Stirring title, film gets standing ovation at TIFF

By Piripi Taylor

A new television series from Australia with a controversial title has had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it received an emotional and stirring standing ovation.

Te Ao caught up with the show's daring director and the lead actor of Ngāti Porou descent.

Blackfella Films founder Rachel Perkins is synonymous with pushing the boundaries in Australian film and television. She's at the helm of a new political drama that is already causing controversy after being criticised for its title, forcing a name change back home.

Five-time AFI award-winning actress Deborah Mailman of Aboriginal and Māori descent plays an indigenous politician who is ushered into parliament as a rival to an embattled PM, highlighting real issues for indigenous political aspirations and woman of colour in power.

It's the first Australian television series to be selected for the Prime Time programme at the festival and has been well received. 

Testing the waters here at Toronto has given them confidence for how the series will be received back down under. 

The hour-long nine-part series is scheduled to air on the ABC later this year under the title Total Control.