Who Do You Think You Are? Series 4

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Shaun Micallef

Kerry O'Brien

Melissa George

Vince Colosimo

John Wood

Michael O'Loughlin

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 revealed – from heroic tales of military battles to harrowing tales of war’s legacy, from nineteenth century brothels to twentieth century child abandonment - with each celebrity 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.

Shaun Micallef

Award winning actor, writer and comedian

Shaun Micallef says he has been too busy focusing on his comedy career to be interested in family history, but as he approaches the big "5-0", he has started to reflect on his own life. He is worried that his ancestors will be boring and dull. Not so. He’ll soon discover that they were players in some of the most extraordinary moments in modern history.


Writer / Director: Jane Manning | Post Director: Franco di Chiera | Editor: Beckett Broda
Director Of Photography: Ian Pugsley ACS | Assistant Producer: Katherine Barrett

 

“Shaun Micallef is, in many ways, the ultimate expression of what makes a fascinating subject for this show” – The Guide smh.com.au Michael Idato 23/03/12


Kerry O'Brien

Television Journalist

Television journalist Kerry O’Brien embarks on a journey to uncover his Irish roots. He discovers a colourful and fiery character in the form of Charles O’ Brien, the first O’Brien to arrive in Australia. Having survived both the potato famine and a perilous voyage, Charles makes the most of the new opportunities afforded him in the Colony. Kerry will be surprised by his other Irish ancestors also searching for a better life. Convicted thieves, and sent over as convicts, their lives continued on a dramatic course, as they took desperate measures for survival.


Writer / Director: Claire Meech | Post Director: Steve Peddie | Editor: David Fosdick

Director Of Photography: Ulrich-Stephan Krafzik | Assistant Producer: Janine Boreland


“ “Like all great episodes of this series, tiny details previously thought to be unimportant and inconsequential, become the equivalent of a smoking gun” – Green Guide editor Andrew Murfett, 29/03/13


Melissa George

Actress

Actress Melissa George rattles the skeletons in her family closet to uncover the heartbreaking truth behind a story of child migrants and investigates the case of an ancestor suspected of abusing a prisoner in a colonial gaol.


Writer / Director: Claire Meech | Post Director: Alan Carter | Editor: Teresa Ashton-Graham
Director Of Photography: Ulrich-Stephan Krafzik | Assistant Producers: Alison James & Jo Foster

 

“ ...one of its most rewarding qualities is the way in which they process those discoveries into tales we can relate to.” – The Age 22/03/12


Vince Colosimo

Actor

On his father’s side there’s always been a mystery about his grandmother, as she died young, and little is known about her life or family. On his quest to find out who she was, Vince uncovers the story of her father, and finds out their lives in rural Calabria were touched by both joy and tragedy. Vince’s re-connection to his ancestral mother country is profound and his observations are steeped in humour, candour, and occasional coarse language.


Writer / Director: Jane Manning | Editor: Peter Pritchard
Director Of Photography: Ian Pugsley ACS | Assistant Producers: Anthea Bulloch & Cath Trimboli

 

“ One of the great things about this series is the way the personality of the subject emerges so clearly. ” – Melinda Houston -Sun Herald, Sydney Unwind 15/04/12


John Wood

Actor

Actor John Wood is best known for his role in “Blue Heelers” yet his detective work in “WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?” reaffirms truth is more fascinating than fiction. John’s investigation into his father’s capture and imprisonment in Nazi Europe reveals an unexpected love story – while a search for his Swedish ancestors uncovers wealth that belies his working class roots.


Writer / Director: Max Walker | Editor: Beckett Broda
Director Of Photography: Ian Pugsley ACS | Assistant Producer: Cath Trimboli


“ ... a series that's turned genealogy into an engaging TV experience. ” – Sydney Morning Herald, Entertainment. 24/04/12


Michael O'Loughlin

AFL Football Player

Michael investigates a family legend that connects him to Australia’s $50 bill and discovers a life-changing ancestor, who was one of the last tribal Aboriginals from the Coorong and Lake regions to move onto the mission. Working alongside Australia’s foremost anthropologist, Norman Tindale, his legacy was to preserve the memory of a disintegrating culture.


Writer / Director: Kay Pavlou | Post Director: Russell Vines | Editor: Beckett Broda
Director Of Photography: Ulrich-Stephan Krafzik | Assistant Producer: Janine Boreland

 

“ Don't miss this. ” – Dianne Butler, Herald Sun TV


Researchers: Diana Pepper, Kirrilly Brentnall, Linda Emery
SBS Independent Commissioning Editor: John Godfrey

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 2011.

Format Licensed by Wall to Wall Media Ltd



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reviews

"One of the best pieces of Australian- produced television to go to air this year"
- Media Week, James Manning, 27/09/04

"We welcome the return of the impeccable Who Do You Think You Are?"

- The Sunday Age

"A documentary that confronts, questions and raises many issues:medical ethics,personal choice and funding priorities - but none more so than the rights of the disabled, and of a mother and father."

- Karen Hobson, Canberra Times, 13/04/98

"… is full of emotion,heartache,frustration and determination."

- Melville-Fremantle Community Newspaper, 14/04/98

"… essentially a story of courage"

- TV Extra, 12/04/98

‘The filmmaker creates a perceptive, multilayered understanding of the young refugees’ experiences’

- West Australian

‘Delightful’

- Sunday Times

‘It is hard to remain dry-eyed as the schools multicultural soccer team sings Advance Australia Fair in the bus home from a match.'

- Sydney Morning Herald/ Melbourne Age

"... 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."

- Tim Marsh, London Times.
"Delightful documentary"
- Sunday Times, 01/07/07
"A sweet sign off for a lovely series"
- The Age, Michael Idato, 02/07/07
…."it is the irrespressible humanity, and often hilarity, of the couples that makes DKS such honest and engaging television"
- West Australian, Philippa Perry, 04/07/07
“Real insight into a pressing problem” 
- Sydney Morning Herald
“Engrossing TV to start the year” 
- Daily Telegraph Pick Of The Week
"A cut above the reality rest"
- The West Magazine, Helen Crompton, 18/09/04
"Sheilas" is suprisingly compelling viewing"
- Weekend Australian, Kerrie Murphy, 2 - 8/10/04
Such is the level of trust between Honnor, the film crew and the dolphins that some of the footage in Dolphins’ Day is thought to be a world first.
- The West Australian, Sue Yeap, 07/07/98
"Unique footage" 
- Sunday Times, Bruce Butler, 01/03/99

"This is engaging and entertaining telly that also has something important to say"

- Sunday Age 04/01/09
"Engaging and entertaining telly that has something to say”
- Sunday Age
"...the most thought provoking, moving, entertaining and enlightening doco series in years"
- Wagin Argus 18/12/08

"Set in WA, this is one reality series we all should watch."

- West Australian 03/01/09

"Setting this documentary apart…is the effort it makes to humanise the poachers and explain the circumstances which compels them to hunt."

- West Australian, Mellissa Kent, 31/10/02
 "Televisual Gold"
- Lucy Belmont, The Age

"A dose of Reality TV without the hype"

- Weekend Australian, Simon Canning, 25 - 31/03/06
"A great concept"
- West Australian, Ara Jansen, 25-26/03/06

"All three groups of fishermen feature in Lobster Tales, an ABC documentary that will change the way you look at these delicious crustaceans forever."

- Sunday Mail, Brisbane 3/12/00

“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"

- Mark Naglazas – The West Australian Today 1/12/01

“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."

- CYCLOPS The West Magazine, The West Australian Newspaper 2/12/00

"shows ordinary people doing extraordinary things ... the program usues the magic of TV to bring an important WA story to life"

- West Australian, Keith McDonald, 27/06/02

“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."

- Jive TV Review, 23/11/10

“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…"

- Sydney Morning Herald, Doug Anderson

“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.” 

- West Australian, Sue Yeap

"This documentary never becomes bogged down in legalese and is a compelling tale of one family's devotion to their son"

- Sun Herald

"A remarkable story and a clever and affecting piece of storytelling"

- The Age

"An emotional journey...unflinchingly captured on camera"

- The West Australian

Koori queens proudly get out and about in this high-spirited and affirming documentary."

- Melbourne Queer Film Festival Guide

"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."

- Mark Naglazas, The West Australian Today

"Considering the double whammy served up by homophobia and racism, Sissy insists on having a good time while handling thought-provoking material."

- Mims McIntyre, Melbourne Times, 14/03/01,

[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.

- Louise Rugendyke, Sydney Morning Herald, 08/12/14

Filled with wit, warmth and revelations, Stairway To Heaven will intrigue even non-believers.

- TV Week, 12/12/16
This powerful documentary reveals a side to Shaun Micallef we don’t usually see - the Aussie actor and comedian is on a quest to find the very meaning of life itself... He is an inspiring host and an entertaining traveller.

- Sunday Mail Adelaide, Adelaide 15/01/17

"It's a compelling story and you made a compelling film out of it. Just terrific."

- Richard Walsh, Consultant Publisher, Allen & Unwin
“This is vital viewing for those that crave the whole truth”
- Ian Cuthbertson, The Australian
The Dreamhouse is, no mistake, a heart warmer and a tear jerker. But it's more than that... The Dreamhouse instead shows [the housemates] as people with abilities, flaws, hopes, desires and dreams the same as any of us
- Ben Pobjie, Sydney Morning Herald, 07/08/14
Every so often a TV show comes along that changes the way we think about others, about society, about ourselves. Positively, for the better and in a way that enriches the lives of everyone.
- Paul Kalina, The Age, 31/07/14
"It’s a fascinating insight into a world most of us never see"
- The Age Green Guide, Barbara Hooks, 10/04/03

"A fascinating insight into the world of the night"

- Canberra Times, 14/04/03
"A fly on the wall insight" 
- Melissa Kent, West Australian, 16/04/03

“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"

- The Australian, Ian Cuthberston, 23/08/08

“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”

- Stanley Diamond, Montreal, Executive Director, Jewish Records Indexing - Poland, Inc.
Arguably its strongest line-up of celebrity guests yet
- The Daily Telegraph - Holly Byrnes 07/06/14

"...it's the most engaging detective series in years"

- Doug Anderson, SMH, 11/1/08

"... surprising, extraordinary and often moving" 

- Sunday Telegraph
"Outstanding, at times touching and very, very real"
- Sydney Morning Herald 5/10/09

"A compelling, lovely adaption of an excellent British format"

- Sydney morning herald- Sydney TV
"...is so elegantly simple it manages to compel almost without fail, never overstepping the human stories it is designed to tell..."
- Michael Idato - Sydney Morning Herald 20/12/10
"..utterly compelling.....revealed how powerful straightforward storytelling can be.... More please."
- Frances Atkinson, The Green Guide "The Rated , The Age 23/12/10
"...takes prominent Australians on an often complex, and sometimes unsettling, genealogical journey.... - has proven addictive t.v."
- Graeme Blundell -The Australian 18/12/10
“Their stories are revealing, sometimes shocking and always emotional”
- Feast Magazine 19/03/12

"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)"

- Melinda Houston – SMH, 25/03/12

“It's the perfect mix of history and celebrity..."

- Sunday Herald Sun, Melbourne , 01/04/13

"... this program has about it a quiet authenticity that allows the subject’s story to unfold of its own accord."

- Age Melbourne, 18/04/13

"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"


- Sunday Age, Melbourne Critic's Choice, 01/04/13

"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"

- Weekend Australian, Graeme Blundell, 06/04/13
This stylishly produced series is in fine form this season. Each episode combines the intimacy, and sometimes voyeurism, of observational documentary and the puzzles of the well-told detective story. It is a brilliant concept.
- Graeme Blundell The Australian, 25/08/15

This series is fascinating and so well done...
(pick of the week)

- Weekend Australian, Australia Lyndall Crisp - The Australia, 08/08/15
There are enough twists and turns here to make you think you’re watching an actual drama.
- Cameron Adams,Herald Sun, Melbourne, 25/08/15

"... explores the family histories of its subjects with class and humour. Verdict: A Hit." 

- Michael Idato, SMH, 31/12/07.

For information about availability and purchase of this production, please fill out the form below or phone directly.

Tel: +61 8 9228 2852
Fax: +61 8 9228 4517

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