NITV is Australia's home of Indigenous storytelling and had an impressive 2018, including its first ever TV Week Logie win with the country's first Indigenous animated series, Little J and Big Cuz.
Some other heavy hitters included the teen-drama adaptation of Sue MacPherson's acclaimed novel, Grace Beside Me, groundbreaking documentary on the landmark 1996 High Court descision, Wik Vs. Queensland and the widely raved about Black Divaz, a feature documentary following the Indigenous drag pageant, Miss First Nations.
As the new year approaches, NITV is excited to showcase what viewers can expect on Channel 34.
Westwind: Djalu's Legacy
Djalu Gurruwiwi is an aging elder in a line 60,000 years long. He is running out of time to pass on the Yidaki Songlines entrusted to him for the future of his people. His sons and community, struggling to come to terms with the consequences of colonisation, are in danger of being lost.
When Djalu breaks with tradition to try and save them, world famous musician Gotye becomes an unexpected family member, helping to heal Djalu’s sons and amplifying their songs to the world.
Adapted from Craig Silvey’s best-selling Australian novel and featuring a stellar cast including Toni Collette, Hugo Weaving, Levi Miller, Angourie Rice, Dan Wyllie and Aaron McGrath, Jasper Jones is the story of Charlie Bucktin, a bookish boy of 14 living in a small town in Western Australia. This touching film is compelling as a whodunit, touching as a coming-of-age story, but most importantly, insightful as a picture of race relations.
Fraggle Rock entertains while also encouraging an understanding and embracing of diversity. The fun-loving group of furry subterranean creatures who make up the Fraggle Gang, Red, Gobo, Wembley, Boober, Mokey, and Uncle Traveling Matt have adventures throughout the series that capture the hearts of both children and adults alike. Fraggle Rock was created as a way to show the world how to live in peace. Within the show are three different communities - the home of Doc, an inventor, and his dog Sprocket, the world of the upbeat Fraggles, who share the caves of Fraggle Rock beneath Doc's house with their small neighbours, the Doozers, and the Gorgs, gigantic creatures who inhabit Gorg's Garden. Through these different communities, Fraggle Rock shows viewers how we can all work together towards common goals.
Celebrated by audiences at home and abroad, Indigenous artist Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu was one of the most important and acclaimed voices to ever come out of Australia. Blind from birth, he found purpose and meaning through songs and music inspired by his community and country on Elcho Island in far North East Arnhem Land. Living a traditional Yolgnu life, his breakthrough album Gurrumul brought him to a crossroads as audiences and artists around the world began to embrace his music. Gurrumul is a portrait of an artist on the brink of global reverence, and the struggles he and those closest to him faced in balancing that which mattered most to him and keeping the show on the road.
Based on a true story, Sweet Country follows an Indigenous farm hand Sam Kelly (Hamilton Morris) and his wife Lizzie (Natassia Gorey Furber) who become embroiled in a white pastoralist’s (Ewen Leslie) quest to punish an Indigenous boy (played by twins Tremayne and Trevon Doolan) for an alleged crime. Despite the efforts of Sam’s employer Fred Smith (Sam Neill), the local head of police Fletcher (Bryan Brown) cannot be dissuaded from his dogged pursuit of justice, which sees the film unfold against the beauty and brutality of Australia’s outback.
She Who Must Be Loved
She Who Must Be Loved tells the epic life story of Alfreda Glynn, a 78 year-old Aboriginal woman, stills photographer, co-founder of the Central Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA), and Imparja TV, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, radical, pacifist, grumpy old woman, who in equal measure loves the limelight and total privacy. Part bio-pic, part social history, it details the life of a woman born beneath a tree north of Alice Springs in 1939, her childhood living under the Aboriginal Protection policies, and the impact, both good and bad, that they had on her life.
Returning to NITV 2019:
Going Places with Ernie Dingo
In 2019, travel program Going Places with Ernie Dingo will return to NITV and SBS. The new season will make viewers feel like they’re along for the ride with Ernie as he travels the length and breadth of Australia, visiting stunning places and meeting traditional owners and locals who share their passion and their story for living where they live.
Celebrating country, culture, mouth-watering home-style recipes and family, Kriol Kitchen returns for a fourth season. Mitch and Ali Torres visit six tourism destinations in Western Australia, from saltwater, to the river, and desert. This season will also welcome a bonus episode with Adam Liaw joining the hosts for a cultural exchange of Kriol style cooking.
Little J & Big Cuz
Logie award-winning Indigenous animation series, Little J & Big Cuz returns to NITV in 2019. Little J and his Big Cuz; Indigenous Australian kids living with their Nanna and Old Dog. All their friends are nearby, and school is just a stroll away along a bush track. In this season, they’re finding out more about their world and themselves - in the backyard, the classroom or on Country.
On Country Kitchen
Putting a delicious twist on NSW’ produce, characters, culture and adventures, WA comic Derek Nannup is taken on a tour of NSW by Indigenous Chef Mark ‘The Black Olive’ Olive when On Country Kitchen returns in 2019.
Foraging for locally found ingredients, sprinkles of culture and character for good measure, Mark and Derek create an Indigenous-inspired feast for the characters and producers they visit along their journey in this season.
Living Black & The Point
Australia’s longest running Indigenous current affairs televised program, Living Black, hosted by Karla Grant, returns in 2019, featuring some of the most recognisable faces in Australia, and is a documentary style storytelling of compelling human stories. NITV’s flagship news and current affairs program The Point, hosted by Rachael Hocking and John Paul Janke, will continue to deliver a weekly show on the issues that matter most to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
Marngrook Footy Show & Over the Black Dot
NITV’s biggest audience driver, the Marngrook Footy Show, will return to capture all the latest AFL action. The program combines weekly footy news, all-star interviews, and in-depth analysis, with a unique spotlight on the Indigenous contribution to AFL. This season of the show will reach beyond the AFL competition and look to reveal undiscovered talent in Aboriginal communities.
All the latest and greatest from the NRL will be discussed in 2019’s season of Over the Black Dot. This year, a stellar lineup panel including George Rose, Timana Tahu, and Bo Delacruz will speak to all tiers of the rugby league and be joined weekly by a host of special guests.
Many NITV (Ch. 34) programs and films can be streamed online on SBS On Demand.