An interview with the Perth-based creator, producer and director of NITV’s gorgeous documentary series ‘Family Rules’, now in its third season.
NITV’s landmark observational documentary series Family Rules is now in its third season, and that says something about its broad appeal. In six half-hour episodes this season follows Noongar mother, Danielle, now turning 50, and her large, close-knit family of daughters, most of whom live in suburban Perth. Don’t mention reality TV or the Kardashians. Yes, these are strong black women who love to glam up for photo shoots, but mostly their lives are ordinary. They take their husbands to ultrasounds, hoping for baby girls after a string of boys; they grapple with issues like career, education, travel and fitness. They’re warm, fun, middle-class, and also proudly Indigenous.
Karla Hart is the WA-based creator and producer of Family Rules,together with Renee Kennedy. Their companies, Karla Hart Enterprises and Metamorflix, made the show with support from Screen Australia, NITV, Screenwest and Lotterywest. Hart is an award-winning filmmaker, writer, director, producer, Noongar dancer, teacher and singer, actor and event coordinator. She was awarded the Perth NAIDOC Artist of the Year in 2017. It seems there’s nothing she hasn’t tried, and in this season of Family Rules she’s extending her skills, hands-on with the cameras, directing episodes as well as producing.
We covered this groundbreaking show back in 2016, when its first season was unveiled to celebrate the tenth anniversary of NITV. At the time, station manager Tanya Orman said, ‘A lot of NITV is about inspiration and pride… And for us, it was really important to have a series that was real and just showed us: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. When I was growing up, I didn’t see “us” in anything. …This series is a factual, observational series that is heartwarming, but entertaining. It really reflects this new era of NITV.’