A boost for quality one-off and series documentaries

Television · Media Releases · 11th March 2016

Documentaries and factual programmes spanning a wide range of subjects are set to add to the diversity on local free-to-air television, with support from NZ On Air.

A series of six independently-produced one-off documentaries has been supported, for airing in the successful Sunday current affairs slot on TV One. The quality one-hour programmes will increase the range of documentaries in prime time. Called Sunday Specials, TVNZ will issue an RFP for proposals from independent producers shortly.

The popular history documentary series Making New Zealand will return with a new series celebrating the enterprise of past generations. The forestry, construction and aviation industries will feature in the new season, on Prime, along with an episode previously funded on mining.

Hiphop culture will feature in a new observational series to screen on Māori Television. Sisters follows the fortunes of the talented O’Neill twins, who found success as dancers with Parris Goebel’s world-famous crew ReQuest, and are now hoping to make a break into the music business, with the help of mentor Stan Walker. The six-part series is supported as a Rautaki Māori programme.

The popular TV2 Pacifica youth programme Fresh will embrace rangatahi with 15 extra episodes for Māori audiences. Fresh has been a big hit with youth audiences, with as big a following online as on broadcast.

Meanwhile a previously funded arts series Heritage Rescue is to be extended to hour-long episodes, after the producers uncovered a wealth of material when they began researching regional museums and collections around the country.

“Our job is to extend the diversity of programmes available on free-to-air television. These factual and documentary programmes are a fine demonstration of public media principles – programmes that enrich our culture and that would otherwise not be made,” says NZ On Air Chief Executive Jane Wrightson.

Funding details:

Sunday Specials, 6 x 60 mins, TVNZ for TV One, up to $900,000
Fresh 2016, 15 x 30 mins new content, Tikilounge Productions for TV2, $699,681 (additional)
Making New Zealand 2, 3 x 60 mins, Top Shelf Productions for Prime, $523,169
Sisters, 6 x 30 mins, Rogue Productions for Māori Television, $309,513
Heritage Rescue, 8 x 60 mins previously funded, Top Shelf Production for Choice TV, $144,486 (additional)
Jean, 1 x 120 mins previously funded, Lippy Pictures for TV One, $86,700 (additional)