NZ On Air has been inundated with creative, innovative stories for audiences on multiple screens and devices. With the latest funding decisions, viewers are being given even greater choice of local content, and more options for how to enjoy it.
NZ On Air’s webseries fund attracted a record 109 applications.
“The calibre was outstanding; we were blown away. We had to make some very hard choices, but we were so impressed that we found some extra money to support more than we had originally intended,” said NZ On Air Chief Executive Jane Wrightson.
In total eight webseries, most with strong comedic themes, have been supported.
The week’s events in every field from politics to sport will be satirised in a weekly current affairs comedy The Civilian. While viewers will find laughs aplenty at The Water Cooler, where bored office workers gather to regale each other with truly outrageous supposedly true stories.
Children’s sci-fi drama Reset imagines aliens have landed in Auckland, responding to a distress signal from our dying planet. A young Māori boy prophet is one of the few who can decode the dying Earth’s message.
Two webseries for teen audiences are: Lucy Lewis Can’t Lose, a comedy about standing up for what you believe in; and Bright Summer Night, inspired by A Midsummer Nights’ Dream, follows a group of teens who ‘lose themselves’ at a house party.
Friday Night Bites is a weekly comedy series from the makers of the successful webseries Flat3. Each week the female flatties will get up to hijinks inspired by true anedcotes from fans. A third season of the acclaimed webseries High Road (pictured) has also been supported, in which Terry Huffer’s life spirals out of control.
A Band Called Hook Ups sees the return of musical twins Kowhai and Monty, stars of one of NZ On Air’s first funded webseries Hook Ups, as they continue their struggle to crack the music industry.
Supported for both television broadcast and online were three feature films: Hunt For The Wilderpeople directed by Taika Waititi is an adventure story loosely based on the Barry Crump book Wild Pork And Watercress; Tip Top Taj Mahal is a screen adaptation of the acclaimed play Krishnan’s Dairy, and Chief Gary is a comedy about a struggling real estate agent who inherits a tiny sinking island in the Pacific.
Rising comedians will feature in a one-hour stand-up special hosted by Urzila Carlson for TV3, Aotearoha Rising Stars, while Friday night laughs are set to continue in 2016 with returning series of Jono And Ben and 7 Days.
Digital Media fund – Webseries
A Band Called Hook Ups, Fumes Productions for online,$100,000
Bright Summer Night, The Candle Wasters for The Wireless, $100,000
Friday Night Bites, Flat3 Productions for online $100,000
Lucy Lewis Can’t Lose, Redletter for 3Now On Demand $64,720
High Road Season 3, Tomorrowland for online, $100,000
Reset, Girl Viking for Māori Television On Demand, $100,000
The Civilian, NZME Vision for NZME, $100,000
The Water Cooler, Breakdown Productions for NZME, $100,000
Television Contestable fund
Hunt For The Wilderpeople, 1 x 120mins, Majestical Productions for TV2, $199,999
Tip Top Taj Mahal, 1 x 120mins, South Pacific Pictures for Choice TV, up to $199,999
Chief Gary, 1 x 120mins, Filmwork for NZME, $199,999
Jono And Ben, 26 x 1hr, Mediaworks TV for TV3, $1,717,042
7 Days, 32 x ½ hr, MediaWorks TV for TV3, $1,056,000
Aotearoha Rising Stars, 1 x 1hr MediaWorks TV for TV3, $75,218