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Seven Screen Projects Offered $500,000 from Ara ki Te Puna Kairangi – The Premium Development Fund

Media releases Ngā whakaputanga pāpāho
21 Hakihea 2021

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. 

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

NZ On Air chief executive Cameron Harland said the level of applications for the second funding round showed 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.”

David Strong, CEO of the NZFC said “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. 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’ and that is 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