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More paranormal activity destined for screens

The acclaimed mockumentary comedy horror series Wellington Paranormal will be back next year with more supernatural activity on the streets of the capital.

The What We Do In The Shadows spinoff was a hit with audiences and critics in its first run on TVNZ 2 this year. In 2019 there will be 13 new episodes of paranormal phenomena, sending up the classic police series in a way New Zealanders can identify with.

In another unique new approach to comedy, Colonial Combat will use wrestling to take an alternative look at New Zealand’s colonial past. The innovative, historical comedy series is co-funded with Te Māngai Pāho, and has been supported as a Rautaki Māori series.

Undertow is a second Rautaki Māori series from this round, with a more traditional grounding in history. The series is created from four plays performed and filmed at Te Papa in 2017, that traversed major historical moments in New Zealand including the New Zealand Wars, the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and our involvement in the two World Wars.

Life Is Easy comes from the TVNZ New Blood initiative to support new storytellers. This body-swap comedy/drama series explores ideas of race, privilege and sexuality and is aimed at millennials. The lead characters are an Asian female and a gay male, bringing more diversity to our screens.

And for a family/youth audience, a new drama series will bring the international best-selling book series Pony Club Secrets to the screen. Mystic is based on the work of NZ author Stacey Gregg, and is an international co-production with the support of the Screen Production Grant.

“We are delighted by the response from creatives to our quest to find more diverse Scripted content. To reflect our very diverse audiences, content needs to be made by diverse people, with diverse audiences in mind,”says NZ On Air Chief Executive Jane Wrightson.

“At the same time, Wellington Paranormal demonstrated that comedy with a very local focus can pull significant mainstream audiences, against strong international content. It is really pleasing to see people respond positively to content that has such a unique New Zealand flavour,” Ms Wrightson continued.

Further Scripted content for younger audiences will be announced shortly.

Funding details:

Wellington Paranormal 2, 13 x 23 mins, NZ Documentary Board for TVNZ 2 and OnDemand, up to $5,093,485
Mystic, 13 x 28 mins, Libertine Pictures for TVNZ 2 and HEIHEI, up to $1,000,000
Colonial Combat, 10 x 10 mins, Awa Films for TVNZ OnDemand and Māori Television, up to $382,500
Life Is Easy, 8 x 15 mins, Cole Jenkins & Chye-Ling Huang for TVNZ OnDemand, up to $259,831
Undertow, 8 x 26 mins, Awa Films for Māori Television, up to $83,850


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