ABC and Canada’s CBC renew agreement, announce Kindred projects

'The Eerie Chapters of Chhaya'.

The ABC and CBC/Radio-Canada have announced the two projects from the Kindred ABC/CBC Animation Collaboration to be given co-production development deals.

Pre-school series My Shadow is Pink and tween title The Eerie Chapters of Chhaya were selected from more than 180 submissions for the initiative, which was launched in March.

The former is a Headspinner/Sticky Pictures production based on Scott Stuart’s best-selling book about a young boy that likes princesses, fairies, and things ‘not for boys’. He soon learns (through the support of his dad) that everyone has a shadow that they sometimes feel they need to hide. Stuart is onboard as a creator alongside Ken Cuperus.

The Eerie Chapters of Chhaya, created by Suren Perera, Georgina Love, and Thomas Duncan-Watt, follows 14-year-old Chhaya Chapta as she is forced to move interstate to help her Dad run (and live above) an embarrassingly creepy old bookstore. She initially thinks first she thinks her life is over, before learning the store is actually an undercover ‘spelltorium’, patronised by the town’s underground magical community.

Duncan-Watt told IF that he and his fellow creators were “absolutely thrilled” to have the project chosen for this initiative and couldn’t wait to “work with the whole team to help bring it to the small screen.”

The announcement comes as the ABC and CBC renew their Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to continue co-developing dramas, comedies, factual content, children’s programs, and podcasts.

Originally signed in June 2019, the agreement has spawned six-part TV series Stuff the British Stole, as well as science documentary Carbon: The Unauthorised Biography, narrated by Sarah Snook.

ABC managing director David Anderson said he was pleased to take the partnership forward.

“In an increasingly crowded international content market, it is vital for public broadcasters to find new ways to deliver our national stories to audiences at home and abroad,” he said.

CBC/Radio-Canada president and CEO Catherine Tait agreed, noting the role of both broadcasters in leveraging their resources to support more Canadian and Australian creators.

“CBC/Radio-Canada and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation are Building on the success of our past co-productions we will continue to show how essential public media is to arts and culture and democracy in both our countries,” she said.

The announcements were made in Tokyo at the Embassy of Canada to Japan, just ahead of the Public Broadcasters International conference, where Anderson and Tait are scheduled to speak in a session addressing how public media are positioning themselves in a media ecosystem dominated by the so-called “digital giants.”

The pair will also participate in the first in-person meeting of the Global Task Force for public media on November 16.