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Rarriwuy Hick to lead Bunya, SBS and NITV drama ‘True Colours’

Bunya, SBS and National Indigenous Television (NITV) are thrilled to announce the award-winning cast and creative team behind its new original fiction commission True Colours, as filming commences in the breathtakingly beautiful Macdonnell Ranges, east of Mparntwe (Alice Springs).

Rarriwuy Hick (Redfern Now, Cleverman, Wentworth) spearheads a talented ensemble playing Detective Toni Alma, who is assigned to investigate a suspicious car accident in Perdar Theendar, the Indigenous community she left as a child and has had little to do with over the years.

The beauty of Indigenous art and the sometimes-devious practices in the global art market take Detective Toni Alma on an epic hunt for a killer. Spanning her small Northern Territory community and art galleries across the globe, this is a murder mystery like no other, exploring culture, community and the very human pursuit of identity and belonging in this new four-part crime drama from Bunya Productions, with the support of Screen Australia’s First Nations Department, Screen NSW, Screen Territory and International partner About Premium Content.

The series came from an original concept by Arrernte singer-songwriter Warren H. Williams andco-creator, writer and director Erica Glynn. Warren H. Williams will star alongside Luke Arnold (Never Tear Us Apart, Black Sails), Errol Shand (Operation Buffalo, Mystery Road, Rake), Emilie de Ravin (Remember Me, Lost, Once Upon A Time), Trisha Morton Thomas (Total Control, Redfern Now, Radiance), Ben Oxenbould (The Kettering Incident, Mr InBetween, Mystery Road) and Miranda Otto (The Unusual Suspects, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, The Lord of the Rings).

Kumalie Riley, Kurt Abbott, Sabella Turner, Natalie Peperill, Warren ‘Wazza’ Williams, Grant Wallace, Janaya Kopp, Martin McMillan, Siobhan Breaden, Genise Williams, Keenan Mitchell, Stella McMillan, Rosario Young and Waylon Dixon will also appear, many in their first major television roles.

The creative team bringing this bold story to life are writer/directors Erica Glynn (Redfern Now, Black Comedy, She Who Must Be Loved) and Steven McGregor (Sweet Country, Mystery Road), who wrote the scripts alongside Danielle MacLean (Little J & Big Cuz, Mystery Road). Produced by the award-winning team behind Sweet Country, Mystery Road and Goldstone – Greer Simpkin, David Jowsey and Penny Smallacombe.

Michaeley O’Brien is script producer, Murray Lui is DOP, editor Chris Plummer, production designer Tony Cronin, costume designer Theo Benton and hair and make-up designer is John Logue.

Co-Creator, Writer and Director, Erica Glynn said “It’s an honour and a privilege to sit beside Warren H Williams, the Amoonguna Community, and the town of Mparntwe (Alice Springs) to mark a screen space for Arrernte people, language, culture and land.”

Co-Creator, Warren H Williams said: “I would like to thank my ancestors, my people now, my people in the future for watching over us. The inspiration for this story came from my Uncles, my Aunties, my Mums, my family. I wish the story we tell will be understood by everyone. It is an important story that is happening right now, in Australia. We are filming in the community of Amooguna and I would like to thank the traditional owners from Amoonguna especially Marie, Lynette and Theresa for letting us to come into their community and into their lives. I am so proud of the Aboriginal cast in this series, all from the Northern Territory. I am excited to see our series, True Colours, on SBS and screens around the world next year.”

Director of Content at SBS, Marshall Heald, said:“SBS has a strong history of delivering exceptional drama with impactful storytelling. Our recent success with The Hunting, The Unusual Suspects and Hungry Ghosts demonstrates our continued commitment to telling diverse stories with a distinctive voice and purpose, to engage and entertain Australian audiences and True Colours continues that tradition. We are thrilled to bring this compelling story of family and the complexities of the Indigenous art world to life and look forward to working with an impressive cast and the talented creative team in Bunya Productions.”

Screen Australia CEO, Graeme Mason said, “Screen Australia’s First Nations Department is proud to support True Colours, the first scripted series the Department has worked on with SBS. This is a strong and distinctive story from a team of accomplished filmmakers, with high quality scripts from Steven McGregor, Erica Glynn and Danielle MacLean, and in the capable hands of Bunya Productions, we anticipate this being another must-see series on SBS.”

Director of Screen Territory, Jennie Hughes, said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with SBS, Screen Australia, Screen NSW and Bunya Productions in bringing yet another quintessential Territorian screen project to Australian and international screens. True Colours continues to see screen production activity in the Northern Territory flourish; with this edgy homegrown high-end drama series penned and directed by Indigenous Territorians, employing Territorian cast and crew, and providing economic opportunities for the wider central Australian region. The Territory is world renowned for the depth and richness of its Indigenous culture and so we could not be prouder to acknowledge the creative driving force of authentic Indigenous Territory voices behind this project with Steven McGregor, Erica Glynn and Danielle MacLean writing the series, and both Steven and Erica directing.”

True Colours is a Bunya production for SBS with development and major production investment from Screen Australia’s First Nations Department in association with SBS and NITV, Screen Territory and Screen NSW. APC (About Premium Content) is the global partner on the program. The series was co-developed with CAAMA (Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association).

True Colours premieres on SBS & NITV in 2022.