On ‘True Colours’ and creating Indigenous genre mashups

As True Colours goes into production around Alice Springs, we delve into the origins of the idea.
Indigenous actress Rarriwuy Hick looks seriously at the camera

Indigenous series True Colours is now shooting in the McDonnell Ranges as a joint SBS-NITV project by Bunya Productions. 

Bunya has a headlock on the Indigenous cop genre, aka desert noir, with Goldstone, Sweet Country, High Ground and even The Drover’s Wife all under its banner. Mystery Road started as a feature and became two series for the ABC. 

The company has benefitted enormously from its close association with Ivan Sen, whose mother Donella is a Gamilaroi woman from northern NSW, who was raised in Toomelah, the inspiration for another feature by her son. Actor Aaron Pedersen, from the Arrernte and Arabana nations in Central Australia, is the key to the Mystery Road + Goldstone franchise. 

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David Tiley was the Editor of Screenhub from 2005 until he became Content Lead for Film in 2021 with a special interest in policy. He is a writer in screen media with a long career in educational programs, documentary, and government funding, with a side order in script editing. He values curiosity, humour and objectivity in support of Australian visions and the art of storytelling.