Northern Pictures’ Hardball has snared an International Emmy Kids Award, taking home the prize in the Kids: Live-Action category.
Commissioned by ABC ME, the series beat out Disney’s Juacas, from Brazil, South Korea’s Extraordinary You and Dropje from the Netherlands.
Created and written by Matt Zeremes and Guy Edmonds and produced by Joe Weatherstone, Hardball follows fish-out-of-water Mikey and his dream to become the ‘sweetest-bestest-acest’ handball champ in Western Sydney.
The Emmy joins a host of other awards for the project, including the Prix Jeunesse International Award for best fiction program for 7-10-year-olds, and the Rockie Award for the Best Children & Youth Fiction Series at the Banff World Media Festival in Canada.
Northern Pictures head of kids and scripted Catherine Nebauer said: “Right from the start when show creators Matt and Guy first pitched in the idea there was something unique that was appealing, and so it continued. Everyone responded immediately to this charming but heartfelt series from our wonderful partners at ABC ME, ACTF and our funding bodies, Screen Australia and Screen NSW, and the collective team that came together to bring Hardball to life.
“At a crucial point in the kids’ industry in Australia, this win further seeds that we as an industry produce exceptional stories that are uniquely Australian and which resonate with the global audience.”
ABC head of children’s production said Libbie Doherty said the award recognised the world-class standard of Australian kids’ content. “Congratulations to Hardball creators Matt Zeremes and Guy Edmonds, executive producer Catherine Nebauer and series producer Joe Weatherstone for their outstanding win at the International Emmys. At the heart of Hardball is Australian creative excellence, which has again been recognised on the international stage.
“The ABC is proud to be the home of Australian children’s content and to support Australian children’s producers to excel and inspire and entertain audiences around the world.”
In March, ABC Kids’ Bluey, Australia’s most popular children’s TV show, won the Kids: Preschool Emmy Award.
The full list of winners: