NITV and ABC Children’s are proud to announce Thalu has commenced production on location in the Pilbara, Western Australia. Energetic, inventive and funny, this new five-part children’s series received principal production investment from Screen Australia in association with Screenwest and the Western Australian Regional Film Fund and was financed with support from NITV, ABC and the Australian Children’s Television Foundation.
The live-action series focuses on a group of Indigenous children, who undertake a journey to save their Country from the threat of a mysterious dust cloud and its inhabitants, the Takers.
Produced by Tyson Mowarin and Robyn Marais at Weerianna Street Media in association with Bernadette O’Mahony from the ACTF, Thalu takes Roebourne community stories and weaves Ngarluma culture with the classic heroes’ journey shot in and around Roebourne. The show is an ode to the Pilbara and its people.
Thalu is the cast’s first foray into acting including exciting newcomers Ella Togo, Cherry-Rose Hubert, Jakeile Coffin, Wade Walker, Penny Wally, Logan Adams and Sharliya Mowarin. The cast all come from Roebourne and each character has been written with input from the young cast member to reflect their personality, sense of humour, and of course, culture.
NITV Channel Manager, Tanya Orman, said: “Thalu is as much an action-packed adventure as it is a celebration of the Pilbara region and its Indigenous culture. We’re very excited for our viewers to take this journey with us.
“With 55 percent of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population under the age of 25, NITV is committed to producing and showcasing quality content that is relevant to younger Indigenous audiences.”
“It’s so important for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kids to see themselves reflected on screen – and to celebrate Indigenous culture and language. We are sure that Thalu will be received with the same warm reception as our award-winning series Little J and Big Cuz and Grace Beside Me.”
ABC Head of Children’s Content, Libbie Doherty, said, “Thalu ingeniously mixes traditional and modern Aboriginal storytelling to bring this futuristic fantasy to the screen. The ABC is excited to partner again with NITV to share this adventurous story from the Pilbara and to work with Tyson, the awesome cast members and the Roebourne community to bring this story to young audiences across the country.”
Screen Australia’s Head of Content, Sally Caplan said, “Screen Australia is committed to supporting local children’s content that celebrates Australian culture, landscapes and accents onscreen. Thalu is such a distinct story, not just in its dystopian look against the backdrop of the Pilbara, but also in its close connection to the local community
“With creator and Roebourne local Tyson Mowarin working alongside producer Robyn Marais and a talented team of writers and directors on board, I can’t wait to see this cast of newcomers bring this inspiring original series to Australian audiences next year.”
CEO of Screenwest, Willie Rowe, said, “Thalu will take audiences on a journey across the Pilbara region of Western Australia for a story brimming with adventure and heart. Screenwest is excited to support Tyson Mowarin, Robyn Marais, the Weerianna Street Media team and the Roebourne community to bring this fast-paced and funny original project to life and share their work with a national audience.”
Thalu premieres on NITV, SBS On Demand and ABC ME in 2020.