When it rains it pours. After a dry spell, the New Zealand Broadcasting Commission (NZ on Air) has allocated over NZ$1.5million (US$650,000) worth of funding to six docs, five of which will air on state broadcaster TV One. The biggest gainer was U.K. outfit Trans World International, which continues to ride high on the success of its Colour of War series. The Colour of War – The ANZAC Story, a four-part series on New Zealand and Australian servicemen from World War I through to Vietnam, was allocated $500,000 (US$212,500) after receiving a commission from TV One. Greenstone Pictures has been given $437,166 (US$185,796) for its 7×30-minute program Secret New Zealand about the country’s murky past, uncovered by raiding files of the police, the armed forces, big business and government. It will also screen on TV One. Pavlova Paradise Revisited, which secured $235,726 (US$100,184) of NZ on Air funding, features British MP Austin Mitchell casting his eye over the New Zealand he described as ‘Pavlova Paradise’ in the 1970s and assessing how the country has grown since then. McDougall Craig North is producing the three-part series for TV One. Red Sky Film and Television has received $149,000 (US$63,325) for a one-hour special Once Were Dinosaurs that will recreate New Zealand’s pre-historic past. Our New Zealand (5 x 1 hour) producer Julienne Stretton Partnership Productions has received an additional $20,100 (US$8,542) for the series to air on TV One. Open Door III by Morningside Productions has secured $243,590 (US$103,526) for ten half-hours to air on TV3. However, the new funds provide only a small ray of sunshine for documentary producers. NZ on Air doc subsidies are expected to decline. While the 1999/2000 forecast was $9.5 million (US$4 million) for 119.5 hours of documentary programming, $8.1 million (US$3.5 million) for 90 hours was set aside for the genre in 2000/2001.
- RS West ’18