Screen Producers Australia (SPA) has commissioned a short film from the International Emmy Award-winning Ludo Studio to further its campaign to protect children’s content.
But the campaign may already be over after the release of the Australian and Children’s Screen Content Review consultation paper by the Department of Communication and the Arts (which is jointly conducting the review with the Australian Communications and Media Authority and Screen Australia).
The department’s consultation paper, released last week, appears to suggest that the Federal Government may accede to commercial free-to-air broadcaster demands to drop children’s content obligations, stating the viewing habits of Australian children are “undergoing particularly rapid change” and “very young children [are] watching ABC 2 and ABC ME in preference to commercial free- to-air stations.” It also states a majority of parents say their “children aged under 15 prefer watching children’s programs on ABC channels.”
In a further hint the government will focus on the ABC as its children’s content provider of choice, the paper notes “children’s content can be expensive to produce and is difficult to finance and monetise. In particular, the cost of producing live-action Australian children’s drama is challenging in today’s digital global environment.”
The new short film released by SPA, Australian kids need space for their stories, adds to the #savekidstv campaign opposing the push by commercial TV networks to dump their obligations to broadcast kids’ TV.
It follows the format of Ludo’s Doodles (which won the International Emmy Kids Award this year), featuring drawings by thee children and animated and directed by Benjamin Zaugg. It was produced by Meg O’Connell, and the music composed by Joff Bush.
The film is drawn on the format for Doodles (winner, International Emmy Kids Award 2017) and features drawings by Annabel (aged 9 from Brisbane), Chloe (aged 7 from Brisbane) and Will (aged 11 from Melbourne).
“This wonderful short film is an excellent example of the creative energy of Australian children and our children’s content industry. If the commercial broadcasters get their way, production companies like Ludo Studio will have a hard time providing Australian children with the quality Australian content they deserve”, said SPA CEO Matthew Deaner.
The campaign asks people to visit the campaign website and action by writing to their local parliamentarians at www.savechildrenscontent.org
“I call on the government to ensure that Australian children continue to see their stories on Australian screens. Australians who care about saving children’s content can write to their local member through the campaign website,” Deaner added.