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Aussie fact ent picks top Golden Rose

A controversial Australian fact ent series has scooped the top Golden Rose at this year’s Rose d’Or Festival in Lucerne.

Go Back to Where You Came From, which tackles immigration issues and racist attitudes, beat 11 other programme category winners to take the Best of 2012 Golden Rose prize, as well as the festival’s factual entertainment award.

The three-part series, produced by Cordell Jigsaw Productions and Screen NSW for SBS, puts six young Australians in the shoes of refugees and makes them face the same dangers and hardship.

It was praised by the festival’s jury as “a particularly impressive example of how entertainment television can tackle critical social issues.” The show won an Australian Logie Award in the outstanding factual category in April.

Producers Michael Cordell and Nick Murray said there had been something very special about the show from the start. “When it went to air on the first night it trended number one in the world on Twitter feeds, and we knew there was something very powerful about it,” said Cordell.

The show’s format has already been sold to BBC America for the US and into Europe, Scandinavia, the Middle East and South Africa through SBS Distribution.

Cordell Jigsaw, which in February announced a merger with fellow Australian prodco Zapruder’s Other Films to create Cordell Jigsaw Zapruder, has just finished shooting a second 3×60′ season.

The UK was also a major winner at the Rose d’Or, scooping five category awards. Three went to Channel 4-commissioned shows, with Black Mirror: The National Anthem, produced by Zeppotron, taking best comedy; best sitcom going to Friday Night Dinner, produced by Big Talk Productions and Popper Pictures; and best gameshow awarded to The Million Pound Drop Live, from Remarkable Television.

Two awards were picked up by BBC commissions, with best children’s show going to Horrible Histories, produced by Lion Television in association with Citrus Television; and The Great British Bake Off, made by Love Productions, named best lifestyle show.

Germany picked up two awards, both for shows made for pubcaster ARD’s channels. Best live event went to the Eurovision Song Contest 2011, made by ARD and Brainpool TV for the ARD network; and best TV movie was picked up by cyber bullying drama Homevideo, produced by Teamworx Television and Film for NDR.

Elsewhere, the multi-platform award went to Plan B, made by 7 y acción for Spain’s Antena 3; the youth award went to drama Dream High, made by Korean Broadcasting System; the arts, documentary and performing arts gong went to The Sound of Ole Bull, from NRK Hordaland for NRK in Norway; and the best series prize went to Pan Am, from Sony Pictures Television, Jack Orman Productions, Out of the Blue Entertainment and Shoe Money Productions for ABC.

The BBC’s long-running motoring show Top Gear was given an Honorary Rose award, accepted by joint host Jeremy Clarkson, while Germany’s entertainment presenter Stefan Raab (Beat the Host) picked up an Innovation Rose award.

Israel, however, went away empty-handed, despite nominations in four categories: comedy, sitcom, gameshow and factual entertainment.


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