National Indigenous Television (NITV) and Screen Australia are pleased to announce two new distinctive documentary series slated for 2022 – Larapinta and Our Law.
The documentaries will join a family of powerful factual stories at NITV, following a year that has seen documentaries such as Incarceration Nation and History Bites Back reach audiences and garner discussion nationwide.
Following the success of the stand-alone half hour documentary Our Law, NITV is announcing an inspired six-part series that shall bring insight into complex stories and uniquely Australian themes with heart. After 170 years of locked doors and sealed lips, documentary cameras have been granted intimate and candid access to the Indigenous officers and cadets attempting to break the cycle of Indigenous incarceration and repair a deeply troubled Aboriginal-police relationship, while giving voice to the communities being policed.
Documentary Larapinta shares its name with the oldest river in the world (Larapinta – also known as The Finke River), which runs through the heart of Central Australia. How do we live in harmony with the environment and what can we learn from our country’s Traditional Owners? The Larapinta (Finke River) is also home to the oldest culture in the world and its past, present and future is a story about culture, environment, art, climate change, totems and song lines. Host Talia Liddle, a proud Arrernte, Luritja and Pertame woman, returns to her country along Larapinta, taking viewers on an intimate and engaging journey. Along the way she will meet local characters, scientists, rangers, traditional owners, artists, historians, archaeologists and palaeontologists all of whom will bring knowledge and stories of this mighty river.
Kyas Hepworth, NITV’s Head of Commissioning and Programming, said, “NITV is committed to developing First Nation’s stories and producing premium factual content. We are thrilled to bring Larapinta and Our Law to audiences across Australia – that are in the zeitgeist and warrant telling. Stories of Country, protecting our natural environment and the ongoing solutions from an Indigenous perspective on incarceration.
“We, as a channel, are honoured to share these stories with all Australians, and look forward to both programs premiering in 2022.”
Graeme Mason, CEO of Screen Australia said, “We are proud to fund these powerful documentaries through our First Nations Department and ensure these vital stories are told. It’s great to support Gary Hamaguchi writing and directing his first documentary series Larapinta, teaming up with talented producers Michaela Perske and Mitch Stanley to bring the story of the oldest river in the world to our screens. Taryne Laffar has also proven herself a dynamic producer and we’re thrilled to support the full series of Our Law. I look forward to seeing both these series on NITV next year.”
Michaela Perske and Mitch Stanley, Larapinta producers said, “We’re excited to bring this series to life and share the history of Larapinta (Finke River) from all angles. We’re taught about the Nile and the Amazon yet few people know about Central Australia’s lifeline and artery. Years of mistreatment has been detrimental to the entire ecosystem, but local Indigenous knowledge may just be the key to rejuvenating this natural wonder.”
Taryne Laffar, Our Law producer, said, “It is with relief, excitement, responsibility and pride that I wish to say, to be working with and for so many Indigenous Traditional Owners and Communities around Western Australia – this is for you. Our Law not only shines a light on the policing of Aboriginal Peoples in WA, through the lens of Aboriginal Police Officers and the Indigenous Peoples and Communities they police, but is providing solutions based contemporary evidence when looking at the historical and contemporary issues of relations between Indigenous Peoples and the WA Police.”
Paul Williams, Documentary Manager at Screenwest said, “The commission of Our Law as a six-part series by NITV speaks volumes of the filmmaking team’s ability to navigate the complexities of First Nations people’s relationship with law enforcement, to tell a story of great importance to WA and Australia more broadly.”
Devina McPherson, Indigenous Program Manager at Screenwest said, “I’m proud to be supporting Pink Pepper and Periscope Pictures. Our Law has made such an impact with the initial NITV half hour documentary, which went onto being acquired by Netflix, and is now commissioned as a full six-part series by NITV. Our Law addresses the need for deeper cultural understanding for healing within Indigenous communities in Western Australia, and is an intersection between law enforcement, Indigenous agency and culture. The project is a timely reminder, and encouragement of wider audiences to acknowledge and experience the wealth of stories from Indigenous people across this vast state, and I’m looking forward to see the final series.”
Our Law is a Pink Pepper production for NITV, produced by Taryne Laffar, Sam Bodhi Field, Darren Dale and Jacob Hickey. Principal production investment from Screen Australia, in association with NITV. Financed with support from Screenwest and Lotterywest.
Larapinta is a Pursekey Productions and No Coincidence Media production for NITV, produced by Michaela Perske and Mitch Stanley. Principal production investment from Screen Australia, in association with Screenwest. Financed with support from Goolari Media and Screen NSW.