Big boost for TV drama production

Media Releases · Television · 25th July 2016

NZ On Air’s latest funding decisions showcase the diversity and quality of NZ drama being created.

The controversial saga of the Truebridge family will continue on TV2 in Filthy Rich 2. After a cliffhanger ending to the first season there was strong demand from the loyal audience for the drama’s continuation.

The brilliantly-made first series had an average 5-plus audience of 250,000 and a total of more than 700,000 on demand streams across the series, meeting NZ On Air’s objective of a bold local drama engaging its audience.

A thoroughly diverse mix of stories will feature in TV ONE’s Sunday Theatre slot with three new telefeatures supported from the Platinum Fund. Kiwi tells the story of a horse from humble beginnings pulling out a blinder to win the 1983 Melbourne Cup. Based in small-town New Zealand, it is also the story of Kiwi’s owner, trainer and the country’s first female jockey.

Resolve will bring to screens the story of Chris Crean – who stood up to gang activity in Taranaki, but paid with his life, gunned down by a gang in front of his family. The legal case that followed led to changes to witness protection.

And on a lighter, musical note Why Does Love? will take viewers on a tumultous rock’n’roll journey through the 1980s with the seminal NZ band The Exponents.

Also for TV ONE is Vermilion – a feature film about a woman composer whose condition ¬- synaesthesia - causes her to see colours when she plays musical notes.

“With fragmenting TV audiences, funding drama in our small market to compete against global fare is increasingly challenging. It is a tribute to our TV production sector that they make quality drama at reasonable cost, that local audiences enjoy but that also competes internationally,” said NZ On Air Chief Executive Jane Wrightson.

“And after our own Diversity research recently highlighted a lack of women in top roles, it is also particularly pleasing to support so many projects with women in executive producing, producing, writing and in the case of Vermilion, directing roles,” continued Ms Wrightson.

Funding details

Filthy Rich 2, 14 x 1hr, Filthy Productions for TV2, $6,896,419
Kiwi, 1 x 2hrs, Rogue Productions for TV One, $3,043,975 (Platinum)
Resolve, 1 x 2 hrs, Screentime New Zealand for TV One, $2,549,955 (Platinum)
Why Does Love?, 1 x 2hrs, Great Southern Television for TV One, $2,549,330 (Platinum)
Vermilion, 1 x 2hrs, MF Films for TV One, $199,000