(New Zealand creatives L-R) Becky Kuek, Gwen Lin, Abba-Rose Dinah Vaiaoga-Ioasa, Madeleine Hakaraia de Young, Oriwa Hakaraia, Matilda Poasa, Aree Kapa, Toks Fale, Wilhelm Voight, Danny Aumua, Rachel Fawcett, Victoria Boult. (Australian creatives L-R) Hannah McElhinney, Amina Soubjaki, Rudy Rigg, Jenny Tian, Tyler Dias, China White, Patrick Golamco, Dr Susan James, Esme James.
NZ On Air, Screen Australia and TikTok have announced the recipients of Every Voice, an initiative to support diverse and distinct creators in the creation of innovative content exclusively for audiences on TikTok.
Every Voice, the first joint initiative between NZ On Air, Screen Australia and TikTok, aims to help a new generation of online storytellers expand their vision and ambition, and will cultivate original New Zealand and Australian content that resonates with global online audiences. Four teams from New Zealand and three teams from Australia have been selected, with each team receiving up to AUD $50,000 funding to cover development and production costs for their projects. Teams will also participate in virtual workshops to develop story skills and best practice for creating for TikTok.
NZ On Air Head of Funding Amie Mills said, “It’s been a real joy to collaborate with TikTok and Screen Australia on the Every Voice initiative, which has resulted in the funding of seven remarkable short-form projects perfectly suited to entertain and educate local audiences on TikTok. NZ On Air is thrilled to support each of the talented emerging creative teams to tell their unique stories, in their own voices, in authentic and exciting new ways.”
Screen Australia’s Head of Online, Lee Naimo said, “This first time partnership with TikTok and NZ On Air is already yielding incredibly exciting results, with seven very different projects all with unique stories to tell. These distinct scripted and documentary series all reflect one of the greatest strengths of TikTok – that it is a platform for creators to connect with audiences and build their online communities. I can’t wait to get stuck into developing these projects in the workshop and beyond.”
Director of Content Partnerships and Community at TikTok Australia and New Zealand Felicity McVay said, “We're excited to announce the recipients of Every Voice funding as they represent emerging and diverse voices who can provide fresh perspective on the cultural diversity of Australia and New Zealand and the world beyond. Our recipients represent a cross section of factual and narrative storytellers, mixed genres from comedy to romance and diverse communities including LGBTQ+, female, Māori, Pasifika and Pan-Asian, tackling topics including love, friendship, bullying and mental health.”
Selected New Zealand teams are:
- Long x Xia: A 10-part scripted comedy series following two Chaotic Cousins™ Ruby and CJ (a.k.a. Long and Xia) as they hijack a live lobster from a Chinese restaurant to stick it to their family’s expectations. Taking lobster off the menu lands them in hot water though and now they’re on the run from more than just their adult responsibilities. Written and directed by Becky Kuek and Gwen Lin, and produced by Abba-Rose Dinah Vaiaoga-Ioasa (Samoa - Alafua, Toamua, Puipa'a), Long x Xia is a snappy, witty and honest comedy that will have you clipping your claws in applause.
- n00b: Set in 2005, n00b is a 12-part scripted comedy series that tells the tale of six Kiwi teenagers as they navigate the cringey period of adolescence...on the internet. Across the course of 12 episodes, our characters traverse the complicated world of MySpace top friends, naked Chatroulette calls, flirty MSN messages, Limewire heists and gay Fanfiction, all in the pursuit of love, friendship and independence. Produced by Rachel Fawcett and written and directed by Victoria Boult (Ngāi Tahu), n00b is an uncomfortable, nostalgic, emotional and cringe-inducing love-letter to the early 2000s.
- The Tongan Rogue General and the 13 Chambers of South Auckland: A 15-part comedy series co-created by Wilhelm Voight and Danny Aumua, starring Toks Fale as a former Army General who must battle the bosses of the 13 chambers of South Auckland. When the Tongan Rogue General (Fale) awakens to find a ninja stealing his precious family heirloom, he uses his military expertise to track him down. But in a mission that takes Fale all around South Auckland, he soon realizes he must tap into his Tongan culture over his armed forces background to get back what’s his.
- Te Pae Tata: A 15-part factual series profiling incredible Indigenous creatives across the planet to inspire rangatahi (youth) Māori and Pasifika to find their own creative spark. Created by Māoriland’s rangatahi roopu (collective) Ngā Pakiaka, written and directed by Oriwa Hakaraia (Ngāti Kapu, Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga) and Aree Kapa (Te Aupouri), and produced by Matilda Poasa (Saleaula, Falelatai, Faleasi’u – Samoa) and Madeleine Hakaraia de Young (Ngāti Kapu, Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga), Te Pae Tata will interview Indigenous artists, filmmakers, designers, artivists and individuals with the aim of creating a sovereign space for young Indigenous creatives. Ko te pae tawhiti whāia kia tata, Ko te pae tata whakamaua kia tīna. (Pursue the distant horizon and bring it near, take hold of the near horizon and make it yours.)
Selected Australian teams are:
- All About The Base: A 15-part documentary series that uses statistics to create a snapshot - past and present - of gender, sexuality and identity within Australia. Mother and daughter academic duo Dr Susan James and Esmé James, who will write, direct and produce the series together, are ready to embark on a journey few have conquered before. Combining their respective knowledge of mathematics and human sexual history, Susan and Esmé are on a mission to explore intimate life within Australian society, helping to erase the taboo which still exists around such important information.
- Coach Dayum!: An 11-part comedy series created by Jenny Tian who stars as Tiffany, an accountant in her late twenties who has given up on love, fleeing to the sanctuary of the K-drama binge. Her meddling mum, hoping she’ll marry, hires a dating coach for her, who just so happens to be her ex-boyfriend, Dan. Coach Dayum! is written by Tian and Patrick Golamco, directed by Tyler Dias and produced by China White.
- TransAthletica: A 15-part documentary series exploring the unique barriers trans people face in sport. This year has given trans athletes more visibility than ever, as sporting codes and age-old institutions are forced to grapple with notions of gender and equality. And for many trans athletes, this conversation is a brutal match being played out on a very public field. From the creators of Rainbow History Class, TransAthletica will be presented by Rudy Rigg who wrote the series with director Hannah McElhinney. The series will be produced by Amina Soubjaki with Jamie Searle executive producing.