A new children’s TV show featuring a cast of children from the Pilbara has begun filming on location in the region.
The five-part series, Thalu, is being produced by Weerianna Street Media and focuses on a group of indigenous children who undertake a journey to save their country from the threat of a mysterious dust cloud and its inhabitants.
The program weaves Ngarluma culture with the classic heroes’ journey, with the entire series being shot in and around Roebourne and the cast made up of newcomers to the acting industry.
The series received principal production investment from Screen Australia in association with Screenwest and the Western Australian Regional Film Fund, and was financed with support from NITV, ABC and the Australian Children’s Television Foundation.
Screen Australia head of content Sally Caplan said Thalu was such a distinct story, not just in its dystopian look against the backdrop of the Pilbara, but also in its close connection to the local community.
“With creator and Roebourne local Tyson Mowarin working alongside producer Robyn Marais and a talented team of writers and directors on board, I can’t wait to see this cast of newcomers bring this inspiring original series to Australian audiences next year,” she said.
NITV channel manager Tanya Orman said Thalu is as much an action-packed adventure as it is a celebration of the Pilbara region and its indigenous culture.
“It’s so important for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kids to see themselves reflected on screen — and to celebrate indigenous culture and language,” she said.
Thalu will premiere on NITV, SBS On Demand and ABC ME in 2020.