New 13-part children’s television series Grace Beside Me, marks the first live scripted drama co-commissioned by NITV.
Produced by Magpie Pictures, the series starring Kyliric Masella, Mairehau Grace and Tjiirdm McGuire, it is adapted from the award-winning novel by Sue McPherson.
Filmed in Queensland, this will also air later this year on ABC ME.
The series tells the charming story of an Indigenous girl Fuzzy Mac, who just wants to be an ordinary teenager and have fun with her mates. But that’s not so easy when Fuzzy’s ancestors have other plans and she keeps seeing ghosts!
With one foot in the Indigenous realm of culture, Country, and spirits, and the other firmly planted in the world of a 21st century teenager, Fuzzy’s journey is to realise she belongs to both in her own unique way.
The series was filmed entirely on location in the Scenic Rim area of South-East Queensland, and stars up and coming talent, Kyliric Masella as Fuzzy Mac, Mairehau Grace and Tjiirdm McGuire as Fuzzy’s best buddies Tui and Yar, and Tessa Rose and Charles Passi as her Nan and Pop.
NITV’s Channel Manager, Tanya Orman, said: “NITV is delighted to bring Sue McPherson’s exceptional story to life and introduce Fuzzy Mac to audiences across Australia. The series brings Indigenous culture to the forefront and is important because it lets Indigenous kids see themselves on screen in a positive and fun way, and demystifies Indigenous culture for non-Indigenous audiences.
“At a time when Australian children are hungry for home grown drama series, NITV is proud to create a televised adaptation of this well-known Australian Indigenous novel through an exceptionally talented cast.”
Producers Lois Randall and Dena Curtis said: “Grace Beside Me is thoroughly modern Australian drama that shows – in all its humour and pathos – the joys and challenges of teenage life for our utterly compelling young heroine, Fuzzy Mac.”
NITV co-commissioned the series with ABC children’s channel ABC ME. Screen Australia was a major investor in the series, with Screen Queensland and Cutting Edge. Disney Channel has also licensed the series in Australia and New Zealand, while the rest of world distribution is with Canada’s 9Story Media Group. The Australian Children’s Television Foundation, Screen Australia’s Indigenous Department and Screen NSW also supported early development of the series.
Producers were Magpie Pictures’ Lois Randall (The Gods of Wheat Street) with Dena Curtis (8MMM Aboriginal Radio, Shadow Trackers). Executive producers were Lois Randall, with NITV executive producer Mary-Ellen Mullane and ABC TV executive producer Libbie Doherty. The series was directed by Lynn-Maree Danzey (A Place to Call Home, Love Child), Beck Cole (Here I Am, Black Comedy) and Nicholas Verso (Nowhere Boys, Boys in the Trees).
Friday 16 February at 7.30pm on NITV.