Little J and Big Cuz wins inaugural SDIN Award

Recognising diversity and inclusion within the screen industry

Groundbreaking Indigenous animation series Little J and Big Cuz is the recipient of the inaugural Screen Diversity and Inclusion Network (SDIN) Award, announced at Screen Forever earlier this week.

Developed by Ned Lander Media for NITV, the production – which received Film Victoria’s API Film and Television and Development on Demand funding – marks the first animated series for Indigenous children aged 4-6 years old, their parents, teachers and the wider community across Australia.

The SDIN Award recognises the significant contribution the series has made to diversity and inclusion within the Australian screen industry.

The award was announced by SDIN Chair Courtney Gibson, who said Ned Lander Media was an aspirational example of a production company with diversity as their core business.

“For decades Ned Lander has been producing screen works in complete creative collaboration with Indigenous screen practitioners, going right back to the feature Wrong Side of the Road, made with the bands No Fixed Address and Us Mob. The creation of the first-ever Australian animated series targeted to an Indigenous audience, Little J and Big Cuz, is a continuation of that collaborative approach,” Ms Gibson said.

Little J and Big Cuz is about two Indigenous Australian kids living with their Nanna and Old Dog, and exploring culture, community and country. Directed and designed by Tony Thorne, with Beck Cole as Voice Director, Neil Salmon as Animation Director, and Ned Lander as producer, the team worked with translators and actors from remote parts of the country to produce local Aboriginal language versions of the show,  responding to the need to connect with Aboriginal children across Australia.

Little J and Big Cuz was chosen from a strong pool of SDIN Award nominees by a panel of judges including Media Diversity Australia’s Marc Fennell, the former Chair of the MEAA’s Diversity Committee Bali Padda, Indigenous practitioner Darlene Johnson and director and disability advocate Fiona Tuomy.

Congratulations to all of the nominees for their commitment to diversity and inclusion on screen and/or in screen production, four of which have been supported by Film Victoria.

The following nominees received Film Victoria support:

  • Little J and Big Cuz, by Ned Lander Media for NITV
  • Neighbours’ first same-sex wedding, by Fremantle Media for Channel Eleven, now Ten Peach
  • Homecoming Queens by Generator Pictures for SBS On Demand
  • Matchbox Pictures, with its 2018 slate including Mustangs FC

The other nominees:

  • Guesswork, with its 2018 slate including Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette and Corey White’s Roadmap to Paradise.
  • First Day by Epic Films for ABC Me


Image: Inaugural SDIN Award recipient, Little J and Big Cuz