‘Faboriginal’. (Photo: Kelly Gardner)

Art, camp and Indigenous culture collide in the NITV/SBS-commissioned quiz show Faboriginal, produced by Noble Savage Pictures.

Hosted and co-created by actor and comedian Steven Oliver, the 8 x 30 serial trivia show features an all Indigenous cast and guest panellists who are challenged by the quizmaster on Indigenous art and culture. Production has recently wrapped, to air early 2020 on NITV followed by SBS On Demand.

“We’ve built a show that is wickedly funny, entertaining, smart and political. Faboriginal is unapologetically black, unapologetically camp and unapologetically art focused,” says Noble Savage Pictures producer Majhid Heath.

Heath saw taking on the light entertainment format space as natural new ground to break. It was a way of engaging audiences with Indigenous art and culture with levity and comedy, while celebrating established and emerging Indigenous actors, writers, musicians and artists.

“After all the recent success Indigenous filmmakers have had in documentary, drama, comedy and children’s television, a shiny floor/factual entertainment format seemed like the next logical step for us to do something different and fresh with Faboriginal.

Collaborating partners on the series include Oliver, NITV/SBS, the Art Gallery of NSW (AGNSW) and Andy Nehl and Martin Coombes. Guest include Meyne Wyatt, Ursula Yovich, Emma Donovan, and Shari Sebbens. The show was based on a live event held at the AGNSW in 2018. Principal production investment came from NITV in association with the AGNSW.

Faborginal is a wonderful way for us to give Indigenous art the profile it deserves and to show its importance within an artistic, cultural and societal context,” said Oliver.

Oliver is a creative collaborator with Noble Savage working most recently on A Chance Affair which was screened on NITV and SBS On Demand in 2019.

Heath hopes that the series will bring more people to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and understand Indigenous cultures more broadly, without compromise. “I firmly believe we can change how we’re seen as blackfellas through sharing our cultures and stories, unfiltered, with the rest of Australia,” he tells IF.

NITV’s Channel Manager, Tanya Orman said, NITV was attracted to the concept as it a fantastic opportunity to share Aboriginal art with Australian audiences and show how art plays such a key element in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.

The team from Noble Savage has had an accelerated production schedule this year.  Heath produced the horror anthology Dark Place for ABC and Screen Australia as part of the Shock Treatment initiative, which premiered at the Sydney and Melbourne film festivals. The screen agency initiative was designed to find and foster new Indigenous filmmaking talent. The five x 15 minute short-film projects are set to be released on ABC iview in October 2019 timed for Halloween.

Noble Savage are also currently in development on two television projects which benefited from Screen Australia development funding earlier in the year. Comedy drama Rough, directed by Catriona McKenzie and written by Kodie Bedford and Rae Earl and produced by Heath and Noble Savage partner Hayley B Johnson in addition to mockumentary comedy series, The Holy Floyd Foley written by Shane Salvador.

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