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The Brand New with the Tried-and-Almost-True

The Brand New with the Tried-and-Almost-True

NZ On Air's August funding decisions will see almost $7 million invested in a range of locally produced television drama that includes the return of a popular Mâori supernatural series, alongside two feature films and a new drama series revolving around the lives of six seemingly disparate characters.

"The Insiders' Guide to Happiness and Prosperity is an exciting new series that's full of twists and turns," said NZ On Air Chief Executive, Jo Tyndall. "The premise is intriguing and entertaining, and the characters are very believable. The idea comes from a bright new writing talent, Peter Cox, who's fresh out of a creative writing course at Victoria University. From NZ On Air's perspective, that adds to the anticipation.

"Another story that will be sure to grip New Zealand television watchers is Spooked. It's a conspiracy thriller, inspired by a true story, about a computer dealer who happens upon some information that he comes to wish he hadn't. Accomplished director, Geoff Murphy – who also wrote the screenplay – has made sure there's a good twist to this tale," she said.

The August NZ On Air meeting also approved funding for a third series of the critically acclaimed Mâori drama, Mataku.

"We are delighted with the success of Mataku," said Ms Tyndall. "It created a buzz when it first appeared on screen, and at the New Zealand Television Awards a couple of weeks ago it took away four awards. It's great to be able to support another series.

"And on a less spooky note, we'll be contributing funding towards a feature film set in Auckland's Samoan community, and featuring the talents of the comedy group, Naked Samoans. Sione's Wedding is an engaging drama that is uniquely New Zealand, and we're certain it will strike a chord with anyone who has behaved badly at a wedding, or suffered the results of someone else behaving badly.

"All in all that's a strong line up, " Ms Tyndall said, "and it's a huge contribution to NZ On Air's drama stable for the year."

This media release is available on the Internet at

Funding details:

The Insiders' Guide to Happiness and Prosperity $4,823,000 13 x 1 hour Broadcaster: TV2 Producer: Dave Gibson/Jan Haynes The Gibson Group

Spooked $ 300,000 1 x 2 hour Broadcaster: TV3 Producer: Don Reynolds/Merata Mita/Geoff Murphy Silverscreen Films/Ora Digital

Mataku III up to $1,487,500 7 x ½ hour Broadcaster: TV ONE Producer: Carey Carter/Brad Haami 4 Winds Films

Sione's Wedding $ 300,000 1 x 2 hour Broadcaster: TV3 Producer: James Griffin/John Barnett South Pacific Pictures

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