Screen Australia and ABC fund new series exploring world of child prodigies

Child geniuses – including a 10-year-old expressionist painter – will be the focus of a new documentary jointly funded by Screen Australia, the ABC and Create NSW.

Jeff Siberry, the producer behind Todd Sampson’s Life on the Line, will take the lead creative role in the  six-part Screentime series, Making Child Prodigies, intended to air on ABC Arts next year.

It will follow a group of gifted kids from around Australia and examine whether talent is innate or learned.

An eight-year-old pianist enrolled at the prestigious Juilliard School of Music in New York and a 10-year-old abstract expressionist painter who exhibits work internationally will be among the subjects.

ABC TV acting head of arts Linda Brusasco said: “By exploring how exceptional creative talent is identified and nurtured in gifted children, Making Child Prodigies gives ABC TV a unique opportunity to broaden our arts offering in prime-time.

“At a time when society seems increasingly interested in measuring talent, we are pleased to contribute to an important national conversation for families across Australia.”

Screen Australia said the series will be an “intimate and candid look at the day-to-day lives of six children and their families”.

“While prodigies are rare, every parent can relate to wanting an environment within which their child can excel – but for parents of prodigies, there are a unique set of challenges,” Screentime head of non-fiction and executive producer Jennifer Collins said. “Introducing six extraordinary children, the series will shed a light on what it really takes to help a talented child fulfill their potential.”

Siberry and Anita Brown will write the series with Helen Barrow field director and Niamh Linnie producer.


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