The Australian TV documentary Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds has taken home a gong at the International Emmy awards.

The show, from production company Endemol Shine Australia, which aired on the ABC in 2019, took out the prize in the non-scripted entertainment category in the US on Tuesday. It was up against another Endemol Shine production, Canta Comigo, from Brazil; Norway’s The Public Enlightenment – Make Lillestrøm Great Again; and season three of MasterChef Thailand.

Based on a UK format, Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds explores the benefits for Australia’s elderly population from spending time with young children. In a “social experiment” format, a group of retirement home residents mixed with preschoolers in a preschool built within their care facilities while experts in geriatric health and early childhood monitored the progress of the participants.

The show won an Aacta award last year for best documentary or factual program, as well as gold at the 2020 New York Festivals TV and Film awards for best social issues documentary.

It was the only Australian show to win an award this year at the International Emmys, which recognises excellence in television programming outside the US.

“Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds combines the magical spontaneity and innocence of young kids with the wisdom and heart of older generations,” Jennifer Collins, the ABC’s head of factual and culture, said on Tuesday.

“There are very few programs that give a voice to our elders and this is a perfect vehicle for bridging the divide between generations, with humour and joy.”

The ABC’s Hardball won an International Emmy Kids award last month while Ludo Studios’ beloved children’s cartoon Bluey won an International Emmy Kids award for 2019.

Another Australian show, Content – an ABC drama created for viewing on mobile that unfolds entirely from the perspective of an aspiring influencer’s smartphone – was nominated in this year’s International Emmys in the short-form series category. That award went to the Czech Republic thriller #Martyisdead, which follows a father investigating his son’s digital footprint after his apparently accidental death.

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