Australian First Nations TV shows find a potentially vast audience in the US

<i>Barrumbi Kids</i> is among the First Nations shows headed to the US.

Barrumbi Kids is among the First Nations shows headed to the US. Photo: Australian Children's Television Foundation

The US is about to get a selection of Australian First Nations children’s content following a deal between the Australian Children’s Television Foundation and the First Nations Experience.

The First Nations Experience (FNX) is a TV channel in the US dedicated to Native American and world Indigenous content.

Now, some beloved Australian First Nations content will air in 29 US states for the first time, while some titles have been relicensed.

Among the television shows FNX has acquired is Barrumbi Kids and the second and third seasons of the animation show Little J & Big Cuz, the first series of which has been relicensed. 

Thalu, Red Dirt Riders and Ready for This have also been acquired and will all make their US debut.

Double Trouble and Series 1 and 2 of Waabiny Time have also been relicensed, the Australian Children’s Television Foundation (ACTF) said.

FNX has a potential viewing audience of over 75 million households, with the channel being carried on 34 affiliate stations.

FNX producer and television director Frank Blanquet said the channel was extremely proud to partner with the ACTF and bring Australian First Nations stories to the US.

“FNX aims to be a showcase and a platform for all Indigenous people to celebrate their vibrant cultures, stories, songs, music, and especially our children and elders,” Mr Blanquet said in a statement.

“Celebrating the pillars in our societies, and empowering our future generations is crucial to help uplift our Native and Indigenous communities.

“The wonderful programming produced through ACTF is a perfect fit for both our children’s line up, and our general audience.”

ACTF CEO Jenny Buckland said the foundation was excited to see the locally-produced television be showcased over in the US.

“Australia’s First Nations screen practitioners are among the most talented members of our screen sector, and we’re proud to have such a range of engaging, high-quality content that celebrates and elevates First Nations culture in our offering for children,” she said.

Netflix launches First Nations bootcamp

Earlier this week Netflix launched a bootcamp for people of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent who are aspiring to enter the screen industry.

The streaming giant has also committed to building a bank of First Nations content to add to its platform.

The First Nations Production Ready Bootcamp will take place over three days in late July and the workshop will support 10 First Nations participants who are interested in entering the screen industry.

The workshop promises to provide a “comprehensive overview of the ins and outs of screen production as well as prepare participants for trainee and attachment positions”.

“The Production Ready Bootcamp will focus on below-the-line crew roles, and applicants from the Northern Territory and South Australia are encouraged to apply,” Netflix stated.

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