Bold new transmedia initiatives knock down international borders


Media Releases · Digital · 9th April 2015

NZ On Air and the Canada Media Fund (CMF) will contribute $1.2M (CAD) to three digital media co-productions. Of the total, NZ On Air will contribute 582,000 (CAD) and the CMF will contribute 618,000 (CAD) towards the projects.

Three New Zealand production companies will collaborate with Canadian counterparts on three bold new transmedia projects supported through a fund established late last year by NZ On Air and the Canada Media Fund.

The Canada-New Zealand Digital Media Fund was established to encourage the co-production of innovative digital media projects for online audiences that would appeal culturally to both New Zealand and Canadian audiences.

The three projects chosen to be funded in 2014-2015 include a challenging online interactive documentary, a comedy project, and an app for young children. They will each receive a total of $400,000 CND to which both agencies have contributed.

I Spy: With My Five Eyes is an interactive documentary which will allow users to explore aspects of cyber security, national surveillance and privacy from a number of perspectives. The producers aim to extend viewers’ knowledge on the topics with balanced, thought-provoking information.

On a lighter note, The Nations is an inter-country comedy challenge between New Zealand and Canada. Through a website, participants will be invited to take part in a series of online challenges and games, pitting the two countries against each other. At the same time, a host comedian in each country will tour through their respective homelands undertaking challenges along the way, which can be voted on by audiences.

The third project is We Are The Remarkables. An app for both iOS and Android aimed at 6-8 year old children, it includes puzzles, games and video episodes which are also available through a website and a YouTube channel. The different elements encourage children to unlock mysteries as they follow the path which weaves New Zealand and Canadian cultures into the story.

“NZ On Air is looking for ways to push the boundaries of content-making. These projects are frontier-busting on many levels but we believe will produce online content that will engage and stimulate three quite different audiences,” says NZ On Air Chief Executive Jane Wrightson.

“NZ On Air’s own research shows audiences are increasingly looking to a variety of screens for their entertainment and information. Our job is to ensure there is relevant, local content available wherever the audiences are,” she continued.

“The matching fund between the Canada Media Fund and NZ On Air is a catalyst for content creators in both countries to share and create groundbreaking innovative digital media productions,” says Valerie Creighton, President and CEO for the Canada Media Fund. “We are delighted to support these three innovative productions through our partnership with NZ On Air.”

Funding details

I Spy: With My Five Eyes, New Zealand: Fumes TV, $218,742 NZD (NZ On Air funding)
                                       Canada: Jam 3, $200,000 CND (CMF funding)

The Nations, New Zealand: Thedownlowconcept, $175,083 NZD (NZ On Air funding)
                                       Canada: iThentic Canada, $238,000 CND (CMF funding)

We Are The Remarkables, New Zealand: Brown Sugar Apple Grunt, $233,200 NZD (NZ On Air funding)
                                       Canada: Story2.OH, $180,000 CND (CMF funding)

About the Canada Media Fund
The Canada Media Fund (CMF) fosters, develops, finances and promotes the production of Canadian content and applications for all audiovisual media platforms. The CMF guides Canadian content towards a competitive global environment by fostering industry innovation, rewarding success, enabling a diversity of voice and promoting access to content through public and private sector partnerships. Please visit www.cmf-fmc.ca.