SBS License 'Go Back To Where You Came from' To US and Europe
SBS Australia has signed its first ever international format agreement with BBC America, along with a string of other international broadcasters, for the landmark documentary series, Go Back To Where You Came From.
Produced by Cordell Jigsaw Productions, Go Back To Where You Came From sparked heated national and international debate when it aired in Australia last year.
The breakthrough deal with BBC America is the first time SBS Australia has signed a format agreement with a major US broadcaster and follows the lead of key broadcast partners that have also come on board, including TV2 Denmark and Keshet Broadcasting for Israel Tuvalu Media (Sony Pictures Entertainment), Studio Hamburg DocLights, Snowman Productions and Curious Pictures have all signed on having the option to produce local versions of Go Back in the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden and South Africa respectively.
SBS Managing Director Michael Ebeid said: “It’s rare for a television format to be able to break new ground using an issue that’s a political hot button worldwide. The high level of interest from both international broadcasters and production companies is testament to the compelling nature of the format and the fertile ground it offers to tap into local sentiments about refugees and asylum seekers.”
Michael Cordell of Cordell Jigsaw said: “Go Back proved important issues don’t have to be dull television. We’re proud the series became part of the national debate on asylum seekers and is now on its way to becoming part of the international debate. We’re also cock-a-hoop about the format sales. Instead of being a dumping ground for overseas formats, for once, an Australian format is being exported to the rest of the world. Hopefully it will help balance our cultural terms of trade.”
Perry Simon, General Manager, Channels, BBC Worldwide Americas: “In the tradition of the BBC, BBC AMERICA is committed to bold, provocative original programming that illuminates contemporary social and cultural issues. Go Back to Where You Came From provides another perspective on immigrants and refugees that is sure to spark conversation among our viewers and the public at large.”
Refugees and asylum seekers are a controversial issue around the globe and Go Back To Where You Came From (4x 60 mins) follows six Australians who agree to challenge their
preconceived notions about refugees and asylum seekers and embark on a confronting 25 day journey.
Deprived of all their possessions, the group are thrown into situations real refugees face every day. They board a leaky refugee boat, are rescued mid-ocean, experience immigration raids in Malaysia, live in Kenyan refugee camps and visit slums in Jordan, before ultimately ending-up in war-torn Iraq and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The series ignited passionate debate on online forums around the world together with widespread attention throughout the Australian and international media, proving the issue of refugees is topical the world over.
Go Back To Where You Came From also trended number one on Twitter worldwide and experienced hundreds of thousands of discussions on Facebook, Google+ and other social networks, as well as articles in The New York Times and on the BBC.
SBS International is the program sales division of SBS Television, Australia's foremost multicultural broadcaster. Our content is uniquely rich and culturally diverse which informs, educates and entertains its audiences. We look forward to hearing from you whether you are a program buyer or a producer seeking a global distribution partner.
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