For six nights across two weeks in January, Australia is invited to look into the lives of nine sisters and their mum in a landmark new series on NITV.
Family Rules is a half-hour observational documentary series, giving an intimate snapshot of modern Indigenous family life.
Perth-based production company Metamorflix, established in 2013 by Renee Kennedy (who is executive producer on the project) produced Family Rules with the support of Screen Australia, ScreenWest and Lotterywest and National Indigenous Television.
And Metamorflix engaged Perth post production house Sandbox – best-known for its TVCs and radio ads – to handle the entire post-production of sound and vision for the series.
Sandbox managing director Grady Habib said, “The team here love to be able to work on projects where we have the luxury of longer screen time for the story to evolve.”
Executive producer Renee Kennedy said that the series aimed to change the national conversation about the first people of this land “with exclusive access to this astonishing and wholly relatable, Indigenous family of 10 women”.
“It has also provided a unique opportunity for Indigenous filmmakers Karla Hart (co-EP and field director) and Gillian Moody (series director) to showcase their talent for making observational documentary content,” she said.
“My hope is that this television series will entertain not only an Indigenous audience, but also non-Indigenous viewers.
In the Rule family, the girls range in age from 12 to 29. The youngest girls live with their mum Daniella in the family home in Perth. The eldest girls don’t live at home any more, but still spend plenty of time there.
Each episode in this six part series focuses on the life of a particular sister, showing situations common to many young women.
Family Rules is about finding the perfect dress for the school formal and about moving out of home for the first time. It’s about a family road trip to experience culture, country and elders. However, navigating life in a family of nine presents its own unique challenges and when the rules are broken, everyone has something to say.
Angela, Shenika, Helen, Kelly, Kiara, Sharna, Aleisha, Jessica and Hannah navigate their way though adolescence and adulthood as their mother, Daniella, tries to teach them life lessons. With their own unique sense of humour and style, each of the girls learns to juggle their own aspirations with the reality of everyday life.
Metamorflix and Karla Hart Enterprises developed Family Rules with the financial assistance of ScreenWest and Lotterywest.
Family Rules: 6 x half hour series on NITV (channel 34 and Foxtel 144), 7.30pm on Monday January 9, Tuesday January 10 and Wednesday January 11, 7.30pm on Monday January 16, Tuesday January 17 and Wednesday January 18.