Islander Cuisine on Screen in Strait to Plate

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22 April 2021

Queensland-produced cooking series Strait to the Plate broadcasts on SBS Food and NITV from tonight, Thursday 22 April 7:30pm, and will be available on SBS on Demand.

Over five episodes, the show takes viewers on a mouth-watering journey through the picturesque, tropical paradise of the Torres Strait Islands, exploring fresh local produce, traditional recipes, language and culture.

Produced by Aaron Fa’aoso’s Cairns-based Lone Star Productions, the series was supported by the Queensland Government via Screen Queensland’s Finance Investment program and is estimated to return more than $830,000 to the state economy.

Screen Queensland CEO Kylie Munnich said the series is a strong example of the state screen agency’s dedication to supporting locally-produced, First Nations stories.

“Lone Star Productions is a Torres Strait Islander-led organisation, and it’s a core focus at Screen Queensland to support productions that engage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander talent and promote their rich and diverse cultures – and food is such a compelling way to do that,” Ms Munnich said.

“Screen Queensland also supported Lone Star’s 2019 co-production ABC documentary series Blue Water Empire, and we are delighted to see this Cairns-based screen business forging ahead with another factual series.”

Series Producer Aaron Fa’aoso, also known for his acting performances in RAN, Black Comedy, East West 101 and The Straits, said he was excited for the program to finally go to air.

“Since being catapulted into the film and television industry as an actor in the RAN (Remote Area Nurse) television series for SBS, I have been driven to create and establish a Torres Strait screen sector to produce content for the global marketplace.

“The continued and ongoing support from Screen Queensland, NITV and the SBS network has allowed us to engage and work with the Torres Strait Island community to bring their stories to the screen.”

Strait to the Plate also highlights the beaches and communities of the Torres Strait Islands, creating a unique appeal to holidaymakers nation-wide.

Speaker of the Queensland Parliament and Member for Mulgrave, Curtis Pitt said he was delighted to see the show premiere on SBS and NITV, showcasing the Far North Queensland region and blue waters of the Torres Strait Islands.

“Screen productions both large and small make a valuable contribution to our economy and all have a place in Queensland’s vibrant screen industry,” he said.

“I’ll continue to be a proud advocate for enticing more productions to Queensland and, in particular, ensuring we seek out more opportunities to ensure more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stories are told and Indigenous content is being created.”

Kyas Hepworth, Head of Commissioning and Programming, National Indigenous Television (NITV), said, “Strait to the Plate is a fantastic way for all Australians to explore the location, culture and tradition of the Torres Strait in a way that is rarely seen on our screens.

“We commissioned the series to help Australians understand more about the people of the region, and through an exploration and celebration of food, enjoy how they continue to preserve, maintain and practice their way of life.

“It’s a gorgeous series set to not only tantalise your taste buds, but also uncover a unique and beautiful part of Australia, and we can’t wait for audiences to experience it on NITV and on SBS Food,” Ms Hepworth said.

Recent Screen Queensland-supported productions filmed in Far North Queensland include Netflix series Dive Club, romantic comedy feature film This Little Love of Mine, ABC’s live TV event Reef Live and upcoming Netflix Original documentary Microworlds: Reef.

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