From Thursday 7 July 8pm on NITV.
Every year, thousands of Indigenous children leave their families to attend boarding schools around Australia. Supported through partnerships between scholarship organisations, private schools and the government, competition for these scholarships is fierce.
Premiering 8pm, Thursday 7 July, four-part documentary series, Off Country follows the lives of seven Indigenous students over a year at the prestigious Geelong Grammar School, grappling with family tragedy, mental health and identity issues.
From inside the boarding house, on the sports fields and in the classroom, Off Country follows the 2020 school year as the boarding school is thrown into chaos as the pandemic hits. Students wrestle with their identities as they move between boarding life and home life, and offer complex portraits of what it is to be an Indigenous child in Australia today.
Driven by the students’ stories and told entirely in their own words, Off Country combines personal observational storytelling and features intimate perspectives of contemporary First Nations youth alongside their personal educational experiences.
Tanya Denning-Orman, a proud Birri and Guugu Yimidhirr woman and Director of Indigenous Content at SBS, said: “NITV is committed to developing First Nation’s stories and presenting premium unscripted content. We are thrilled to bring Off Country to audiences across Australia next week. This important documentary series tackles important questions around identity and belonging, and it’s an honour to share these compelling stories with all Australians. I look forward to the premiere next week on NITV during NAIDOC Week 2022.”
Screen Australia’s Head of Documentary, Alex West, said: “We’re proud to support this compelling documentary from talented filmmakers John Harvey and Rhian Skirving that provides valuable insight into the lives of these students, allowing viewers to hear from them directly as they experience the highs and lows of living across two worlds throughout an undeniably challenging year. This documentary is set to spark conversations of national significance around education, the importance of culture and community and we can’t wait to see it on NITV.”
Directors of Off Country, Rhian Skirving (GoodThing Productions) and John Harvey (Brown Cabs Productions), said: “As filming progressed, it became clear that these young people not only walked proud in the path set out by their Elders, but were also navigating the impacts of colonial policies across generations. Each family story highlighted the impact of one or more government policy, be it stolen generation, forced removal from country, the mission system and intergenerational trauma. The impacts from these policies are present in the childrens’ lives before they enter the school gate, and, as we discovered in the making of the film, for many it ultimately affects their ability to make the most of the education opportunity before them.”
CEO of VicScreen, Caroline Pitcher, said: “Off Country is an emotionally striking series that is set to ignite conversations around the nation. We are always proud to back meaningful and diverse storytelling, and recognise the importance of supporting this piece of history to be recorded.”
Off Country is a Brown Cabs Productions, Letterbox Films, and Goodthing Productions production for NITV. Principal production investment from Screen Australia in association with the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) Premiere Fund and VicScreen. The documentary was commissioned by Kyas Hepworth.
The series will be available to stream on SBS On Demand with subtitles in five languages: Simplified Chinese, Arabic, Traditional Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean, allowing more Australians to engage in the important series.
Off Country forms part of SBS and NITV’s 2022 NAIDOC programming line-up. NAIDOC highlights also include the premiere of compelling four-part crime drama True Colours, the return of the National NAIDOC Awards Ceremony live on NITV, the return of Australia’s only Indigenous television breakfast program Big Mob Brekky, SBS Radio sharing the Uluru Statement from the Heart in-language for Australia’s diverse communities, and more.
As the National NAIDOC Principal Media Partner and official Education Partner, National NAIDOC Week will be celebrated across all SBS channels and platforms, including an exclusive NAIDOC collection of series and films available to stream on SBS On Demand and NAIDOC education resources via SBS Learn.
The ABC will broadcast a special episode of Q+A from Garma Festival on Monday night - see:
National Indigenous Television (NITV) will lead comprehensive coverage of the 22nd Garma Festival of Cultures across the SBS network, giving Australians unique insights and access to the event taking place in Gulkula, Gumatj Country, in north-east Arnhem Land.
Across four days, from Friday 29 July to Monday 1 August, NITV together with SBS is expanding its offering in 2022 and sharing the Garma experience with all Australians.
In addition to daily live coverage, updates and highlights across NITV’s platforms, SBS is also reporting from the festival in languages including Arabic and Mandarin, connecting Australia’s multicultural and multilingual communities with First Nations cultures and perspectives.
SBS Director of Indigenous Content, Tanya Denning-Orman, said it’s great to be expanding coverage of this important event across the SBS network.
“We’re excited to be bringing the powerful stories and important moments from Garma to audiences across Australia. At the heart of our coverage is NITV, providing a front row seat to the key events and ceremony, with updates and highlights covering the big issues and cultural celebrations of the day across SBS. For the first time, this includes on-the-ground reporting from SBS in Arabic and Mandarin for TV, radio and digital, among the multilingual coverage that will feature across the network.
“Garma provides an important stage and moment for discussion about the challenges impacting First Nations communities that we face as a nation, underpinned by tens of thousands of years of cultural tradition, knowledge and practice of the Yolŋu peoples. From the daily dialogue to the beautiful Buŋgul - the traditional Yolŋu ceremony each afternoon – we have a special opportunity with NITV and across SBS to share this unique celebration of First Nations cultures, achievements and determination with all Australians through our coverage.”
Four days of comprehensive coverage will kick off on NITV tomorrow afternoon with a special edition of NITV News Nula, presented by Natalie Ahmat, live from Garma from 3pm (AEDT)*, and simulcast on SBS. Then at 4.30pm, NITV will bring the sounds, speeches and culture of the Garma Opening Ceremony 2022 live**.**
Over the weekend on Saturday and Sunday, NITV will present the highlights from across the festival each day at 5.30pm with Garma 2022 *,*presented by Natalie Ahmat and The Point’s John-Paul Janke, followed by Garma Buŋgul 2022 at 6.30pm each night - a one-hour special package showcasing the graceful movement of the women and the strong songs of the men at the Buŋgul, the Yolŋu cultural ceremony with over 60,000 years of connection to Country, which takes place each afternoon of the festival.
Wrapping up the four-day event coverage on Monday afternoon, NITV will present a final Garma 2022 highlights program from 5.30pm (encored on SBS the following day at 2pm and 11.40pm). NITV programs from across the festival will also be available to stream live on SBS On Demand, and for catch up.
Across NITV’s digital coverage and social media, audiences can stay up to date with all the festival’s events each day as it happens with a live blog on sbs.com.au/nitv, regular updates, insights and moments shared on NITV’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and the daily Buŋgul each afternoon streamed live on NITV Facebook.
There’ll also be coverage and crosses into SBS World News each evening, in addition to SBS’s television news bulletins in Arabic and Mandarin – SBS عربي News and SBS 中文 News – from SBS’s multilingual reporters on the ground who will also deliver coverage including live reports, articles and podcasts in Arabic, Cantonese, French, and Mandarin for SBS Radio and language services.
The Garma Festival is a celebration of the cultural, artistic and ceremonial traditions of the Yolŋu people. Held annually - but delayed since 2019 due to the pandemic – it brings together community, business and political leaders, academics and journalists to discuss critical issues facing the future of Australia. NITV is proud to once again partner with the Yothu Yindi Foundation as a Media Supporter, continuing a long relationship which has seen NITV provide its distinctive coverage of the event from a First Nations perspective since 2015.
Thursday 25 August 9:25 PM
In New York City, where thousands of teenagers compete for a very few chances to play professional basketball - and the fame and money that come with it - one talented young man must choose between a scholarship to college and immediate wealth in this drama set on the asphalt basketball courts of Harlem.
From Sunday 4 September 08:30 PM
The Kings is a four-part series featuring four champions who ushered in a boxing renaissance. The series showcases the dominance of Roberto Duran, Marvin Hagler, Thomas Hearns, and Ray Leonard and their battles in and out of the ring.
Friday 9 September 7:30 PM
Blinky Bill is a koala with a big imagination. An adventurer at heart, he dreams of leaving the little town of Green Patch and following in his explorer father’s footsteps. Mr. Bill went missing in the Outback some time ago and Blinky is the only one who believes his father is still alive.
When Blinky discovers a mysterious marker that hints at his Dad’s whereabouts, he embarks on a journey that takes him beyond the boundary of Green Patch and into the wild and dangerous Outback. He quickly makes friends with Nutsy, a zoo koala, and Jacko, a nervous frill-necked lizard. Pursued relentlessly by a vengeful feral cat who has a personal score to settle with Blinky, the trio must learn to work together if they ever want to survive the rugged Australian landscape and find Blinky’s father!
According to Herald Sun, the AFL Grand Final edition of Yokayi Footy will be live streamed from Melbourne’s Federation Square at 7.30pm tonight. It will also be shown on NITV in the same timeslot.
The cast was announced today ahead of the series screening on NITV later this year. It includes five debutants: Nick Bonson and Caitlin Hordern in lead roles Tomias and Dahlia, Sherona Tiati, Zeallion Andrew, and Ronan Bonson, while the supporting cast includes Justine Clarke and Adrienne Pickering.
Saturday 1 October 8:30 PM
The Moogai explores post-natal depression, transgenerational trauma, and Australia’s Stolen Generation, but it is also a story of the value of children and the power of family.
A young Aboriginal couple have just had their first child, but what should be one of the happiest times in their lives turns to terror when Sarah (Shari Sebbens) starts seeing a malevolent spirit, she believes is trying to take her baby. Her husband Fergus (Meyne Wyatt) desperately wants to believe her, but as she becomes more unstable, he is increasingly concerned for the safety of their child. Is Sarah really being visited by a child-stealing spirit or is she the biggest threat to their family’s safety?
Monday 3 October 8:30 PM
Exile and The Kingdom is the first complete account in Australian film history of the experiences of a single group of Aboriginal people from pre-colonial time to the present.
The film argues that the relentless removal of the Injibandi/Ngaluma people into coastal ghettos has led to the community’s current problems. However, as the film moves us through the period of British colonisation, unearthing appalling facts about slavery and the violent rule of pearling and pastoral overlords, to the excesses of the 1960s mining boom and problems with alcohol, it never allows the viewer to forget the significance and influence of spiritual homelands, the bedrock upon which Injibandi/Ngaluma tribal Law is based. Above all Exile is a beautifully logical and persuasive argument for land rights.
Using a poetic mix of historical recreation, compelling argument, testimony, creation story and song, the film never deviates from its intention to let the tribal people tell their own story. It makes the connection between Aborigines in chains in the nineteenth century and Aborigines in prisons today so providing a deeper understanding of how the abuses and denials of the past inform the present. Ultimately, it gives conviction that with their extraordinary resilience, the indigenous peoples of Australia will survive and flourish.
From Monday 10 October 9:30 PM 4 episodes (9:00 PM in following weeks)
The series is created and directed by Stef Smith (Joy Boy) and produced by Smith, alongside Clare Delaney (Not There), Florence Tourbier (Berlin Syndrome) and Iain Crittenden (Holy Crap) for Photoplay Films, with eight distinct stories written by Ana Maria Belo (Frayed), Anna Lindner (A Beginner’s Guide to Grief), Arky Michael (Janet King), Cecilia Morrow (Top of the Lake: China Girl), Chris Burton (Relic), Jeanette Cronin (The Tourist), Michael Gupta (The Echo), Nick Coyle (Sarah’s Channel), Stef Smith and Wendy Mocke (The Code).
Prominent Australian actress, who also happens to be deaf, Ana Maria Belo stars in the series leading role as therapist Joanne. Bunton, Morrow, Michael and Mocke also star, alongside Heather Mitchell (Love Me), Eryn Jean Norvill (Preppers), Andrew McFarlane (Between Two Worlds), Cat Van Davies (The Twelve), comedian Suren Jayemanne (Question Everything) and newcomers Margaret Pittas, Sam Greenless and Edan Chapman.
Photoplay Films’ Oliver Lawrence (Sweet Country) executive produces alongside Gracie Otto (Heartbreak High) and Annette Davey (Maid).
It’s Fine I’m Fine received principal production funding from Screen Australia in association with Screen NSW.
As Monday 10 October is World Mental Health Day, NITV has also curated a Mental Health Collection, which includes the premiere of Each and Every Day: Stories from Survivors; an exploration of mental health through the eyes of young people who share their dark moments, recoveries, and wisdom about what it means to build a life worth living, and Neighbours; an observational documentary about people with mental illness who leave their institution after decades spent in isolation. Please refer to your program guide for more information.
From Tuesday 11 October 9:00 PM
After choosing not to leave town for a new life on the Gold Coast and instead remaining in Papakura, Billy-John (Dahnu Graham) finds himself in an even bigger dilemma when his ‘black sheep’ uncle arrives home in search of his lost drug stash.
The boys hatch a plan to pay him back - but do they really need to? And can Uncle Trev really be trusted? With no direction, Billy starts getting influenced by his uncle and begins to learn a different way of doing things - the ‘Uncle Trev’ way. Regrets about not going to the Gold Coast start to surface, and he ends up in deep water after a few unfortunate incidents with his family.