Foxtel commissions four-part doco about the Archibald Prize

The series follows the artists and their sitters on their journey as they strive to win the annual prize

Foxtel has announced the commissioning of a local four-part documentary series showcasing the largest and most popular portraiture competition in the country, the iconic Archibald Prize.

To be screened on Foxtel Arts in 2017, The Archibald will take viewers behind the scenes and away from the media frontline, as the series follows the artists and their sitters on their journey as they strive to win the annual prize.

Foxtel Arts continues to bring Foxtel subscribers extraordinary experiences in Australian arts and the world’s finest performing artists from the greatest opera houses, concert halls and festival stages.

Foxtel Arts & Music Group Channel Manager, Fraser Stark, said: “What better commission could there be to report than this four-part ‘blue ribbon’ documentary series. Already Foxtel Arts’ audience enjoys watching portraiture competitions in the very popular series Portrait Artist of the Year, and this local commission will further satisfy that curiosity and taste. It’s a privilege to see inside the workings of one of the world’s most competitive art prizes and this landmark series offers to extend the channel’s commitment to deep engagement with Australian arts communities and organisations. Naturally we are thrilled to be working with Mint Pictures and the Art Gallery of New South Wales.”

Jacquie Riddell, director of public engagement at the Art Gallery of NSW said: “The high profile, eagerly anticipated and often controversial Archibald Prize has captured the imagination of Australians for 96 years, and shows no signs of abating. The Archibald Prize enjoys enduring relevance because it chronicles the changing face of Australia and every year the Archibald Prize tells us new stories that resonate right across the country.

“We’re very pleased to be inviting the cameras behind the scenes at the Art Gallery of New South Wales so we continue to share the captivating stories of the Archibald Prize.”

Produced by Mint Pictures exclusively for Foxtel with major investment from Screen Australia, The Archibald will air on Foxtel Arts in 2017.

Adam Kay, Managing Director of Mint Pictures, said: “Hundreds of thousands of Australians view the Archibald every year, but they only see the end result. We are thrilled to be able to take viewers on the journey to witness the transition from blank canvas to final portraits.”

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