The first funding round of the new financial year has seen nearly $12 million committed to comedies and documentaries to screen across five free-to-air channels.
“We had a large number of applications for this round” says NZ On Air Chief Executive Jane Wrightson. “That has meant some very tough decisions. But audiences are in for some special treats next year from a particularly varied range of talent behind the successful projects”, she says.
NZ On Air is supporting three new Platinum Fund documentary projects including OceaNZ, a prestigious six-hour natural history series that will look at New Zealand’s ocean environments; an ambitious feature documentary Beyond The Edge, covering Hillary’s conquer of Everest; and a four-part historical series, Making New Zealand that looks at the challenges and creation of New Zealand’s major infrastructure.
There will also be the return of some well-loved established series including Country Calendar and Radar Across the Pacific for TV One, and Pakipumeka and Mana Wairua for Maori Television. Aftermath, for Prime TV, adds three extra episodes to an important project which looks at documenting Christchurch’s reconstruction.
New factual series for year ahead include Making Tracks in which Simon Morton bikes through our history, Topp Country, starring Lynda and Jools Topp, Animal Science examining the work of Massey University’s world renowned Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences and Family Secret looking at New Zealand’s social history by unravelling family mysteries.
NZ On Air is continuing to support innovative comedy projects and build on comedic success.
One team which exemplifies both traits is the one behind online hit series Auckland Daze – and we congratulate them on securing network support to extend to television for their second series.
Funding has also been committed to a new project starring the considerable comedic talents of Rhys Darby, Short Poppies, and the return of the well-received Super City featuring Madeleine Sami.