Well-known Australians play detective as they go in search of their family history, revealing secrets from the past. Taking us to all corners of Australia and the globe are six stories of individuals seeking to find the definitive answer to where they came from. Along the way secrets are uncovered and histories are revealed— from adultery and madness to children born out of wedlock and even the whiff of a right royal scandal—with each individual discovering that their ancestors form an integral part of not only their own identity, but that of the nation.
Considering Australia’s multicultural background, this is a global story, with each celebrity tracing their ancestors around the world. They travel to the places where their forebears would have lived, loved and died, and learn about the hardships and hurdles their ancestors overcame. This is a fascinating chronicle of the social, ethnic and cultural evolution of Australia’s national identity.
Footy legend and latter day ‘Knight in Shining Armour’ Ron Barassi has always believed that actions speak louder than words. In ‘WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?’ he embarks on a journey into his ancestry tracing the Barassi family line back to the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Victorian Gold Rush and discovers a heart-rending tale of violence, tragedy and redemption
Writer / Director: Catherine Marciniak | Post Director: Alan Carter | Editor: David Fosdick
Director Of Photography: Ian Pugsley ACS | Assistant Producer: Diana Pepper
Australian film and TV industry luminary, actress Sigrid Thornton has cornered the market in feisty leading roles. She is best known recently for her role as the relationship-challenged magistrate Laura in Sea Change. In “WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?” she embarks on a journey into her ancestry uncovering a genetic tendency to get into trouble with the law.
Writer / Director: Belinda Mason | Post Director: Alan Carter | Editor: Roland Smith
Director Of Photography: Ian Pugsley ACS | Assistant Producers: Kirrilly Brentnall & Diana Pepper
Actor Ben Mendelsohn embarks on a journey into his ancestry to find out if he really is related to the famous composer of the Wedding March – Felix Mendelssohn. In ‘WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?’ he traces the Mendelsohn family line back to the heart of Europe and discovers a thread of musical heritage in surprising quarters as well as a heart-rending tale of success, failure and heartbreak of Dickensian proportions
Writer / Director: Catherine Marciniak | Post Director: Alan Carter | Editor: Peter Pritchard
Director Of Photography: Ian Pugsley ACS | Assistant Producer: Britt Arthur
Singer Christine Anu’s ancestry is from the Torres Straits Islands. She would like to understand why music is so important in her life. Her ‘WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?’ journey takes her to England and the Torres Straits Islands where she discovers a heritage of music and culture, beyond her wildest dreams.
Writer / Director: Jane Manning | Post Director: Jane Manning | Editor: David Fosdick
Director Of Photography: Ian Pugsley ACS | Assistant Producer: Sarah Royos
Celebrity “Cook” Maggie Beer is probably best known for being half of the TV duo “The Cook and The Chef”. In “WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?” she embarks on a journey into her ancestry discovering a convict bigamist with a penchant for very tall tales.
Writer / Director: Catherine Marciniak | Post Director: Alan Carter | Editor: David Fosdick
Director Of Photography: Ian Pugsley ACS | Assistant Producer: Aline Jacques
Rock star and activist John Butler is searching for his heritage hoping to find poets, musicians and revolutionaries. In “Who Do You Think You Are?” he traces the Butler name back through generations of hardship to a matriarch who sang for her survival. Then he follows his Bulgarian ancestry to the mountain town of Koprivshtitsa and to an ancestor caught up in a violent revolt, central to the birth of a nation.
Writer / Director: Russell Vines | Editor: Roland Smith
Director Of Photography: Ulrich-Stephan Krafzik | Assistant Producer: Kirrilly Brentnall
The Who Do You Think You Are? format is devised by Wall to Wall and based upon a program originally produced by Wall to Wall for BBC1.
Format licensed by Warner Bros. International Television Production.
Based on the smash hit BBC series Who Do You Think You Are?, each episode will profile an Australian celebrity tracing their family tree.
The original UK series was created and produced by Wall to Wall Media.
'Who Do You Think You Are?' is a Serendipity Productions and Artemis International Production in association with SBS, ScreenWest, Lotterywest and Screen Australia. © Copyright 2009.
Format Licensed by Wall to Wall Media Ltd
"We welcome the return of the impeccable Who Do You Think You Are?"
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"… is full of emotion,heartache,frustration and determination."
"… essentially a story of courage"
‘The filmmaker creates a perceptive, multilayered understanding of the young refugees’ experiences’
‘It is hard to remain dry-eyed as the schools multicultural soccer team sings Advance Australia Fair in the bus home from a match.'
"... already acknowledged as the world's most exciting visual and physical theatre company...the reason to go and see Stalker is the way they marry jaw dropping spectacle with real purpose."
"This is engaging and entertaining telly that also has something important to say"
"Set in WA, this is one reality series we all should watch."
"Setting this documentary apart…is the effort it makes to humanise the poachers and explain the circumstances which compels them to hunt."
"A dose of Reality TV without the hype"
"All three groups of fishermen feature in Lobster Tales, an ABC documentary that will change the way you look at these delicious crustaceans forever."
“The great achievement of Lobster Tales, a delightfully oddball WA-made documentary on the lucrative local crayfish industry ... strikes such a lovely balance between the lobsters and fishermen that it’s more like a well-wrought tragi-comedy than a traditional nature doco"
“Even for non-lobster-lovers, this quirky feature provides plenty of interest ... the highlight is the underwater photography by Leighton de Barros which is up-close and stunning."
"shows ordinary people doing extraordinary things ... the program usues the magic of TV to bring an important WA story to life"
“Though it’s not easy to watch a widow finally open up about her murdered husband (nor is it comfortable watching local Iraqis genuinely praise Saddam Hussein), Salam Father is yet another reason why the terms "SBS" and "quality documentary" fit like a hand in glove."
“A sense of reconciliation emerges in the program and there's considerable poignancy as elements of a family torn apart by war, politics and circumstance are reunited…"
“This is the compelling story of a family torn apart by war, envy, corruption and greed and how a quest for answers also helped heal old wounds. It might also help people look beyond the descriptions "refugee" and "asylum seeker" to see the person and their story…A powerful piece of television, made more authentic by Ziusudras' first-hand narration of this tale.”
"This documentary never becomes bogged down in legalese and is a compelling tale of one family's devotion to their son"
"A remarkable story and a clever and affecting piece of storytelling"
"An emotional journey...unflinchingly captured on camera"
Koori queens proudly get out and about in this high-spirited and affirming documentary."
"We get a rare glimpse into the world of indigenous gay men in tonight's Sissy ... an energetic, inventive and occasionally touching Western Australian-made documentary that looks at the lives of three colourful drag queens."
"Considering the double whammy served up by homophobia and racism, Sissy insists on having a good time while handling thought-provoking material."
[Shaun Micallef’s] quest to discover if there is ‘‘greater purpose than being a semi-professional Australian TV personality’’ makes for a funny and watchable journey.
Filled with wit, warmth and revelations, Stairway To Heaven will intrigue even non-believers.
"It's a compelling story and you made a compelling film out of it. Just terrific."
"A fascinating insight into the world of the night"
“Surprising, raunchy, hilarious, crazy! Expect the unexpected!”
"Puppetry most certainly is an art from and some of the performances here will take your breath away"
“I have been directly or indirectly involved in WDYTYA productions in the U.S., Canada and the U.K …I must say that this one [Andrew Denton's episode] of the very best I have seen”
"...it's the most engaging detective series in years"
"... surprising, extraordinary and often moving"
"A compelling, lovely adaption of an excellent British format"
"One of the reliable pleasures of this series is just how great it looks. The production values are always first-class and wherever we are in Australia or the world, you can't quibble with the scenery. Who Do You Think You Are? is about much more than looking pretty, though, blending history and biography to create a package that's accessible, entertaining and educational. (FOUR STARS)"
“It's the perfect mix of history and celebrity..."
"... this program has about it a quiet authenticity that allows the subject’s story to unfold of its own accord."
"The series is more than a peek into the backgrounds of the famous; it also chronicles the social and cultural evolution of our national identities via these celeb family histories. 4/5 stars"
"Each episode is essentially a feature documentary, well-researched and produced, and presented usually with a humorous or deeply emotional touch... This show is seriously habit-forming"
This series is fascinating and so well done...
(pick of the week)
"... explores the family histories of its subjects with class and humour. Verdict: A Hit."