8MMM Aboriginal Radio

At the arse-end of the world, in the middle of nowhere, is Alice Springs – home to 8MMM Aboriginal Radio, the proud voice of the Blackfellas living here. It runs on the smell of an oily rag and the enthusiasm of its motley Indigenous crew. With meager funding, the 8MMM team airs the day-to-day preoccupations of Alice Springs and its surrounds: housing, education, culture, money, alcohol and reconciliation.

But like most indigenous organisations, it’s run by Whitefellas and when non-Indigenous people come to work in Aboriginal organisations, they easily fall into one of three categories – missionaries, mercenaries or misfits – the 3Ms. For the 3Ms working at 8MMM, saving Aboriginal people from themselves is hard work! For the Aboriginal people, being saved all the time is even harder.

At the helm of the station is local firebrand, Jessie (Shari Sebbens). Determined and hard working, her goal is to one day be General Manager, until then she relies on current GM and missionary Jake (Ian Meadows) for guidance.

Resident DJ, Jampajinpa (Zac James) is so proud of being black, he’s permanently dressed like an Aboriginal flag in red, black and yellow. Volunteer Koala (Laura Hughes) thrusts herself into every Aboriginal activity whether she’s welcome or not (often she’s not!) Receptionist Milly (Elaine Crombie) is more interested in manicures and makeup than actually working. Then there’s the newly arrived Training Manager and mercenary Dave Cross (Geoff Morrell), a redneck racist from the city who isn’t going anywhere until his CV is puffed up with enough ‘community outreach’ to look good to Sydney recruiters.

But luckily 8MMM has Lola (Trisha Morton-Thomas), Traditional Owner and unpaid tea-lady who watches over the running of the station and the running of everyone’s lives.

Graceland Happiness Project

2013 Big Brother contestants, Tim Dormer and Ben Zabel, star in a new online series The Graceland Happiness Project, created by comedy producers Princess Pictures through a crowd-funding campaign. The project was born when Tim won Big Brother, promising to take his friend to the home of his childhood idol – Elvis Presley’s Graceland.

Late last year Ben’s ongoing struggle with depression was made public after an attempted suicide. What began as a holiday turned into a rescue mission to help Ben find a new lease on life. Will this trip turn Ben’s life around? Is finding happiness that simple?

The ten part series follows Tim and Ben’s journey to Memphis in the search for happiness, exploring everything from celebrity to civil rights, religion, music history and most importantly the power of friendship. Tim challenges Ben in the hope that he discovers something worth living for. From senior citizen bingo to becoming rock stars (recording a single in the studio where Elvis was made famous) the pair even made American news after meeting Presley’s high profile daughter, Lisa Marie.

The Graceland Happiness Project explores the complexity of not only having depression but also being the friend of someone who is suffering from mental illness. This discussion couldn’t be more relevant as suicide is now the leading cause of death for Australians aged 15-44.

As they tick off Ben’s bucket list the stakes are high – will they find what they are looking for? With an extreme contrast in personalities, Tim and Ben have their own ideas on how to solve this problem. Their authentic raw chemistry provides genuinely heart-warming moments of friendship – equal amounts of tears and laughs.