Get ready for an action-packed adventure as bike-obsessed kids from Roebourne in Western Australia’s remote Pilbara Region take us on a journey across their country on 2 and 4-wheeler freedom machines. Criss-crossing Ngarluma country around Roebourne, sharing yarns and laughs along the way, Red Dirt Riders is a 5-part, 15-minute factual series premiering on ABC ME during NAIDOC Week 2021.
Experience the Pilbara’s first traffic jam, take a trip to a coastal ghost town, discover some fascinating local history about a famous dog and hear stories of the spirits of the country, all whilst avoiding getting bogged in the bush with the Red Dirt Riders.
Directed and co-produced by Ngarluma man, Tyson Mowarin, this inspiring series is yet another example of Mowarin’s commitment to creating screen content designed to share and preserve Australian Indigenous culture. “Ngarluma country is beautiful all year round. This time we worked in the winter and even had rain. The kids were really into it and we were happy that kids who didn’t ride could still be involved making music for the series,” director and co-producer Tyson Mowarin says. Mowarin has produced, written and directed factual content and short films since 2009 and his award-winning short films include Mabuji (2009), Ngurra Wangaggu (2013) and Undiscovered Country (2017). Feature documentaries include Connection to Country (2017) and Marni (2019), a 2.5 hour slow TV experience for NITV. Weerianna Street Media also produced Thalu (2020) a 10 part series for NITV and ABC.
The naturally comedic Red Dirt Riders are aged between 10 – 13 years and include Logan Adams who some may recognise from hisrecent role as Noodles in Thalu; Cherry Rose Hubert who appeared in Red Dog, True Blue and also as Em in Thalu; and Sharliya Mowarin who also starred in Thalu as Lali. They’re joined by natural chatterboxes and social butterflies making their on-screen debuts; Isaac Guinness, Toby Cedar, Haseem May and RJ Parker. The quiet-natured Johnita Sandy, the tear-away teen Layne Smith – who can be seen on the local tracks any day of the week – and the natural leader and key contributor to the series, Penesha Wally, who played Vinka in Thalu, and makes her TV debut as the narrator of Red Dirt Riders, round out the cast of loveable locals.
With a soundtrack partly produced in Roebourne in collaboration with Big hART, featuring beats made by local kids using GarageBand and Splice, the community spirit is ever-present throughout this heart-warming series which will leave a big impact following its small screen debut on ABC ME during NAIDOC week 2021 and again on NITV later in the year. Written and produced by Robyn Marais, Red Dirt Riders has been created with support from ABC, NITV, Screenwest, Screen Australia (PEP) and ACTF. Red Dirt Riders premieres on ABC ME and ABC iview from 4.30pm on Monday 5 July during NAIDOC week.