A three-part dramatised documentary TV series Blue Water Empire will screen on ABC-TV and ABC iview from tonight with a unique insight into the history of the Torres Strait Islands.
Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Jackie Trad said Blue Water Empire would tell the extraordinary story of the Torres Strait Islander people from their own perspective.
“The Palaszczuk Government’s investment in Blue Water Empire through Screen Queensland has delivered jobs for approximately 80 Queensland film crew,” Ms Trad said.
“During production, Blue Water Empire injected more than $1.8 million into the Far North’s economy and included on-location filming in the Torres Strait, Cairns and Bamaga.
“The series, through the stories of extraordinary individuals including George Mye and Eddie Mabo, will help build a better cultural understanding of local communities in the Torres Strait to a national and potentially international audience.”
Member for Cook Cynthia Lui said Blue Water Empire would showcase the breathtaking beauty of the land and sea country of the Torres Straits, including vast beaches, coastal foreshores and wetland areas.
“This really is a truly inspiring but remote part of our country that Blue Water Empire will reveal to Australians through stunning aerial cinematography and incredible computer-generated mapping,” Ms Lui said.
“It features stories woven together through artwork, animation and archive film material, set to a soundtrack composed by our own Will Kepa, and highlights the cultural resilience of Torres Strait Islanders through more than 200 years of European settlement.
“After seeing Blue Water Empire, Australians will want to experience the rich culture of the Torres Strait islands and its people for themselves.”
Ministerial Champion for the Torres Strait Shannon Fentiman said Blue Water Empire would take its audience on a journey from the pre-colonial era to contemporary times.
“The stories of the region, as told by the men and women of the Torres Strait, are brought to life by dramatic re-enactments,” Ms Fentiman said.
“Blue Water Empire is anchored by popular actor, producer and proud Torres Strait Islander Aaron Fa’Aoso, who introduces and narrates each episode.”
Aaron Fa’Aoso was the associate producer of The Straits and has previously featured in Black Comedy and East West 101.
“We made the series to inspire new generations of storytellers to keep the fire burning, to think of the stories that aren’t in the series,” Mr Fa’Aoso said.
“What is still untold, what is a new perspective in our history? Blue Water Empire is an introduction to the Torres Strait Islands, the tip of a massive iceberg – it’s only the start of a whole new set of stories Australia is yet to know.”
Blue Water Empire is directed by Steven McGregor and is a co-production by Lone Star Productions’ Aaron Fa’Aoso and David Jowsey with Greer Simpkin from the award-winning Bunya Productions – the makers of Mystery Road – for the ABC.
Screen Australia is Blue Water Empire’s principal production investor with investment support from the Palaszczuk Government through Screen Queensland.
Blue Water Empire screens from tonight at 8:30pm on ABC-TV + ABC iview.