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Country and Colonial Life Captivate

Media Release

5 June 2002

Country and Colonial Life Captivate

Country and colonial life are both captured in two programmes to be funded by NZ On Air for Zealand television viewers. Old favourite, Country Calendar, will return and a new series, Colonial House, will be supported.

NZ On Air has announced it is allocating more than $600,000 toward these two documentary series in its latest television funding round.

Frank Torley and his dedicated team from TVNZ Avalon Productions will return for the 38th year of Country Calendar, a New Zealand classic, enjoyed by people from all walks of life.

"NZ On Air acknowledges the passion and pride with which producer Frank Torley has guided the production of Country Calendar throughout his more than 20 years in the job. This is a remarkable achievement and New Zealand television viewers owe many of local television's great moments over the years to this man," said NZ On Air's chief executive, Jo Tyndall.

"The show has a broad appeal which provides an insight into New Zealand life for our predominantly urban population. NZ On Air is very pleased to provide ongoing support for this perennial favourite," Ms Tyndall said.

Colonial House is a follow-on from the 1999 series, Pioneer House; a documentary/reality series in which a modern family spent three months living as New Zealanders did in the past.

"This time the challenge increases as it goes back to the 1860s when New Zealand was just being settled by new immigrants. Life at that time was very basic and the conditions for the family will be much harsher than in the previous series," Ms Tyndall said.

"There will be no running water, and the family will need to do more to provide the basic necessities for life. For example, they will have to make candles, bread and butter, as well as slaughter animals to eat.

"This type of documentary/reality production makes history accessible, placing the viewer in that period of New Zealand's past," said Ms Tyndall.

NZ On Air has allocated $220,000 to TVNZ Avalon Productions for the creation of 13 x ½ hour documentary series Country Calendar and $402,670 to Touchdown Productions for a one-hour special and nine half-hour episodes of Colonial House. Both productions will screen on TV ONE.


Funding details:

Country Calendar 2003 $220,000 13 x ½ hour Broadcaster: TV ONE Producer: Frank Torley, TVNZ Avalon Productions

Colonial House $402,670 1 x 1 hour, 9 x ½ hour Broadcaster: TV ONE Producer: Miranda Crerar, Touchdown Productions

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