Nicole Manison, NT Minister for Mining and Industry, Media Release, 9 June 2021
The Territory is becoming a big player in Australia’s screen and film industry, with the announcement of another large production Barrumbi Kids to be filmed in Beswick and the production expecting to inject $2.8m into the economy.
The new 10 part children’s television series has received $715,000 from the Territory Government through the 2020-21 Screen Territory COVID-19 grant program.
Production of the series will see significant involvement from the Beswick community and is expected to benefit the local economy through employment of cast and crew, and the use of goods and services including accommodation, transport, catering/hospitality and set building.
The series, produced by Danielle MacLean of Darwin based production company Tamarind Tree Pictures, Monica O’Brien of Ambience Entertainment and independent producer Julia Morris is based on the popular book series by Territory author Leonie Norrington and will premiere on NITV in 2022.
Barrumbi Kids tells the story of Tomias and Dahlia, two best friends growing up in a remote Northern Territory community. Through fishing, hunting and going to school, the children learn about themselves, each other and both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal cultures.
Screen Australia, National Indigenous Television (NITV) and Australian Children’s Television Foundation (ACTF) are also providing investment into the series.
This new series is the second major children’s television production being filmed in the Territory with another 10 part TV series, MaveriX having just completed filming in Alice Springs last Friday.
The Northern Territory Government invested $9 million into the Northern Territory Screen Industry over four years (2016-2020), and this investment has seen significant growth in our screen sector and development of local productions.
Quotes from Minister for Industry, Nicole Manison
“We recognise the importance in sharing Territory stories like Barrumbi Kids and MaveriX to local and global audiences, while creating jobs for Territorians and bringing economic benefits to not only the Big Rivers region, but also to the broader Top End.
“Productions such as these bring upskilling and employment opportunities for the screen sector while supporting a wide range of Territory businesses and jobs.
“This will be the first major television series to be produced in the Aboriginal community of Beswick and the Territory Government is investing over $700 000 into this exciting project.
“Investing in the Territory Screen Industry is incredibly important to build its capacity and raise the profile of the Territory and our unique storytelling.”
Quotes from Esther Bullumbarra, Beswick (Wugularr), Traditional Owner Jawoyn Country
“It is really good having Barrumbi Kids in our community of Beswick. I’m really excited to see our kids making this series, changing it from a book into a television series. The books were published a long time ago now and we will be the first community to make a television series here. People, especially the kids, will be able to see our culture.”
Quotes from co-producers of Barrumbi Kids Danielle MacLean, Monica O’Brien and Julia Morris:
“Barrumbi Kids is one of those projects that you fight to get made because it’s so good, so important and such an incredible experience for all involved.
“After years of collaborative development with the Beswick community, the home of Walking with Spirits Festival since 2002, we’re so thrilled to have the support of NITV, ACTF, Screen Australia and Screen Territory to create this incredible series for Australian children to be inspired by.”
Barrumbi Kids is a Tamarind Tree Pictures and Ambience Entertainment production for NITV. Major production investment from Screen Australia in association with NITV, Screen Territory and the Australian Children’s Television Foundation.