NZ On Air today announced a significant new Platinum Fund investment in a period drama for TV One's prime time Sunday Theatre. Bliss tells the story of Katherine Mansfield in her early 20s as she leaves New Zealand and begins her journey as a writer. The talented team behind the project is the one that brought the award winning and top-rating drama Piece Of My Heart, about 1960s adoption, to the screen in 2008.
NZ On Air chief executive Jane Wrightson noted that the $15.1 million Platinum Fund was specially created to support high quality local content. "Bliss is a perfect example of the kind of programming NZ On Air set out to encourage", she said. "Writer/director Fiona Samuel and producer Michele Fantl will make an important, moving drama about one of our greatest writers. NZ On Air is delighted with the calibre of this team and the great script that has been developed," she said.
"It's a real privilege to bring the early Katherine Mansfield story to a primetime audience" said producer Michel Fantl. "Without the Platinum Fund and TV One this story would never have an opportunity to see the light of day. Fiona has written an incredible script and our crew are the same talented team who made Piece of My Heart. We relish the rare opportunity to tell our own precious historical stories."
TVNZ General Manager of Programming Jane Wilson said she was thrilled that such an ambitious project could be supported by TV One. "This kind of drama is expensive to make and could not be supported without significant public investment", she said.
"It's the perfect project for TV One and we're looking forward to seeing it on the schedules in 2011", said Ms Wrightson.
The Platinum Fund has now supported 12 projects, a specially selected range of quality programming:
Bliss - a long-form prime time drama for TV One. The story of Katherine Mansfield's early years as she leaves New Zealand. Writer/director Fiona Samuel. Producer MF Films. $2,870,080.
Tangiwai - a long-form prime time drama for TV One. The story of the Tangiwai train disaster is told through a love story embodying the hope and courage of post-war New Zealand. From the makers of award-winning Sunday Theatre Until Proven Innocent. Producers Donna Malane, Paula Boock. $2,736,740.
Stolen - a prime time telefeature for TV3 also based on a true story. Producers South Pacific Pictures from a script by Tim Balme. $1,678,000.
Q&A 2010 - a 36 x one hour current affairs series for TV One, currently on air. Producer TVNZ: $728,817
The Nation - a 36 x one hour current affairs series for TV3, on air from this week. Producer Front Page Productions $1,133,156
Rivers with Craig Potton - an 5 x one hour prime time documentary series for Prime TV in 2010. Stories of eight New Zealand rivers through the eyes of one of New Zealand's most respected photographers. Producers South Pacific Pictures. $762,000.
Facing Facts - Tamariki Ora: A New Beginning - a 3 hour prime time special for Māori Television in 2010. An examination of violence towards children in New Zealand, seeking positive strategies to help change. Producers Māori Television, EP Carol Hirschfeld. $328,247.
Canvassing The Treaty - a 1½ hour prime time arts documentary for Māori Television that first screened on Waitangi Day. Producer Tumanako Productions $152,489
Four historical docu-dramas for TV One (shortlisted projects now in development, after a competitive tender)
Other recent funding decisions are available to view on the website www.nzonair.govt.nz
For further information contact:
NZ On Air: Jane Wrightson (04) 382 9524
MF Films: Michele Fantl (09) 376 0876