Multi award-winning landmark documentary series The Australian Wars acquired for UK audiences

ABC Commercial is proud to announce the sale of the landmark series The Australian Wars to the UK’s public broadcaster to air on BBC Four and BBC iPlayer from Tuesday 7 November 2023.

The Australian Wars (international title: First Wars) delivers a compelling awakening to the wars fought within Australia that have for too long been at the centre of a great national silence. Over three parts this ground-breaking documentary uncovers the story of the bloody battles fought on Australian soil, as the colonial frontier pushed forward, and First Nations people resisted. This is the longest and perhaps most defining war that established the Australian nation. Award-winning filmmaker Rachel Perkins gives voice to the story of the First Wars – and in the telling, changes the narrative of the nation.

Commissioned by SBS Australia, produced by Australia’s premier Indigenous production company Blackfella Films and distributed worldwide by ABC Commercial, The Australian Wars has taken off, selling widely to networks in Canada, New Zealand, Asia and Australia and to transport clients around the world.

Critically lauded, this gripping series was presented and directed by Rachel Perkins, co-produced by Darren Dale and Rachel Perkins, and co-scripted by Rachel Perkins, Jacob Hickey and Don Watson.

In the lead-up to MIPCOM, the series had garnered a host of awards including Most Outstanding Documentary Program at the 2023 Logie Awards, Best Documentary/Factual Series at the 2023 Australian International Documentary Conference Awards, Gold (History & Society) at the 2023 New York Festival Awards, and the Digital History Prize at the New South Wales Premier’s History Awards.

Recently, The Australian Wars also received multiple nominations (for Best Documentary Series and Best Representation & Inclusion – Unscripted) at the Content Innovation Awards 2023. Announced at the ceremony at MIPCOM 2023, The Australian Wars went on to win in the latter category.

Filmmakers Darren Dale and Rachel Perkins said: “The Australian Wars (First Wars) is Britain’s history as much as it is Australia’s – for it is the colonisation of Australia, by the British, that ignited a war for supremacy with First Nations people that raged across the continent for over 100 years and shaped, irrevocably, the nation borne by that conflict. We are so proud that the BBC will now bring this previously untold story, of a British colony that became Australia, to a British audience.”

ABC Commercial Content Sales Manager Karen Quinn said “The Australian Wars is a deeply compelling series that has caught the attention of television content executives around the globe. Sales have already been confirmed in key English-speaking territories, with further interest anticipated. We are proud to be representing this program in the international marketplace on behalf of Blackfella Films.”

The Australian Wars will premiere on BBC Four from Tuesday 7 November at 9:05pm, with all episodes streaming from then on BBC iPlayer.

About ABC Commercial

ABC Commercial is responsible for taking the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s screen content, services and brands to the Australian and international marketplace. From our full suite of digital services and traditional businesses, ABC Commercial extends the global reach of the ABC’s bold, compelling and entertaining content across territories and platforms. All revenue generated from our activities is reinvested into the production of the ABC’s high-quality content.

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