Disney Channel partners with Media Farm on Indigenous language series

Disney Channel has partnered with creator Media Farm and First Languages Australia to produce an Indigenous language series, Spread the Word. The show will premiere during NAIDOC week.

The announcement:

A ten-part short series about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander language words you never knew you needed

Set to premiere on Disney Channel and Disney Junior during NAIDOC week (from 8th July, 2019, 5pm on Disney Channel).

With over 500,000 words you’d think the English language has a word for everything. But dig a little deeper and you’ll find it doesn’t. In a new fun and fast-paced local series, Indigenous comedians and Language Warriors Bjorn Stewart and Katie Beckett introduce you to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander words you never knew you needed.

The series release coincides with NAIDOC week and the UNESCO International Year of Indigenous Languages. Each episode features an Indigenous community member sharing a word from one of over 300 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages. The words describe a unique situation for which there is no correlating English word.

The series was shot across Sydney and includes clips from Indigenous community members across the country, from Tasmania to far northern Western Australia.

First Languages Australia Manager Faith Baisden said, “Our people are proud of the uniqueness and beauty of their languages and welcomed this chance to share their knowledge with a worldwide audience. Having children explore the words and their interpretations is a perfect way to unlock the special meanings behind these words, as little ones naturally want to know the how and why of everything.”

Annalee Pope, project officer for First Languages Australia added, “We have had a great response from community members wishing to share their languages in this way. Each language community worked differently, selecting the words, arranging approvals and deciding who would be in the video in the way that was most appropriate to them. Some people did the work on their own, for others it was a group effort.

It is important too for children to see and hear their language being used in all aspects of their life. Having their language proudly on display on popular television helps to strengthen our kid’s connection to their language and is creating a wider acceptance of our language in the non-indigenous community.”

Kylie Watson-Wheeler, Managing Director The Walt Disney Company Australia and New Zealand said, “We are incredibly proud to be launching Spread the Word, a new local series for Disney Channel and Disney Junior in Australia. Storytelling is at the forefront of everything we do at Disney and this is such a great local opportunity for us to celebrate and share the rich culture and languages of our First Nations people with our audiences.”

The series creator and director Rami Fischler, Media Farm added “Our aim was to develop a series that highlights the beauty and uniqueness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages, and allow local communities to share their languages with Australian kids of all backgrounds. It’s wonderful how Disney came on board to launch and support this series and help protect and promote these wonderful languages”

Source: Disney media release


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