‘Little J and Big Cuz’ wins SDIN Award

‘Little J and Big Cuz’.

Ned Lander Media’s animated series Little J and Big Cuz is the winner of the inaugural Screen Diversity and Inclusion Network (SDIN) Award.

The SDIN Award was created to honour Australian producers and projects which have made a significant contribution to diversity and inclusion, on and off screen, within the Australian screen industry. Little J and Big Cuz, commissioned by NITV, is the first animated series specifically targeted at Indigenous children aged 4-6.

The announcement was made at Screen Forever yesterday by SDIN chair Courtney Gibson.

“For decades Ned Lander has been producing screen works in complete creative collaboration with Indigenous screen practitioners, going right back to the feature Wrong Side of the Road, made with the bands No Fixed Address and Us Mob. The creation of the first-ever Australian animated series targeted to an Indigenous audience, Little J and Big Cuz, is a continuation of that collaborative approach,” said Gibson.

Other nominees for the SDIN award included:

  • Neighbours’ first same-sex wedding, by Fremantle Media for Channel Eleven, now Ten Peach
  • First Day by Epic Films for ABC Me
  • Homecoming Queens by Generator Pictures for SBS On Demand
  • Matchbox Pictures, with its 2018 slate including Safe Harbour and Mustangs FC.
  • Guesswork Television, with its 2018 slate including Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette and Corey White’s Roadmap to Paradise.

The winner was selected by a panel of judges comprising Media Diversity Australia’s Marc Fennell, the former Chair of the MEAA’s Diversity Committee Bali Padda, Indigenous practitioner Darlene Johnson and director and disability advocate Fiona Tuomy.

Little J and Big Cuz was directed and designed by Tony Thorne, with Beck Cole as voice director and Neil Salmon as animation director. Writers included Dot West, Jon Bell, Beck Cole, Erica Glynn, Danielle MacLean, Clare Madsen and Bruce Pascoe, and the series was produced by Ned Lander with script producers Clare Madsen and Kym Goldsworthy, co-producers Alicia Rackett and Colin South and executive producers Lisa Norris and Jenny Lalor. Line Producer was Liz O’Dea. Development workshops included Leah Purcell, Margaret Harvey and Adrian Wills.

The large voice cast includes Deborah Mailman, Miranda Tapsell, Ningali Lawford-Wolf, Aaron Fa’Aoso, Ursula Yovich, Shari Sebbens, Renee Lim, Mark Coles Smith, Katie Beckett, Kylie Farmer and Miah Madden.

In addition, the show been re-voiced into Arrernte and Pitjantjatjara from Central Australia, Djambarrpuyngu from Arnhemland and Yawuru from Broome. In the North West, Ningali Lawford-Wolf has directed local cast in Walmajarri, in Tasmania the show has been re-voiced in the reclaimed language, palawa kani, and more language versions are expected.