A Kind Of Spark, which arose from neurodivergent author Elle McNicoll’s frustration with autistic representation on screen, was described as an “important and fun series” by the judges.
The show follows Addie, a young autistic girl who wants to create a memorial in her village for the witches who were persecuted there. A Kind Of Spark arose from NcNicoll’s desire to see stories with disabled characters that were not traumatic or boring but steeped in fun and full of life.
Central to the aim of authentic on-screen representation, the show’s autistic characters were played by autistic actors.
Almost half the crew were neurodivergent, including Elle, who served as co-writer.
The production team worked closely with the cast to be mindful of sensory or stimulation points in regard to wardrobe, hair, make-up and set, and each filming location had a sensory room or trailer for cast who needed a safe, quiet space.
From a story standpoint, it was important to show layered, complex neurodivergent characters, while avoiding the stereotype of autism as a ‘superpower’.
“Through strong performances and high production values, this series showcases neurodiversity in an organic and engaging way, without it being the sole focus,” said one judge.
I Am Your Mother (Star Wars: Visions Volume 2)
Aardman for Disney+
Using the classic line “I am your father” as a jumping-off point, this animated series focuses on the infrequently explored relationships between mothers and daughters in the Star Wars universe.
Through well-crafted writing and witty dialogue, audiences are introduced to relatable characters with poignant and well-formed relationships – starting with protagonist Lloyd and his bosom friend Abacus. With entomology as the vehicle, the show is a celebration of the insect life that might be found in a UK home.
Filmed entirely on location in Ukraine, the Newsround team spent time with children and their families as the war happened around them, allowing the children to give a first-hand account of how the conflict was shaping their lives.
Operation Ouch! Let’s Talk About Cancer
Maverick TV for CBBC
Delivered with an honest, open and irreverent approach, this episode from doctors Chris and Xand Van Tulleken sought to dispel the fear surrounding cancer. Firm in their belief that children can handle more serious information than adults sometimes give them credit for, the brothers outline how the illness affects the body and how chemotherapy and radiotherapy can counteract it.
Written by Madeleine Brettingham, the Moonbreaker episode of this CITV animation was chosen for its humour and ‘out there’ storyline – which, with the relationship between Gran and grandson Dave at its core, explores family and the sacrifices that help forge intergenerational bonds.