ABC’s Operation Buffalo goes off in Berlin

ABC series Operation Buffalo has won the Best Comedy Award at the Berlin TV Series Festival, which celebrates outstanding storytelling from around the world.

The series, produced by Porchlight Films, was the only Australian winner at the 4th Berlin International TV Series Festival awards, which were announced in Germany on Friday night.

Inspired by true events, Operation Buffalo, which is available on ABC iview, shines a spotlight on British nuclear testing at Maralinga, in outback South Australia, in the 1950s. The six-part series – starring Ewen Leslie, James Cromwell and Jessica De Gouw – is a captivating cocktail of spy thriller, political satire and dark comedy.

Sally Riley, ABC Head of Drama, Entertainment & Indigenous content, said the Berlin TV Series award showcased the strength of Australian content on the world stage. “Congratulations to the Operation Buffalo team, led by Peter, Vincent and Tanya,” she said. “It’s heartening that this challenging Australian story has connected with an international audience through the series’ unique blend of drama and satire.”

Peter Duncan, the series’ co-creator, writer, director and co-producer, said: “To receive this award from a place of such significant historical and cultural strength as Berlin is a great honour. Berlin was at the heart of the Cold War and Maralinga was at its extremities. But the connection is manifest. This award recognises that connection and also the fine work of our cast and crew.”

Berlin TV Series Festival Founder Mark Olan Dreeson said the comedy award’s jury was “amazed” by the Australian series. “We haven’t seen such an excellent ‘dramedy’ for the longest time,” he said.

Operation Buffalo was produced by Vincent Sheehan, Tanya Phegan and Peter Duncan, with ABC Executive Producers Sally Riley and Andrew Gregory. The series received major production investment from Screen Australia in association with the ABC and Screen NSW and was financed with support from the South Australian Film Corporation and Head Gear Films.

The award win comes days after ABC series Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds and Content scored nominations for this year’s International Emmy Awards.

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