By Kate Bastians.
AUSTRALIAN children’s TV content is at risk due to a dire lack of funding, prompting two Newtown entertainers to launch a campaign to raise money for a new musical series.
Children’s TV personalities Tina and Mark Harris warn locally made shows face being axed, meaning children would largely be exposed to American and British content rather than Australian themes.
They have thrown their voices behind the Make It Australian campaign calling on politicians to protect existing content rules for locally produced drama and children’s content and for this to be extended to cover streaming video and on demand services.
Other high profile Make It Australian supporters fighting to ensure Australian stories continue to be told on Australian screens include Judy Davis, Richard Roxburgh, Deborah Mailman and Gillian Armstrong.
Mr Harris said it was important for children to hear Australian voices on TV.
“The majority of screen content for preschoolers in Australia is bought from the UK and USA, so our kids are hearing American and British accents and vocabulary rather than Aussie voices for Aussie kids,” he said.
AH-LAH’S BIG LIVE BAND |MUSIC CLIPS | LAH-LAH
The Newtown couple, who star in popular children’s show Lah-Lah’s Adventures, is seeking the public’s help to plug a $300,000 gap in the $1 million production budget for their new series The Stripy Sock Club. They are encouraging parents to support them and have their say in what their children watch on TV.
The 26, seven minute episodes will feature a selection of professional vocalists and instrumentalists from a diverse range of cultures.
“As our show focuses on making music, we don’t really have funding coming in from toy licensing,” Ms Harris said.
“Funding for a show like ours comes from broadcaster license fees, which are getting smaller all the time, government funding, which is getting harder to access, and angel investors who demand large chunks of profits and merchandising rights.”
More information: indiegogo.com/at/stripysockclub