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Unique New Zealand Stories On Air

12 November 2003

Media Release

Unique New Zealand Stories

New Zealand television viewers can look forward to rare insights into the lives and work of three leading art and literary figures, an update on an iconic documentary 25 years on, and the intriguing and sad story of a woman out-of-place, thanks to funding from NZ On Air.

"These are particularly strong documentary projects," said NZ On Air Chief Executive, Jo Tyndall. "We've invested a lot of effort in the documentary genre this year with our symposium in May, and the development of an updated documentary strategy out of that, so it's very pleasing to see projects of this calibre as a result."

Acclaimed author, Janet Frame will be profiled in a documentary entitled Inside the Alphabet, and Witi will tell the story of top New Zealand writer, Witi Ihimaera. The life and photographic genius of Marti Friedlander are the focus for the documentary, Marti.

"New Zealand is justifiably proud of these hugely talented people, and now we have the rare opportunity to see what led them to the positions they now have. Along the way, we'll have the chance to reflect on the work they've given us," said Ms Tyndall.

Sheilas – 25 Years On updates a documentary called Women, produced in 1976.

"That documentary showed us the lives, attitudes and politics of a group of New Zealand women during the growth of the women's movement of the 70s," said Ms Tyndall. "It featured high-profile women such as Marcia Russell, Donna Awatere and Merita Mita, and Sheilas – 25 Years On will go back to discover what has been the impact of the years. It is sure to be an eye-opener."

Funding has also been allocated to Lost Dreaming: Naomi's Story, a documentary that tells the story of a Native American girl adopted as a baby into a white Canadian family who subsequently immigrated to New Zealand.

"It's a fascinating and poignant story," Ms Tyndall said. "Naomi's life is far from ordinary, and we see through this programme, the effects of her dislocation from her culture and her need for a sense of belonging. It also gives us an insight into the cultural and indigenous issues faced by Canadian society, and the parallels for ourselves, with Naomi's marriage into a Mâori family here."

Funding details:

Marti $100,912
1 x 1 hour
Broadcaster: TV One
Producer: Shirley Horrocks
Point of View Productions

Witi $147,187
1 x 1 hour
Broadcaster: TV One
Producer: Claudette Hauiti
Front of the Box Productions

Lost Dreaming: Naomi's Story $26,364
1 x 1 hour
Broadcaster: TV One
Producer: Vincent Burke, Rosina Hauiti
Pacific Rose Productions

Inside the Alphabet $200,016
1 x 66 minutes
Broadcaster: TV One
Producer: Bronwen Stewart
Ninox Films

Sheilas: 25 Years On up to $120,000
1 x 1 hour
Broadcaster: TV One
Producer: Dawn Hutchesson
Occasional Productions

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