November 27th 2023


Built to Survive wins International Emmy Award

Australian natural history series Built to Survive has won the 2023 International Emmy Award for Kids: Factual & Entertainment, becoming the first ever Australian program to win in the category.

Host Phil Breslin accepted the award from New Zealand comedian Rhys Darby and character Brainy Smurf at the gala event in New York on Monday, 20 November.

The 10-part series, produced by Butter Media and Breslin Media for the ABC, was nominated alongside Takalani Sesame, the South-African co-production of Sesame Street; Quintal TV, a Brazilian series fostering dialogue between children, caregivers and experts about contemporary issues; and Germany’s Triff… Anne Frank, in which time-travelling presenter Clarissa meets a different world history figure in each episode.

Built to Survive follows outback adventurer, biologist and third generation Indigenous educator, Phil Breslin, as he braves some of the country’s most extreme environments in search of the ultimate animal survivors.

Australia scored a trifecta at the International Emmy Awards with all three nominated Australian shows winning their category. Along with Built to Survive, the hit Netflix reboot of Heartbreak High won the Kids: Live Action Award, while Harley & Katya, the compelling story of figure skaters Harley Windsor and Russian Katya Alexandrovskaya, won Best Sports Documentary.

Built to Survive Producer Jerry Butterfield said: “What a spectacular win for Australian producers - three nominations and three wins at this year’s International Emmy Awards. 

Built to Survive was a labour of love for so many talented individuals and groups, especially our presenter and co-Executive Producer Phil Breslin. We would like to extend our gratitude to our broadcast partner ABC ME, production partners ACTF and Screen NSW, and for the ongoing support of Screen Australia. We are especially grateful to the many Traditional Owners of Country and their generous sharing of knowledge with the production and kids right across Australia.

“They say never work with kids or animals, but it turns out kids’ wildlife is a winner!”

ACTF CEO Jenny Buckland said: “Built to Survive is exciting, engaging and informative, showcasing some of Australia’s most unique and interesting creatures and their stunning habitats in the Australian wilderness. Along with his comprehensive knowledge of our native wildlife, Phil has an infectious energy and sense of humour, and we’re thrilled to see this wonderful series recognised for its excellence. Congratulations to the whole Built to Survive team on this well-deserved win!”

You can stream Built to Survive on ABC iview or download it to own from the ACTF shop.

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Built To Survive is a Butter Media and Breslin Media Production for ABC TV. Financed with support from Screen NSW through the NSW PDV. Developed with the assistance of and distributed by the Australian Children’s Television Foundation. Producers: Jerry Butterfield, Dan Walkington and Phil Breslin; Executive Producers: Mary-Ellen Mullane, Bernadette O’Mahony and Margaret Ross.

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