SBS documentaries The Australian Wars and The Swap lead the way in representation and inclusion on global stage with MIPCOM awardsThe Australian Wars has received the 2023 Content Innovation Award for Representation and Inclusion – Unscripted, at the ceremony held in Cannes overnight.

The landmark SBS series, produced by Blackfella Films, explores and confronts the story of the bloody battles fought on Australian soil as the colonial frontier pushed forward, and First Nations people resisted. The three-part series, directed and presented by filmmaker Rachel Perkins, delivers a compelling awakening to a part of Australian history not commonly known or understood, at a historic moment for the nation.

This is the latest award for the series which, since its premiere on SBS in October 2022, has gone on to receive widespread critical acclaim for its craft, impact, and vital contribution to truth telling. Accolades have included the 2023 TV Week Logie Award for Most Outstanding Factual or Documentary Program, the Digital History Prize at the New South Wales Premier’s History Awards.

Gold (History & Society) at the 2023 New York Festival Awards, and the Australian representative in three Asian 2023 Academy Creative Awards categories (Best Factual Presenter, Bet Direction Non-Fiction, and Best Documentary Series).

The series is a finalist in the upcoming 2023 Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism to be announced in November. It is also set to appear on screens internationally, selling to networks in Canada, New Zealand, Asia and the United Kingdom. 

SBS documentaries The Australian Wars and The Swap lead the way in representation and inclusion on global stage with MIPCOM awards
The Swap (image – SBS)

SBS’s innovative and heart-warming documentary series, The Swap, was also recognised this week, receiving the MIPCOM CANNES Diversify TV Award for Representation of Race and Ethnicity (Non-Scripted) at the awards ceremony held in Cannes on Tuesday night – and was the only Australian production to be recognised in the prestigious awards.

Produced by Southern Pictures for SBS, the three-part series documents a bold experiment, pioneered by Ali Kadri, the CEO of the Islamic College of Brisbane, which sees 12 students and families from very different cultures, religions and backgrounds – and with very strong opinions on each other – thrown into each other’s worlds. Over one school term, the three-part series follows the students as they experience the anxiety, excitement and wonder of spending time at each other’s schools and with each other’s families and communities, breaking down social barriers and building greater acceptance, respect and understanding along the way.

SBS Director of Television, Kathryn Fink, said:

“We’re exceptionally proud to see these ground-breaking and uniquely Australian stories being recognised for their compelling and impactful storytelling, continuing our legacy in documentaries that challenge perceptions and ignite important discussion – and that also make for inspiring and entertaining television for local and global audiences.

“Congratulations to everyone involved on this wonderful and well-deserved recognition for both series at MIPCOM this year.”

The Content Innovation Awards, in partnership with MIPCOM, celebrate significant contributions to the transformation of the global television industry, recognising those at the forefront of innovation. The Australian Wars was also shortlisted for Best Documentary Series at the awards, with The Swap also shortlisted in the Representation and Inclusion Award – Unscripted category, while SBS original series, Safe Home (Kindling Pictures and Banijay Rights for SBS), was shortlisted for the Best New Scripted Award.  

The MIPCOM CANNES Diversify TV Awards are dedicated to championing and promoting diversity and inclusion in all its forms across the international television industry. They aim to bring attention to programs that embrace excellent representation in exemplary shows, across a range of categories for scripted and unscripted content.

The Australian Wars is a Blackfella Films production for SBS, with principal production investment from Screen Australia in association with SBS, financed with support from Shark Island Foundation and Screen NSW. It is distributed worldwide by ABC Commercial.

The Swap is a Southern Pictures production for SBS, with major production investment from Screen Australia in association with SBS, financed with support from Screen Queensland.

The Australian Wars and The Swap are both available to stream free on SBS On Demand.

Media Release – SBS

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