SBS finds its roots in doc series “DNA Nation”

Australian broadcaster SBS is delving into questions around identity in the Blackfella Films-produced doc series DNA Nation (pictured), part of a month-long programming banner entitled 'SBS Explores Identity.'
April 21, 2016

Australian broadcaster SBS is delving into questions around identity in the three-part doc series DNA Nation (pictured).

The Blackfella Films-produced program is the flagship doc at the center of a month-long banner entitled ‘SBS Explores Identity.’ Dedicated programming runs from May 15 to June 5 and looks at the make-up of Australian society, from genetics and cultural roots to “shared passions” and individual identities.

DNA Nation features Olympian Ian Thorpe, indigenous actor Ernie Dingo and TV presenter Julia Zemiro, all of whom have questions about their backgrounds and set out to discover where they came from.

According to SBS, the group will trace the journeys of their ancestors from Africa to Australia by experiencing life as hunter-gatherers in Tanzania, looking for fossils in the Arabian desert, riding horseback in Kyrgyzstan and braving the waters of Timor Leste.

According to SBS director of television and content Marshall Heald, the cross-platform banner will explore identity from all angles.

“The quest to understand what makes us who we are is a fundamental human need,” he said in a statement. “As Australia’s multicultural broadcaster, SBS is uniquely placed to explore and challenge our concepts of identity.”

Alongside DNA Nation, SBS will also conduct a “genetic census” using DNA donated by Austrians from six ethnic groups, including Greek, Chinese, Anglo-Celtic, Indian, Lebanese and First Nations Australians.

DNA Nation premieres on May 22 at 8:30 p.m., with a second episode set for May 29 and a finale airing on June 5.

  • Check out a trailer for the doc series below:

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor-in-chief and content director for Realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to Realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.