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The Panthers TV Series Heads To Toronto International Film Festival

This marks the first New Zealand made TV series accepted to the prestigious festival

SATURDAY 14th AUGUST 2021 - On the eve of its New Zealand premiere, it has been announced that THE PANTHERS TV series will have its international premiere as an Official Selection at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), the first New Zealand-made TV series to do so.

THE PANTHERS is one of only four shows in the world to be accepted into the festival as part of the TIFF Primetime Programme, where critically acclaimed shows such as Black Mirror and Transparent have premiered in previous years.

Inspired by true events, THE PANTHERS follows Will ‘Ilolahia (Dimitrius Schuster-Koloamatangi), who along with a group of young street gangsters and university students, form The Polynesian Panthers in the 1970s, to fight a broken system and become the history-making revolutionaries that their community so desperately need them to be.

“At a time when the international standard of TV from around the globe is so high, being part of such a small selection at an a-list festival such as TIFF is a huge honour.” said co-creator, writer and executive producer Halaifonua Finau.

“We have been blown away by the excitement for the series in New Zealand and can't wait for everyone here at home to experience it come Sunday the 15th August,” fellow co-creator, writer and executive producer Tom Hern added.

Along with Dimitrius Schuster-Koloamatangi as Will, the series features newcomer Lealani Siaosi as Melani Anae, and international stars Beulah Koale (Hawaii Five-O, Thank You For Your Service) and Frankie Adams (Mortal Engines, The Expanse) - both of whom returned home to NZ to shoot the series; as well veteran actor Roy Billing (The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Underbelly), as Robert ‘Piggy’ Muldoon.

THE PANTHERS was created and executive produced by Halaifonua Finau and Tom Hern of Tavake, in association with Four Knights Film. The series is co-produced by Crystal Vaega and co-executive producers are James Napier Robertson, Will ‘Ilolahia and Kini Roy Earley. Co Producers are Jaunnie ‘Ilolahia, Luciane Buchanan and Timēna Apa.

THE PANTHERS will make its International Premiere in September at the Toronto International Film Festival. Commissioned by TVNZ, it was made with the support of NZ On Air and Endeavor Content will represent worldwide rights for the film.

Full series streaming on TVNZ OnDemand from Sunday 15th August with episodes airing each Sunday at 9.30pm on TVNZ 1

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