The Australian Wars has received the 2023 Content Innovation Award for Representation and Inclusion – Unscripted, at the ceremony held in Cannes overnight.
The SBS series, produced by Blackfella Films, explores and confronts the story of the bloody battles fought on Australian soil as the colonial frontier pushed forward, and First Nations people resisted.
Directed and presented by filmmaker Rachel Perkins, it previously won the 2023 Logie Award for Most Outstanding Factual or Documentary Program, the Digital History Prize at the New South Wales Premier’s History Awards. Gold (History & Society) at the 2023 New York Festival Awards, and the Australian representative in three Asian 2023 Academy Creative Awards categories (Best Factual Presenter, Bet Direction Non-Fiction, and Best Documentary Series).
The series is also finalist in the upcoming 2023 Walkley Awards and has sold to networks in Canada, New Zealand, Asia and the United Kingdom.
The accolade in Cannes follows The Swap wining at MIPCOM’s Diversify Awards this week.
SBS Director of Television, Kathryn Fink, said: “We’re exceptionally proud to see these ground-breaking and uniquely Australian stories being recognised for their compelling and impactful storytelling, continuing our legacy in documentaries that challenge perceptions and ignite important discussion – and that also make for inspiring and entertaining television for local and global audiences.
“Congratulations to everyone involved on this wonderful and well-deserved recognition for both series at MIPCOM this year.”
Lumi Media also won the award for sustainability and innovation. Lumi’s SaaS collaborative work management platform centralises, streamlines, and speeds up the end-end processes of content production, bringing everything into one place for busy teams. It has been deployed on productions around the world including Love Island UK and Australia, 24 Hours in A&E, Luxe Listings Toronto and Sydney, Stars on Mars, Grand Designs, Restoration Australia, Grand Designs Transformations, Lingo, Great Auction Showdown, and Real Housewives.
Karen Dewey, CEO of Lumi.Media, said, “We are thrilled and grateful to receive this prestigious award at Cannes, and excited to spotlight the innovation and sustainability benefits Australian technology is bringing to the world.
“This is about reducing waste, reducing duplication, and empowering everyone to do their jobs in a way that maximises collaboration. These are creative teams, and we’re so proud to be able to help them maximise not only efficiency, but also the power of all their best minds.”
Special Award winners being honoured at the ninth Content Innovation Awards included Peaky Blinders creator and writer Steven Knight, 1895 Films CEO Tom Jennings and Quay Street Productions’ Karis Winstanley.
Best Short-Form Series
RAID: Call of the Arbiter Nicholas Day, Gary Rosenfeld, Jay Oliva, Eric Rollman and Plarium / Pixel United for YouTube
Best Animated Kids Programme
Pip and Posy Vici King and Magic Light Pictures for Sky Television, Channel 5 / Milkshake!
BBC Earth BBC Studios
Entertainment Format of the Year
The Masked Singer UK Bandicoot and Ababcus for ITV
Best Live Action Kids Programme
Ghostwriter Sinking Ship Entertainment, Sesame Workshop and Apple TV+
Reality Show of the Year
Tempting Fortune Voltage TV and Cineflix Rights for Channel 4 (UK), Roku (North America)
Best True Crime Series
Murder in the Red Light Woodcut Media and Abacus Media Rights for Amazon
Best New Scripted Series Based on a True Story
Rogue Heroes A Kudos and Nebulastar Production distributed by Banijay Rights
Single-brand FAST Channel of the Year
The Jamie Oliver Channel Jamie Oliver Productions and Fremantle
Multi-brand FAST Channel of the Year
Kids Ukraine Channel Nickelodeon and Paramount Global Distribution
Best New Scripted Series Non-English Language
Rebooting Nippon TV, AX-ON Inc., MASEKI GEINOSHA
The Sustainability & Innovation Award
The Lumi Platform Karen Dewey and Lumi Media
Best Documentary Series
Evacuation Wonderhood Studios for Channel 4
Best Live Action Kids Drama
Ruby and the Well Shaftesbury in association with BYUtv and Family, a WildBrain network and BYUtv (US), WildBrain (Global) for BYUtv, Family Channel
Best Returning Scripted Series
The Sea Beyond S3 RAI and Picomedia and Beta Film
The Representation & Inclusion Award – Scripted
Sort Of Sphere Media and Abacus Media Rights
The Representation & Inclusion Award – Unscripted
The Australian Wars Rachel Perkins, Darren Dale, Jacob Hickey and ABC Commercial for Special Broadcasting Service
Factual Entertainment Programme of the Year
Planet Sex with Cara Delevingne Naked (a Fremantle label) and Milkshake Productions for Hulu and BBC Three
The Murder of Meredith Woodcut Media and Abacus Media Rights for Amazon Prime
Series Launch of the Year
Farmer Wants A Wife Eureka Productions for Fox
Competition Show of the Year
The Masked Singer UK Bandicoot and Abacus for ITV
Best New Scripted Series
The Swarm Schwarm TV Production (Joint-company of Intaglio Films & ndF International Production)