BBC Secures Firestarter: The Story of Bangarra

BBC Secures Firestarter: The Story of Bangarra

 

ABC Commercial has announced the sale of the highly acclaimed documentary Firestarter: The Story of Bangarra to the BBC, for broadcast on BBC Four TV channel and iPlayer digital platform.

The BBC (UK & Ireland) sale adds to the raft of sales around the world including Sky New Zealand, SVT Sweden, YLE Finland and SRF Switzerland.

Marking Bangarra Dance Theatre’s 30th anniversary, Firestarter takes us through the company’s birth and spectacular growth, recognising Bangarra’s founders and 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.

Globally recognised as a leading performing arts company with a distinctive theatrical voice and utterly inimitable soundscapes, music and design - Bangarra’s unique signature style encompasses authentic storytelling, outstanding technique and deeply moving performances.

Featuring remarkable archival footage and interviews with those integral to Bangarra’s establishment, along with former dancers and creatives, Firestarter is a tale of pride, heartbreak, adversity and empowerment – with the transformative strength of Indigenous dance at its centre. Firestarter explores the loss and reclaiming of culture, the burden of intergenerational trauma, and – crucially – the power of art as a messenger for social change and healing.

Head of ABC Commercial, Jessica Ellis said “The BBC are renowned for their ability to recognize blue chip arts content and Firestarter is no exception. The interest surrounding this beautiful documentary in Australia and around the world has been remarkable. We know that UK audiences will agree and embrace this stunning program from ABC Commercial’s Arts slate”.

In Films’ Managing Director and Executive Producer, Ivan O’Mahoney said: “Bangarra Dance Theatre is one of Australia’s best loved performing arts companies, with a huge following overseas, especially in North America and Europe. Bangarra tell vital stories – both ancient and modern – of Indigenous Australia in an accessible, beautiful, way. It has been a privilege to make the film and see how audiences around the world are embracing the emotional impact of their story.”

Produced by In Films and directed by Wayne Blair (The Sapphires, Mystery Road) and Nel Minchin (Matilda & Me, Making Muriel). Fresh from winning the arts category at the 60th Rose d’Or Awards Firestarter: The Story of Bangarra also earned Best Documentary at the 2020 Australian Academy of Cinema & Television Arts Awards, Best Documentary and the inaugural Change Award at the 2020 Adelaide Film Festival and Winner of Best Documentary Award at Pan African Film + Arts Festival 2021 (USA).

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.