In a recent, very necessary development for Netflix, the streaming giant has partnered with local producers to develop more First Nations-led productions under the companies repertoire.
Bunya Talent Hub - an LA production company which serves as an incubator for mid-career show-runners, writers, producers and directors will be presenting a writing program for 10 Indigenous-led productions in association with Netflix and Screen Australia's Indigenous Department. Development funding for the 10 productions will be provided by Netflix and Screen Australia’s Indigenous Department with the intention of developing projects with Bunya producers.
“Our investment in Australian content begins with harnessing the best of Australian creative talent. We are thrilled to invest in this cohort of gifted storytellers in partnership with Bunya Productions and Screen Australia’s Indigenous Department.” says Que Minh Luu, Director of Originals for Netflix in Australia, according to TV Black Box.
The hub was initially set to take place in Los Angeles in May 2020, but, like most other in-person activities - particularly in the entertainment industry - was delayed due to COVID-19 restrictions. The Hub has now been restructured as a virtual event, and will reportedly take place in February 2021. The Hub will also ensure that one-on-one international mentorships are provided to each project, which will come from Australians in Film.
Penny Smallacombe, Head of Indigenous at Screen Australia, has stated, “This is such an exciting collaborative program and despite the delay due to COVID-19 we are really pleased to provide development support to such an incredible mix of projects from some of our best screen storytellers. There is so much talent in this group and with the support of Bunya Productions and Netflix I feel confident we can continue to take our First Nations stories to global audiences.”
There will be 10 creative teams and screen practitioners, and each project will include a range of genre's, and feature film and TV styles, offering a wide variety of on-screen genre's.
Included in these teams, will be Aaron Fa’Aos, Nakkiah Lui and Miranda Tapsell, Tony Briggs and Damienne Pradier, Dena Curtis, Adrian Russell Wills and Gillian Moody, Ryan Griffen, Jub Clerc, Dylan River and Tanith Glynn-Maloney, Shari Sebbens and Wayne Blair.
Sophia Zachariou, CEO Bunya Productions, has noted, “All hats off to Netflix and to Screen Australia's Indigenous Department that we are able to support and further develop these incredible projects led by some of the strongest First Nations talent in the country”. This is such an important step for the Australian entertainment industry, and a delayed, but apt one for the time we are living in currently as the world puts more pressure on large corporations to put inclusion and representation at top of their priority list and begin to make equitable reparations to First Nations people.