'Firestarter - The Story of Bangarra'.

ABC Commercial has inked a deal with BBC (UK & Ireland) for Firestarter: The Story of Bangarra, with the documentary to be broadcast on BBC Four TV channel and iPlayer digital platform.

The film, which was named best arts program at this year’s Rose d’Or Awards, has already been sold Sky New Zealand, SVT Sweden, YLE Finland, and SRF Switzerland.  

Produced by Ivan O’Mahoney for In Films and directed by Wayne Blair and Nel Minchin, Firestarter: The Story of Bangarra traces the history of Sydney’s Bangarra Dance Theatre, telling the story of how three young Aboriginal brothers — Stephen, David and Russell Page — turned the newly born dance group into a First Nations cultural powerhouse.

ABC Commercial head Jessica Ellis said the domestic and global interest in the documentary had been remarkable.

“The BBC is renowned for their ability to recognize blue chip arts content and Firestarter is no exception.

“We know that UK audiences will agree and embrace this stunning program from ABC Commercial’s Arts slate”.  

Prior to achieving success at the Rose d’Or Awards, the film earned AACTA Award for Best Documentary in 2020, Best Documentary and the inaugural Change Award at the 2020 Adelaide Film Festival, and the Best Documentary Award at Pan African Film + Arts Festival 2021 (USA).

O’Mahoney said it had been a privilege to see how audiences around the world were embracing the story.

“Bangarra Dance Theatre is one of Australia’s best-loved performing arts companies, with a huge following overseas, especially in North America and Europe,” he said.

“Bangarra tell vital stories – both ancient and modern – of Indigenous Australia in an accessible, beautiful, way.”

Firestarter: The Story of Bangarra will premiere on BBC Four TV channel in 2022 and will also be available on the broadcaster’s digital platform iPlayer.

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