NZ On Air has invested up to $715,000 in a new development and production initiative with the Pan Asian Screen Collective (PASC) aimed at increasing Pan Asian representation across key creative roles in Aotearoa’s screen industry.
The unique Episode One: Web Series and Pilot Programme is targeted at early-career Pan Asian screen creatives. The two-stage programme will see six creative teams enrol in a PASC-led four-month development programme that includes regular seminars and workshops designed to develop their web series and enhance industry skills. Following this, the teams will then enter the production stage and produce a pilot episode for their web series.
The initiative aims to boost the technical and business capability of Pan Asian creatives. Participants will gain fundamental screen skills and knowledge across content creation, production, marketing, audience building, internationalisation, fiscal responsibility, and IP negotiations.
“NZ On Air is committed to improving Asian representation in the screen sector and we see this initiative as a fantastic opportunity to invest in training and development that we hope will ensure greater visibility of Asian voices in the mainstream media,” says NZ On Air Head of Funding Amie Mills.
“Asian New Zealanders make up over 15% of Aotearoa’s population, yet our annual Diversity Report has shown a consistent under-representation of Pan Asian creatives in key screen roles and a lack of Asian voices on our screens as a result,” she continued.
“This initiative extends the conventional idea of development - one that usually ends with the script - to also include production,” says Shuchi Kothari, Co-Founder of the Pan Asian Screen Collective and designer of this initiative.
“This way we can focus on expanding selected teams’ skills across writing, directing, and producing while offering world class training that begins with an idea and ends with the screening of the pilot episode of their web series,” she continued.
This is a one-off funding initiative made possible through the Cultural Sector Capability Fund administered by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, which supports the cultural sector to adapt to the COVID-19 environment by funding activities that build skills and knowledge.
Full details including eligibility and application information will be available via PASC’s pānui, social media channels and website on 1 September, 2021.