NZ On Air Announces Two New Dramas And Five Popular Returning Series
A new teen drama, a Māori gothic revenge horror, a raft of returning favourites and a huge slate of new screen content in development have been supported in the final NZ On Air funding round of 2023.
New comedy series Camp Be Better for TVNZ+ is aimed at a youth audience and tells the story of a group of spoiled rich kid teenage offenders shipped to Camp Be Better, a cushy alternative to community service for the offspring of the rich and famous. But the introduction of a working-class 17-year-old outsider soon unleashes chaos and forces them to face their privilege and ‘be better’.
Inspired by stories of the writer-director’s own Māori ancestors and touted as a Māori gothic revenge horror, Mārama is a feature-length film set in Victorian England. It follows a young Māori woman summoned from Aotearoa to North Yorkshire where she is compelled to confront and destroy the titled Englishman who devastated her family.
Returning to our screens is Aho Shorts 2024 an initiative that will select and support teams to produce three short films with te reo, tikanga Māori and te ao Māori perspectives at the heart of the storytelling.
NZ On Air Head of Funding Amie Mills says the Aho Shorts initiative, delivered with Ngā Aho Whakaari, has been running since 2013 with the support of the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) and Te Māngai Pāho (TMP).
“NZFC and TMP wanted to expand the collaboration and at NZ On Air we felt this sort of focused development support with content outcomes was a great way to actively support the screen industry to create innovative and authentic storytelling,” says Mills.
Returning to Whakaata Māori and Māori+ is a fourth season of Kairākau, a historical action-drama series in te reo Māori that explores the principles of mana within the realms of Tūmatauenga, the God of War.
The second season of comedy series Homebound 3.0 returns to Three and ThreeNow, with more tales of struggling 30-something writer Henry, who is forced to move back in with his disappointed parents. Returning also to TVNZ 2 and TVNZ+ is Taskmaster NZ, back for a fifth season of crazy challenges and unusual tasks for some of the funniest comedians on Kiwi screens.
And finally, comedy Hui Hoppers returns to TVNZ+, following Anahera and Kura, the beloved and outspoken Ngāti Mangopare sisters, as they continue to take us on a whirlwind adventure from hui to hui.
NZ On Air also committed just over $633,000 in support for the development of 22 Scripted projects following a deluge of applications. This was partly in response to demand from producers looking to pitch NZ Screen Production Rebate projects.
“Supporting development helps to ensure great quality applications for funding at a later date and sustains a pipeline of future potential content and work for the sector,” Mills continued.
Camp Be Better, 6 x 20’, Praise The Roid for TVNZ+, up to $675,007
Mārama, 1 x 90’, Sweetshop & Green NZ for Whakaata Māori and Māori+, up to $350,000
Kairākau 4, 6 x 26’, Velvet Stone Media for Whakaata Māori, Facebook, Instagram and Maori+, up to $980,000
Homebound 3.0 2, 8 x 22’, Kevin and Co for Three and ThreeNow, up to $979,200
Taskmaster NZ 5, 10 x 44’, Kevin and Co for TVNZ 2 and TVNZ+, up to $935,059
Hui Hoppers 2, 6 x 13’, Three Feathers Productions for TVNZ+, up to $861,318
Aho Shorts 2024, 3 x 10’, Ngā Aho Whakaari for RNZ, Whakaata Māori and Māori+, up to $101,500
Madam (Additional), 10 x 22’, Empowered Productions for Three, up to $190,000
Happiness (Additional), 6 x 23’, Greenstone TV for Three and ThreeNow, up to $149,890