AIDC 2024: The Kimberley, new natural history series for ABC

Three part series showcasing spectacular WA region to be narrated by actor Mark Coles Smith.

Wild Pacific Media is filming a natural history series The Kimberley for ABC in 2025.

The three part series will showcase the spectacular wilderness region of northern Western Australia, with its majestic canyons, World Heritage national parks, waterfalls and rivers and ancient mountain ranges.

“It’s been in the pipeline for over a year. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for the last decade, but it’s always been a real challenge to film in that part of the world,” producer Nick Robinson said yesterday at the Australian International Documentary Conference in Melbourne.”

The project is a co-production with France’s ARTE and doco streamer Love Nature and a yet-to-be announced US broadcaster.

“It has a First Nations component that’s quite strong, but I think that’s always, in my films, resonated with European audiences as well. So from that point of view, it makes it easy,” he continued.

“These natural history series have been designed from the ground up to fit both audiences and you really have to be thinking about what they’re interested in. What we’re interested. There’s also that aspect of the ABC taking a longer programme, and we’ve got 10 minutes or so in the film that we can kind of carve out to try and make it more Australian for Aussies, and we change the scripts for the Europeans.

The series will be narrated by Broome’s own Mark Coles Smith.

“He’s heavily invested in that country. He’s an artist in every sense of the word. He’s a musician, a storyteller, an activist in that sense. So he kind of is the perfect person to tell that story, if you like,” said Robinson.

“Mark will be writing on this show…. he appears in a few scenes as do many other characters in the film. So it’s interesting in that respect, that he crosses the boundary. He goes from narration to becoming one of the people that we follow on the ground, doing his his cultural work that he does, protecting the Martuwarra river system.”

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