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Diverse Documentaries

Media Release from NZ On Air

Thursday 22nd March

Diverse Documentaries

From prophets and forgotten generals, to elephants and the Ross Sea, NZ On Air has confirmed support for six new television documentary projects. More than $600,000 was committed in the latest funding round.

‘Supporting a varied documentary slate is a priority for NZ On Air,’ said chief executive Jane Wrightson. ‘These new commitments take our documentary spend to more than $12m this financial year so it’s important our funding serves many different audiences,’ she said.

Through the Platinum Fund, The Forgotten General will be made for Prime TV. Based on the book by Jock Vennell, The Forgotten General profiles the largely overlooked Major General Sir Andrew Russell, a significant New Zealander in our country’s participation in the First World War.

The Prophets is a 7 x ½ hour series for Māori Television presented by Archdeacon Dr. Hone Kaa. Made by the producers of the award-winning Whare Māori the series will chart the response of Māori to Christianity that saw a range of prophets such as TW Ratana, Te Whiti and Rua Kenana rise to lead their people.

Coasters producer Peter Young is making The Last Ocean, which promises to be a visually spectacular programme, following the international campaign to have the Ross Sea declared a marine reserve. This programme will screen on Prime.

Two TV One programmes have been green lit including The Year of the Elephant which will see Tangiwai producers Lippy Pictures follow the rehabilitation of a circus elephant by Franklin vet Helen Scofield. Siege: The Interviews is a companion piece to the upcoming Platinum Fund drama Siege, documenting the stories of the people involved in Jan Molenaar’s three day siege in Napier in 2009.

The Year of the Dragon for TV3’s Inside New Zealand will be hosted by Oscar Kightley. As the auspicious New Year of the Dragon begins, the documentary will follow NZ’s Chinese community to show the role traditional astrology plays in contemporary life in New Zealand.

Funded documentary projects:
THE LAST OCEAN $80,000 The Ross Sea Documentary Prime
THE PROPHETS $211,524 Scottie Productions Maori Television
THE FORGOTTEN GENERAL $179,971 Kingfisher Films Prime
THE YEAR OF THE ELEPHANT $109,948 Lippy Pictures TV One
SEIGE: THE INTERVIEWS $32,437 Screentime TV One
YEAR OF THE DRAGON $109,948 Firehorse TV3


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