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New Broadcast Partner For Festival

TV3 joined the New Zealand Festival this week as Broadcast Partner and Gold Sponsor, Artistic Director Carla van Zon confirmed today.

TV3 Managing Director Rick Friesen says he is thrilled with the partnership: "The New Zealand Festival is this country's hottest cultural property and we look forward to promoting it on air for all New Zealanders to enjoy".

TV3 will exclusively run a series of commercials conceived by the Festival's creative partners Saatchi & Saatchi and produced by Silverscreen Productions, featuring cutting-edge animation by Wellington-based animation company Oktobor. The commercials will go to air as the Festival launches its programme in early October.

TV3 will also sponsor Leah, an original adaptation of Shakespeare's King Lear by the New Zealand Actors Company, to premiere at the Festival next March. Leah explores the 2002 Festival theme of 'The Now' by casting a woman in the title role. "Women hold most of the constitutional positions of power in New Zealand at present and the time feels right to present a Shakespeare with a strong New Zealand angle," said van Zon.

"Leah is a new-look Shakespeare with very popular appeal. We're proud to support the production, as it has a fantastic contemporary twist and includes some of this country's most talented actors and familiar TV faces," said Friesen. Geraldine Brophy, one of New Zealand’s most commanding actors, will play the title role of Leah. Brophy was also heavily involved in developing the concept for the production.

Leah builds on the enormous national success of the New Zealand Actors Company's last show, A Midsummer Night's Dream. "By casting Lear as a woman, we can tell the story in a social and political context that is relevant to New Zealand today" says director Simon Bennett.

Van Zon says that the Festival’s mandate is to present the best in New Zealand alongside the best in the world. “We are delighted to have TV3 as a partner in helping to put New Zealand on the international stage," she said.

The full 2002 New Zealand Festival programme will be launched on October 3rd.

ENDS

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