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Nz On Air Backs Doc Busters

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Two New Zealand documentary series of epic proportions have been given go-ahead funding from NZ On Air.

"Captain's Log and 2050 - What if? are two very exciting projects that explore the extreme ends of our country's timeline," said NZ On Air Chief Executive, Jo Tyndall.

NZ On Air has contributed a total of $1,355,332 to the production of the two series as a result of its new documentary initiative designed to bring more in-depth documentaries to our screens.

"New Zealanders have a thirst for serious in-depth television. The popularity of NZ Wars showed us that New Zealand viewers enjoy and demand high quality documentaries," Ms Tyndall said.

"These two new series will between them give New Zealanders the chance to delve into the fascinating stories of our maritime heritage and be hurled into a future where truly challenging scenarios become reality."

Captain's Log is a four part documentary series which retraces Captain Cook's circumnavigation of New Zealand in a modern day journey. Most of the filming takes place at sea, on a variety of vessels, with dramatic footage to be accompanied by an original New Zealand sound track.

The programme will reveal how our island nation, discovered by Kupe and first charted by Cook, has been shaped by the sea and our relationship with it.

It will explore the connections between the Maori and European experiences on the sea and around our Coast. Along the way, viewers will meet New Zealanders whose lives are intimately connected with the sea for work and for play.

Sophisticated electronic coastal charts will precisely track the boats during their circumnavigation, as excerpts from Captain James Cook's log are referred to every leg of the way.

The documentary will reveal a vast breadth of entertaining stories from our coastlines and showcase the genuine maritime atmosphere of love and respect that New Zealanders have for our boats, waka and the sea.

At the other end of New Zealand's time-scale, 2050 - What if? explores the hopes and fears of middle New Zealand through a crystal ball reflecting three different future scenarios.

The three `What ifs` have been chosen for their significance, topicality and challenge to viewers. Our future nationhood and environment will be placed under scrutiny.

Each of the `futures' will be explored through the opinions of a diverse range of New Zealanders who will be encouraged to offer imaginative and candid responses to each situation.

The debate on issues and ideas raised in each scenario will be triggered by the `Smiths', a fictitious family created to depict life in 2050. The same family will appear in each programme and through their eyes, the audience will be able to place themselves in everyday situations, fifty years from now.

The documentary series is designed to probe, shock and entice viewers into each 2050 scenario. The intention is to provoke debate rather than to supply the answers, and to help New Zealanders realise that there is a future beyond the next election and next year's tax return.

Captain's Log will receive $825,378 funding from NZ On Air. Produced by Livingstone Productions, Captain's Log will screen on TV One later next year.

2050 - What if? is produced by Screentime New Zealand and will receive $529,954 funding from NZ On Air. 2050 - What if? will screen later next year on TV3.

ENDS

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