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Canada-NZ co-production activity gets online

Fumes TV, thedownlowconcept and Brown Sugar Apple Grunt (BSAG) are named as the recipients of support for the NZ-Canada transmedia initiative announced last year.

iThentic's Emmy-winning series Guidestones

iThentic’s Emmy-winning series Guidestones

The Canada-New Zealand Digital Media Fund was established to encourage the co-production of innovative digital media projects for online audiences that would appeal culturally to both New Zealand and Canadian audiences. Of the total CA$1.2 million committed to the three projects announced, NZ On Air will kick in CA$582,000 to the Canada Media Fund’s CA$618,000. Each project will receive CA$400,000 overall, with the agencies providing support for the companies in their own countries.

There’s a solid history of co-productions between the two countries, mostly for TV, dating back to the late 80s. SPP was the most active of the NZ production companies, having made eight TV shows with Canadian partners, including one season of Mercy Peak.

The most recent NZ-Canada co-production has been Turbo Kid, premiered earlier this year at Sundance.

Under the Canada-New Zealand Digital Media Fund, Fumes TV will collaborate with Toronto-based digital agency Jam 3 on an interactive documentary, I Spy: With My Five Eyes, which will allow users to explore aspects of cyber security, national surveillance and privacy from a number of perspectives.

The International Emmy-winning iThentic (Guidestones!) teams with the 48Hours-winning thedownlowconcept for The Nations, an inter-country comedy challenge between New Zealand and Canada.

BSAG’s Kerry Warkia is no slouch at producing online content, with Auckland Daze, Nia’s Extra Ordinary Life and Flat 3 already under her belt. BSAG will work with Story2.OH on kid-focused app, We Are The Remarkables. The project will include puzzles, games and video episodes via a YouTube channel.

“NZ On Air is looking for ways to push the boundaries of content-making,” said NZ On Air CE Jane Wrightson. “These projects are frontier-busting on many levels but we believe will produce online content that will engage and stimulate three quite different audiences.

“NZ On Air’s own research shows audiences are increasingly looking to a variety of screens for their entertainment and information. Our job is to ensure there is relevant, local content available wherever the audiences are.”

Valerie Creighton, President and CEO for the Canada Media Fund, said, “The matching fund between the Canada Media Fund and NZ On Air is a catalyst for content creators in both countries to share and create groundbreaking innovative digital media productions.”

Funding:
I Spy: With My Five Eyes
NZ: Fumes TV, $218,742 NZD (NZ On Air funding)
Canada: Jam 3, $200,000 CND (CMF funding)

The Nations
NZ: thedownlowconcept, $175,083 NZD (NZ On Air funding)
Canada: iThentic Canada, $238,000 CND (CMF funding)

We Are The Remarkables
NZ: Brown Sugar Apple Grunt, $233,200 NZD (NZ On Air funding)
Canada: Story2.OH, $180,000 CND (CMF funding)

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