NITV presents its first ever live action series, Grace Beside Me, jam-packed with adventures and spirit encounters

Premieres Friday 16 February at 7.30pm on NITV (Channel 34)

**Link for media use**:

Families around Australia, this one’s for you! Premiering on National Indigenous Television (NITV) on Friday 16 February at 7.30pm, NITV presents Grace Beside Me, a new 13-part children’s television series from Magpie Pictures, adapted from the award-winning novel by Sue McPherson.

The series tells the charming story of an Indigenous girl Fuzzy Mac, who just wants to be an ordinary teenager and have fun with her mates. But that’s not so easy when Fuzzy’s ancestors have other plans and she keeps seeing ghosts!

With one foot in the Indigenous realm of culture, Country, and spirits, and the other firmly planted in the world of a 21st century teenager, Fuzzy’s journey is to realise she belongs to both in her own unique way.

The series was filmed entirely on location in the Scenic Rim area of South-East Queensland, and stars up and coming talent, Kyliric Masella as Fuzzy Mac, Mairehau Grace and Tjiirdm McGuire as Fuzzy’s best buddies Tui and Yar, and Tessa Rose and Charles Passi as her Nan and Pop.

NITV's Channel Manager, Tanya Orman, said: “NITV is delighted to bring Sue McPherson’s exceptional story to life and introduce Fuzzy Mac to audiences across Australia. The series brings Indigenous culture to the forefront and is important because it lets Indigenous kids see themselves on screen in a positive and fun way, and demystifies Indigenous culture for non-Indigenous audiences.

At a time when Australian children are hungry for home grown drama series, NITV is proud to create a televised adaptation of this well-known Australian Indigenous novel through an exceptionally talented cast.

Producers Lois Randall and Dena Curtis said:  “Grace Beside Me is thoroughly modern Australian drama that shows – in all its humour and pathos – the joys and challenges of teenage life for our utterly compelling young heroine, Fuzzy Mac.”

NITV co-commissioned the series with ABC children’s channel ABC ME. Screen Australia was a major investor in the series, with Screen Queensland and Cutting Edge. Disney Channel has also licensed the series in Australia and New Zealand, while the rest of world distribution is with Canada’s 9Story Media Group. The Australian Children’s Television Foundation, Screen Australia’s Indigenous Department and Screen NSW also supported early development of the series.

Producers were Magpie Pictures’ Lois Randall (The Gods of Wheat Street) with Dena Curtis (8MMM Aboriginal Radio, Shadow Trackers). Executive Producers were Lois Randall, with NITV executive producer Mary-Ellen Mullane and ABC TV executive producer Libbie Doherty. The series was directed by Lynn-Maree Danzey (A Place to Call Home, Love Child), Beck Cole (Here I Am, Black Comedy) and Nicholas Verso (Nowhere Boys, Boys in the Trees).

Watch Grace Beside Me weekly on NITV from Friday 16 February at 7.30pm

The episodes will also be available on demand after broadcast via


Follow the conversation on social media using #GraceBesideMe

Episode preview and images are available:

For interview requests and media information, please contact:

Viktoria Balanzategui | M: 0429 625 967 |

NITV and ABC co-commission 'Grace Beside Me'

NITV commissions first-ever scripted live-action children’s series GRACE BESIDE ME.

NITV today announced its first ever commission of a scripted live-action series, Grace Beside Me. With major production investment from Screen Australia’s Indigenous Department, Screen Queensland, the ABC and assistance from Screen NSW, Grace Beside Me is the story of an extraordinary girl trying to lead an ordinary life.

In an Australian first, the series consisting of 13 x 26 minute episodes will be screened on three subsequent networks. Grace Beside Me will premiere on NITV, followed by a secondary broadcast on the ABC, and a third release on subscription TV on Disney Channel.

Adapted from the award winning novel by Sue McPherson, Grace Beside Me follows Fuzzy Mac, whose life is turned upside down when, at the age of 13, she discovers she can see ghosts and spirits. But all she wants is to fit in and have fun with her mates. It’s hard enough navigating the highs and lows of becoming a teenager while living with your eccentric Nan and Pop, without also having to deal with needy ghosts, mischievous totems and cantankerous Ancestors.

Combining whimsy, adventure, comedy and drama, Grace Beside Me takes 8 – 12 year old audiences on a roller coaster adventure as Fuzzy reluctantly learns to accept her gift and understand its importance. With one foot in the Indigenous realm of culture, Country – and spirits – and the other firmly planted in the world of a 21st century teenager, Fuzzy Mac’s journey is to realise she belongs to both in her own unique way. She must learn to be herself and to walk in two worlds.

Tanya Orman, Channel Manager, NITV said: “This is another hugely exciting step for NITV and testament to the beauty and depth of our story telling. Our goal is to create award-winning children’s content that speaks to a new generation, and this is truly unique story telling from the world’s oldest story tellers for Australian children. The story of Fuzzy Mac is told with warmth, humour and pathos by the best of our Indigenous screenwriters.”

Penny Smallacombe, Head of Indigenous at Screen Australia said: “Reaching young audiences with Indigenous and culturally diverse content is an incredibly important focus for Screen Australia. We are proud to be supporting Grace Beside Me which is helmed by an all-female producing team, including Aboriginal producer Dena Curtis, and are confident that with three Australian broadcasts this unique story will resonate with audiences around the country.”

”We are so proud to support Grace Beside Me and have Queensland play a key role,” said Screen Queensland CEO, Tracey Vieira.  “Queensland is home to some of Australia’s most talented creatives in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander screen community including Queensland-based writer Sue McPherson and producer/director Dena Curtis.  Our support of Grace Beside Me follows on from the recent launch of our SQ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Strategy 2016-19 that outlines our commitment to local Indigenous practitioners and ensuring they are an important focus in SQ’s funding decisions.  Grace Beside Me presents opportunities to our local practitioners that allows us to grow a stronger and richer industry base with long-lasting economic and cultural significance for all Australians.”

Michael Carrington, ABC’s Head of Children’s and Education said, “I’m thrilled that we are building strong ties with NITV talent and offering a much-deserved additional platform for Indigenous talent both on and off screen. Children’s audiences across Australia are bound to enjoy Grace Beside Me, a smart funny drama series made specifically for them”.

Grace Beside Me is produced by Lois Randall (The Gods of Wheat Street, Nan and a Whole Lot of Trouble) and Dena Curtis (8 MMM Aboriginal Radio, Nan and a Whole Lot of Trouble ) with direction by Beck Cole (Black Comedy, Redfern Now, The Warriors) and Adrian Russell Wills (Wentworth, Redfern Now, The Warriors). Writers include Danielle MacLean (Little J and Big Cuz, Double Trouble, Blown Away), Jon Bell (The Gods of Wheat Street, Cleverman), Sue McPherson (Grace Beside Me, Nan and a Whole Lot of Trouble), Briar Grace-Smith (Being Eve, Kaitangata Twitch), Adrian Russell Wills (Redfern Now, Ready for This), Tristan Savage (Gubbament Man, Un-Australian) and Erica Glynn (Little J and Big Cuz).

Grace Beside Me is a Magpie Pictures production, developed with the assistance of NITV, the Australian Children’s Television Foundation, Screen Australia’s Indigenous Department, Screen QLD, the ABC and Screen NSW. The series is currently in pre-production and will commence filming in early 2017.

Lois Randall appointed to Screen NSW Advisory Committee

22 Jul 14 | NSW Film And Television Industry Advisory Committee appointed

Minister for the Arts, Troy Grant, has announced the appointment of the new Film and Television Industry Advisory Committee as part of the NSW Government’s ongoing commitment to the industry. Mr Grant said five members of the previous NSW Film and Television Board have been appointed to the Committee, along with two new members.

“The new Film and Television Industry Advisory Committee brings together the wealth of experience accumulated by previous Board members, plus the energy and vitality of two new members with regional and culturally diverse expertise.

“Northern Rivers screen producer, Lois Randall, and Iranian-born  Australian filmmaker, Amin Palangi will join Helen Wright (Chair), Darren Dale, Patricia Rothkrans, Sue Murray and Bob Campbell to provide independent expert advice to Government.”

Mr Grant said the Committee will continue to represent industry interests and be independent of Government, providing arm’s length decision-making for production funding decisions and offering valuable industry feedback and market intelligence.

Screen NSW will receive nearly $10 million in 2014-15 to support the development and production of screen projects in NSW, promote screen culture across the State, and market NSW as Australia’s premier screen production destination

Henry Parkes Foundation supports Magpie Pictures bid to produce Henry Parkes mini series.

The Henry Parkes Foundation was set up in honour of Sir Henry Parkes at the instigation of his descendants, to carry forward his egalitarian vision for Australia in ways relevant to today. The patron is Her Excellency, Professor M. R. Bashir AC, Governor of NSW.

In a letter of support to Magpie Pictures, Henry Parkes Foundation Chairperson Ian Thom, writes:

Sir Henry was a man of ideas and ideals. His vision was “to build a just, fair and egalitarian society through a democratically elected government with everyone educated and aware of their right and responsibilities and with equal opportunities to participate.”

Read More