19 screen projects have been offered a total of $1.5 million of development funding in the first round of Ara ki Te Puna Kairangi – The Premium Development Fund.

The successful projects represent a broad array of ideas with the potential to engage both local and international audiences, and include two feature films, 11 drama series, two documentary and four animation projects.

The overall purpose of the Premium Fund, (which includes development and production funding), is ‘to support high quality productions that tell New Zealand stories for global audiences’ and that is underpinned by five key objectives that speak to economic benefit, employment, cultural benefit, speed to market and developing skills and capability.

Decisions for development investment were made by the Chief Executives of Te Tumu Whakaata Taonga- New Zealand Film Commission, Te Māngai Pāho and Irirangi Te Motu - NZ on Air, as delegated by the Te Puna Kairangi panel.

There was a total of $2million available across two rounds and the first round received 65 eligible applications seeking nearly $7million of development funding.

“The high number of quality proposals made a compelling case to invest $1.5 million in this round,” explained Larry Parr, CEO of Te Māngai Pāho. “We’re delighted that this includes support for several strong Māori creative teams.”

“This is an exciting opportunity to fund a diverse range of screen sector creatives to develop their ideas to take to the international market with the aim of submitting proposals to the second round of Premium Production Funding,” said Mladen Ivancic, acting CEO of the New Zealand Film Commission.

Cameron Harland, CEO of NZ On Air added, “The projects represent a huge variety of bold and ambitious ideas illustrating how vibrant, talented and passionate our screen sector is.”

A further $500,000 is available in the second round of Ara ki Te Puna Kairangi – Premium Development fund, which will open on 23rd August with an application deadline of 14th September 2021. Development round 2 guidelines are available on the NZFC website here.

The following projects have been offered development funding:


Alibi (Season 2) / Plus6Four Entertainment Limited

Creamerie (Season 2) / Creamerie Ltd

Georgina – First Lady / Filthy Productions Ltd

Gone Deep / He Waka Eke Noa Pictures Ltd

Home Soil - Ūkaipō / Wheke Group

Jupiter Park / Piki Films Limited

Rūrangi (Season 2) / Autonomouse Limited

The Ark / POP Film Ltd

The Panthers (Season 2) / Tavake Ltd

Wall / Southern Light Films

Year of The Fox / Awa Films Ltd


The Uncle’s Story / Propaganda Ltd

Upham / Warrior Films Ltd


Kiri and Lou Movie / Filmwork Ltd


Badjelly The Witch / Mukpuddy Ltd

Feel Brave / Feel Brave Productions

What Will I Be Today? / POW Studios Limited


Poison / The Gibson Group Ltd


Mau / Tikilounge Productions / Brown Sugar Apple Grunt Productions / Sweetshop & Green / Sunpix Ltd