primary school.

The directors are Darren Ashton and Fadia Abboud, Zeremes and Edmonds. Also joining the creative team are writers Amy Stewart and Nazeem Hussain.

Libbie Doherty, ABC head of children’s production, said: “Hardball represents Australian storytelling at its best – with a diverse cast, cracking story and local cast and crew who aced every element of the production.

“The ABC is proud to bring such outstanding homegrown programs to audiences, alongside the creative and innovative team at Northern Pictures. This Emmy Award nomination shows that Australian stories, with Australian faces, voices and settings stand proudly alongside the best children’s content in the world.”

In March, ABC Kids’ Bluey, Australia’s most popular children’s TV show, won the Kids: Preschool Emmy Award.

Programs nominated for the International Emmy Kids Awards span 10 countries: Australia, Brazil, Finland, Japan, Mexico, The Netherlands, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden and the UK.

Bruce Paisner, president/CEO of the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, said: “The geographic spread and variety of themes addressed in these nominated programs demonstrate the buoyancy and quality of children’s television throughout the world.”

The awards will be announced in an online ceremony on October 14.

Kids: Live Action

Juacas season two —The Walt Disney Company Latin America/Cinefilm Brazil (Brazil)

Hardball —Northern Pictures (Australia)

Dropje —NTR Television/Submarine (Netherlands)

Extraordinary You —MBC (South Korea)

Kids: Animation

Ico Bit Zip —National Geographic/Copa Studio (Brazil)

Oddbods season three —One Animation (Singapore)

Moominvalley —Gutsy Animations (Finland)

The Tiger Who Came to Tea —Lupus Films (UK)

Kids: Factual & Entertainment

Opa Popa Dupa —Nat Geo Kids/Estudios Telemexico (Mexico)

Världens Hemskaste Syukdomar —Delta Studios (Sweden)

Finding My Family: Holocaust -A Newsround Special —BBC Children’s in-house production/CBBC (UK)

My Notebooks – Seven Years of Tiny Great Adventures —NHK (Japan)

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