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Lightbox boosts kiwi content

Lightbox boosts kiwi content

Big backing for local short films, documentaries and Kids TV

From Māori legends to the scripts of our renowned filmmakers, New Zealanders have always been prolific and skilful storytellers.

Now many of those narratives get a much wider local platform with the news that Lightbox has become a principal sponsor of Show Me Shorts Film Festival and naming rights sponsor of the Lightbox Best Film Award. The award to the top New Zealand film is Academy Awards accredited, and the winner becomes eligible to enter the Oscars.

The agreement delivers 65 festival-quality local and international short films to thousands of Lightbox viewers who have embraced the concept of “anywhere, anytime” online television.

Lightbox has also announced an alignment with NHNZ (formerly Natural History New Zealand) to broadcast a large collection of locally produced documentaries available to New Zealanders.

The NHNZ agreement includes New Zealand rights to the highly acclaimed and locally produced ZooMoo, an ‘all animals, all the time’ TV show for children currently available locally only on Lightbox.

Lightbox CEO Kym Niblock says the alignments are big news for the service and its customers and support the service’s drive to provide quality local content alongside its top rated international TV shows.

“At Lightbox we love local and we are enormously proud to fulfil our intention to get behind local productions, both television and now film through the Show Me Shorts sponsorship.

“We believe it’s extremely important for New Zealanders to have access to local stories and New Zealand-produced film. Kiwis are great story tellers and film helps us maintain that story telling heritage.

“So for the first time the wider population now gains access to a huge back catalogue of New Zealand short films. Many of them tell the story of how our nation was shaped through great wars, depression, huge victories and famous events. Others tell of who we are as a people and where we come from, and some simply celebrate our Kiwi idiosyncrasies,” Ms Niblock says.

Each year Show Me Shorts curates a festival of the 40 best films which are played in cinemas throughout New Zealand. The programme covers a diverse range of themes and subjects, including horror, drama, animation, comedy and everything in between.

Lightbox has access to a curated selection of highlights from the catalogue and the films will be released in batches on the online television service.

Show Me Shorts Festival Director Gina Dellabarca says, “We are thrilled to be working with Lightbox. The collections they are showcasing include many of New Zealand's very best shorts film which are on par with best in the world.

“We're excited to be able to share them with New Zealanders through the Lightbox platform. Just as TV has easily transformed itself in to the anywhere / anytime format we believe short films can do that too.”

The alignment with NHNZ substantially bolsters Lightbox’ library of locally produced ‘factual television’ while also adding to the education and entertainment repertoire for kids through ZooMoo.

NHNZ has a reputation for innovation in storytelling. It produces more than 60 hours of television every year seen in more than 180 countries around the world.

ZooMoo is available in more than a dozen countries across Latin America and Asia and the exclusive rights alignment with Lightbox brings it to New Zealand for the first time. It combines wildlife footage with a range of puppetry, animations and narrative techniques for viewers aged three to seven years.

NHNZ managing director Kyle Murdoch said it’s the first time such a significant body of NHNZ’s documentary catalogue has become available to New Zealand viewers at one time.

“These documentaries have been seen by millions of viewers around the world and won numerous international awards – and they were all produced out of our production-hub in Dunedin. We are happy to now be able to share them with fellow New Zealanders.

The New Zealand arts community and ballet lovers will be pleased to see the return to the screen of The Secret Life of Dancers. The documentary follows the Royal NZ Ballet dancers in a behind the scenes look at glitz and glamour, the tears, pain and romance as they strive to achieve perfection of performance.

“We’re a local service and we always promised we would deliver a strong offering of local content. With the Show Me Shorts, Natural History alignments and The Secret Life of Dancers we are delivering on that assurance,” said Ms Niblock.

The following short films from the Show Me Short Films catalogue are live on Lightbox from 1 October 2015, with the remaining titles going live on the service over the coming weeks.

Queenie - 2014
Snowmen - 2014
Damien - 2014
Coconut - 2014
Uphill - 2014
Loner - 2014
Loser Cruiser - 2014
Whisker - 2014
In the Rubbish Tin - 2014
Sounds Perfect - 2014
Eleven - 2014
Mis-drop - 2014
The Light Harvester - 2014
Ross and Beth - 2014
I'm Going To Mum's - 2013
Dangerous Ride - 2013
Here Be Monsters - 2013
Airmail - 2013
Serve and Protect - 2013
The Education of Ming Ming - 2013
Whakatiki - 2013
The Present - 2013
The Dump - 2012
Hitch Hike - 2012
Abiogenesis - 2012
The F.E.U.C - 2012
Tatau - 2012
Sonny; My Older Brother - 2012
Lambs - 2012
Roy - 2012


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