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Up-Beat NZ Children's Drama Coming To Our Screens

MEDIACOM-RELEASE-NZ-ON-AIR

Something completely different! A fresh, up-beat children's drama looking at life for young teens in New Zealand will be made possible thanks to NZ On Air.

New Zealand On Air's Children's Drama Initiative, announced in October last year, set aside $2.1 million for use only on children's drama. The competitive initiative resulted in around forty applications. Network representatives and NZ On Air selected three for development in December 1999, and at its latest Board meeting, Being Eve was granted production funding.

Being Eve is a warm and compelling children's series, said NZ On Air chief executive, Jo Tyndall.

"It is very contemporary, and a series that young New Zealanders will really be able to identify with," said Ms Tyndall.

Ms Tyndall said that the series would take a very different look at early teen life in New Zealand. Being Eve touches on subjects close to the hearts of young people. However, the storyline is also very entertaining.

"Being Eve laughs with, rather than at, teenage experiences," said Ms Tyndall.

Eve will be the voice of the series - literally. Her thoughts will be heard aloud as she muses on what it means to be a teenager in the new millennium in a small country at the bottom of the world. Being Eve was devised by a creative team from South Pacific Pictures that included teenager Nyree Barrett, who provided the reality check on all the storylines.

Each episode of Being Eve explores a theme of "being". For example, the title for episode 2 is "Being popular".

Ms Tyndall said that although the target audience is young people, adults too would enjoy the series.

"The nostalgia will creep in and they'll remember what that magical but angst-ridden time before adulthood was like," she said.

Gavin Strawhan, Head of Development at South Pacific Pictures, said he was extremely pleased that TV3 and NZ On Air are supporting the series.

"Both TV3 and NZ On Air appreciate the value of a children's drama with characters that New Zealand kids can relate to.

"With TV3's commitment to screening Being Eve, and the financial support of both NZ On Air and TV3, we are delighted to have the opportunity to produce the series."

Being Eve is the first New Zealand children's drama to be made since 1996. Ms Tyndall said the current scarcity of homegrown children's drama on television was not due to a lack of talent or proposals.

"As NZ On Air's children's drama initiative has shown, we have talent, scripts and proposals galore. But NZ On Air's funding constraints coupled with the comparative expense of producing drama in comparison with other types of programming, limits us immensely."

"Unfortunately, this children's drama initiative is a one-off, which we were only able to achieve by juggling funds. So unless our circumstances change significantly, it is unlikely that we will be in a position to repeat this in future years."

NZ On Air has allocated $2,067,500 to South Pacific Pictures to produce 13 half-hour programmes. The series will screen on TV3 later this year.

ENDS

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