This Is Going To Be Big: ABC secures broadcast rights for documentary

The docu-series follows teenagers living with disabilities as they rehearse their musical about John Farnham.

The ABC has secured the premiere broadcast of award-winning documentary series This Is Going To Be Big, a coming-of-age story about the students of Sunbury and Macedon Ranges Specialist School.

The two-part docuseries follows four teenagers living with disabilities: Chelsea, Elyse, Halle and Josh, as they prepare for their high school musical about John Farnham.

ABC will broadcast This is Going To Be Big on 30 April at 8pm on ABC TV, with all episodes available to stream on ABC iview.

Watch the trailer for This is Going To Be Big below:

​Directed by Thomas Charles Hyland, This Is Going To Be Big gained ‘unprecedented access’ to Sunbury and Macedon Ranges Specialist School (SMRSS) at Bullengarook, Victoria. The principle shoot took place in the school’s classrooms and yards, during lunchbreaks, auditions, rehearsals and performances of the school’s biennial musical production.

Read: Review: John Farnham: Finding the Voice truly sings

This Is Going To Be Big is described as ‘a life-affirming and tenderly humorous insight into young adulthood, with universal themes of love, friendship, belonging and self-acceptance.’ It won the Audience Award at the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) in 2023, and went on to win Best Feature Documentary at this year’s Australian International Documentary Conference

Our writer Amy Loughlin reviewed the film in 2023: ‘If you need to be convinced about the critical importance of the arts in schools, This is Going to Be Big will more than accomplish the task. This heartwarming documentary follows a handful of neurodivergent students at a Victorian Specialist secondary school as they mount an original school musical based on Australia’s favourite belter, John Farnham. Every minute is pure joy, from the passion of the small but dedicated staff to the triumphs of the students as they achieve their personal goals’.

This Is Going To Be Big is a Fremantle Australia and Truce Films production, made inclusively with the support of Bus Stop Films for the ABC.

This Is Going To Be Big premieres on ABC TV on 30 April, 8pm.

Silvi Vann-Wall is a journalist, podcaster, and filmmaker. They joined ScreenHub as Film Content Lead in 2022. Twitter: @SilviReports