21 December 2021

Seven successful projects have been offered $500,000 in funding from Ara ki Te Puna Kairangi – The Premium Development Fund.

These projects, which include one feature documentary and six drama series, represent a broad array of ideas and creative teams with the potential to engage both local and international audiences.

Ara ki Te Puna Kairangi – The Premium Development Fund is jointly managed by Te Tumu Whakaata Taonga - New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC), Te Māngai Pāho and Irirangi Te Motu - NZ on Air.

NZ On Air chief executive Cameron Harland says the level of applications for the second funding round shows the enormous depth of local talent.

“Aotearoa’s screen industry has huge potential. We’re proud to support the projects in this round and excited to see these authentic Aotearoa New Zealand stories brought to life.”

Blake Ihimaera, Pou Ārahi Kaupapa, Te Māngai Pāho adds: “The development of high-quality ideas ensures we invest in content that highlights the beauty of Aotearoa, and our stories on screen. We support the ongoing development of te reo Māori outcomes for Aotearoa content and welcome the opportunity to do so through the Premium Development Fund.”

“We were delighted to receive a strong pool of applications for the Premium Development Fund and the selected projects show real promise of being able to make the journey from development to production," says David Strong, chief executive of the New Zealand Film Commission.

"These are unique stories which resonate with New Zealanders and audiences overseas.”

There was a total of $500,000 available for this second round, which received 28 eligible applications seeking just over $2 million of development funding.

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’. That's underpinned by five key objectives that speak to economic benefit, employment, cultural benefit, speed to market and developing skills and capability.

The following projects and production companies have been offered development funding:


The Death of Death The Docufactory


Bones of Strangers Fluroblack

Casketeers (Dramatised) Culture Factory/Great Southern Television

I Am Māui Awa Films

Killing Me Softly Filthy Productions

Tarawera: The Eighth Wonder Great Southern Television / Steambox Collective

The Witch Doctor MHM Productions.