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Scripted Drama, Comedy And Animation Projects Greenlit, Creating Ambitious Content For Local And International Audiences

NZ On Air has announced the funding of great new drama, comedy and children’s animation content for local and international audiences, at a time when audiences and local platforms need a boost.

$13.4 million will be invested in new scripted content as a result of the latest NZ On Air funding round, which will deliver a number of ambitious local productions, shot in locations around the motu including Auckland, Wellington and the West Coast.

“Many of these projects demonstrate that leveraging opportunities such as the Screen Production Rebate, international co-productions, and international finance and distribution deals, alongside NZ On Air funds creates new opportunities and maximises taxpayer funds,” said NZ On Air Chief Executive Cameron Harland.

A new psychological thriller set to screen on Sky Open, Neon and SkyGo is The Ridge. It tells the story of a Scottish woman who comes to New Zealand to reconnect with her sister only to discover she is missing, and soon, dead. The premium New Zealand/Scottish co-production is set in the wild landscape of Te Waipounamu’s West Coast and will have huge appeal to local and international audiences.

Ms. X is a dark comedy crime series with a uniquely Kiwi twist. When a Mum teams up with an old school friend to scare her cheating husband faithful, it all goes wrong and she finds herself pulled into a criminal underworld. Ms. X will screen on ThreeNow and Three.

A satirical thriller, The End Of The World, is an adaptation of Kirsten McDougall’s best-selling novel, She’s A Killer. Set in Wellington in the near future, it poses the question – what if we don’t fix any of the contemporary issues we’re facing? It will screen on TVNZ + and TVNZ 1.

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A beautiful new 2D animation series for pre-school tamariki, Be With ZeZe is expected to be popular with parents and children alike. Living and playing in a quiet forest, ZeZe learns about mindfulness, calming processes and how to deal with changing emotions. The series will have a home on YouTube Kids and a to-be-confirmed local free-to-air platform.

Returning to screens also will be a fourth season of the Educators, the 2023 NZTV Best Comedy award winner, and a third season of te reo Māori children’s animated series Island Of Mystery.

Funding details 
Note: All funding commitments are based on the funding applications received and must be contracted within a specified timeframe. Funding is only released, in stages, as contractual commitments are met. Funds committed but not contracted within the specified timeframe are written back and distributed in future funding rounds. 

The Ridge, 6 x 44’, Great Southern Television for viewing on Sky Open and Neon, up to $3,500,000

Ms. X, 8 x 45’, Plus6Four Entertainment for viewing on ThreeNow and Three, up to $2,750,000

Be With ZeZe, 52 x 5’30”, Oddly Quiet for viewing on YouTube Kids and local platform tbc, up to $2,500,000

Educators 4, 6 x 22’, South Pacific Pictures for viewing on TVNZ+, up to $1,923,500

The End Of The World, 8 x 44’, Green Sugar Media for viewing on TVNZ+ and TVNZ 1, up to $1,899,982

Island Of Mystery 3, 10 x 11', Adrenalin Group for viewing on YouTube Kids and local platform tbc, up to $803,603

Pike, 1 x 100’, POP Film for viewing on ThreeNow and Three, up to $84,000 (additional)

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