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New Drama Series Eagerly Anticipated

30 November 2001

Media Release

New Drama Series Eagerly Anticipated

A preview of Mataku, the new Maori drama series for mainstream television audiences, for screening on TV3, has those who saw it eagerly anticipating its broadcast.

So much so, the producers have received further support for the creation of eight more episodes in NZ On Air's latest funding round. Te Mangai Paho and the New Zealand Film Commission have also contributed funding.

Mataku is a series of modern day tales of the unexpected, set in New Zealand, in which ordinary characters encounter mysterious phenomena from Maori mythology and spirituality.

"Thirteen episodes makes up a television "season" and therefore a far more satisfying experience for New Zealand audiences," said NZ On Air chief executive, Jo Tyndall.

The additional episodes will give the Mataku team a chance to develop and extend the series, which will also enable the programme to be marketed more successfully on the international circuit.

"NZ On Air is delighted with the episodes we have seen so far. The production standards and storytelling are strong and the programme succeeds in integrating Maori language and culture in a form accessible to the mainstream audience.

"It is a fantastic project, made by an almost entirely Maori team, which fulfils our goal of getting Maori programming onto mainstream television. By its very nature, the creation of Mataku also helps build and develop the pool of Maori talent in all areas of television-making - from actors, to directors, to production and support crew," said Ms Tyndall.

NZ On Air has allocated up to $1,660,000 to South Pacific Pictures to produce 8 x ½ hour drama series of Mataku to be screened on TV3.

ends

Funding details: Mataku II $1,660,000 8 x ½ hour Broadcaster: TV 3 Producer: Carey Carter & Rhonda Kite, South Pacific Pictures


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