ACTF News
February 12th 2024
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Producers of Little Lunch and The InBESTigators back with new kids’ series

Australian production company Gristmill has partnered with Canada’s Sinking Ship Entertainment (SSE) to bring an exciting new children’s series to audiences across the globe.

Lighting Primary follows the adventures of a group of children whose school is transformed into a magical realm after being struck by lightning. But before the students can enjoy their new paradise, the kids realise that their principal has gone missing and must embark on a journey to find him with the help of the school’s new magical abilities. 

Developed by Gristmill with the support of the Australian Children’s Television Foundation (ACTF), Lightning Primary is a half-hour live-action series aimed at children aged 6-9 years.

The series will be the first Australian/Canadian co-production for both Gristmill and Sinking SSE, with filming to take place in Australia and visual effects and postproduction to take place in Canada.

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Wayne Hope and Robyn Butler on set for The InBESTigators

Gristmill is an award-winning Australian production company founded by Robyn Butler and Wayne Hope, celebrated for its expertise in high end narrative comedy and drama for kids and adults. Kids’ series Little Lunch and The InBESTigators have been stand-out hits in Australia and around the world.

Sinking Ship Entertainment has a strong reputation internationally for its children’s and family series, most notably as an industry leader in live action/CGI blended series, such as Jane (Apple TV+), Ghostwriter (Apple TV+), Dino Dana (Amazon Prime/TVOKids) and Odd Squad (PBS/TVOKids). SSE productions have won 26 Daytime and Children's and Family Emmy® Awards between them.

Gristmill Producers Robyn Butler and Wayne Hope said: “As longtime superfans of Sinking Ship’s work, we are tickled pink to be teaming up for our latest children’s adventure. Lightning Primary is a very special show and we can’t wait to watch SSE weave their magic into it.”

Executive Producer Sinking Ship Entertainment Carla de Jong said: “There is a unique tone to the humor that Wayne and Robyn infuse into their shows that clearly resonates with kids and their families around the world. We are thrilled to be partnering with them to bring this ambitious project to life.”

ACTF Head of Content Bernadette O’Mahony said: “We love Lighting Primary. It’s got that unique Gristmill warmth and humour, and we’re thrilled that Sinking Ship has come on board. Two such great companies and teams working together – it’s a dream team! Robyn Butler and Wayne Hope create incredible work, with Little Lunch and The InBESTigators loved by kids across the globe, and Sinking Ship is a world leader in children’s television. This is a natural partnership and we can’t wait to see what they do together.”

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