Issue date: 
Thursday, 6 June 2019


Senior executives, producers, showrunners and writers of internationally acclaimed shows, including American Horror Story, Better Call Saul, Bloodline, Glee, Glitch, Marcella, Please Like Me, Succession and Supergirl, will arrive in New Zealand next week to be advisors in an intensive week-long Series Drama Lab designed to develop strong New Zealand projects for the international and domestic market.

The Series Drama Lab is part of Raupapa Whakaari: Drama to the World, a new initiative from the New Zealand Film Commission and NZ On Air delivered in conjunction with Script to Screen. The initiative supports ten talented New Zealand writer/producer teams to develop distinctive, high-end scripted series with international and domestic appeal.

The advisor line-up includes Caitlin Parrish creator, writer and producer (The Red Line, Supergirl); Chris Loveall  Vice President, International Programming for AMC, SundanceTV and BBC America (EP Fortitude, Please Like Me); Chris Oliver-Taylor CEO of Fremantle Media Australia; Christine Bartlett a writer, creator and producer (Five Bedrooms , The Wrong Girl); multiple Emmy award winning producer Dante Di Loreto (Temple Grandin, American Horror Story, Glee); Jonathan Glatzer writer, producer, director (Succession, Better Call Saul, Bloodline); Louise Fox co-creator, writer, producer (Glitch, Broadchurch);  Nicola Larder co-creator, executive producer (Marcella).

Annabelle Sheehan, CEO of the New Zealand Film Commission, said, “The excellence and high profile credits of the international advisors will provide significant inspiration for our New Zealand creative teams regarding their work with the global marketplace.  The week focuses on the commercial and creative drivers for producers and showrunners and will help shape the next wave of New Zealand series drama for New Zealand and the rest of the world.”

NZ On Air CEO, Jane Wrightson said, “The combined brainpower of a stellar lineup of international advisors with outstanding local talent and their ideas has great promise – we are very much looking forward to seeing the next stage of these Raupapa Whakaari projects. ”

Script to Screen Executive Director Jackie Dennis said, “This hasn’t happened in New Zealand before. The writers and producers coming to the Series Drama Lab will develop their projects with advisors who have worked on exceptional shows that have found dedicated audiences all around the world. I can’t wait to see the results.”

The international advisors will take part in panels, conversations and case studies and provide feedback on participating teams’ series drama concepts in story and market meetings.

The ten teams have received initial development of $10,000. Following the Series Drama Lab and submission of the re-worked projects, four teams will be selected to receive additional development funding of up to $80,000 each.

Advisors’ Biographies

Caitlin Parrish is a US-based playwright, television writer, and filmmaker, frequently collaborating with Erica Weiss. She and Weiss co-directed their first feature film THE VIEW FROM TALL, which premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival and has gone on to play at festivals around the U.S. and internationally. The film was based on Caitlin’s first play, THE VIEW FROM TALL, which won the National Young Playwrights Competition, (founded by Stephen Sondheim), and received an off-Broadway run at the historic Cherry Lane Theatre. Her other acclaimed world premieres include THE BURIALS (Steppenwolf Theatre), THE DOWNPOUR (Route 66 Theatre), and A TWIST OF WATER (Route 66 Theatre/off-Broadway at 59E59). She received a Humanitas Award for her original television pilot PAINKILLER. Her other work in television includes SUPERGIRL, UNDER THE DOME and EMILY OWENS, M.D. Most recently, she was the co-creator and co-showrunner for THE RED LINE on CBS.

Chris Loveall is the current vice president of international programming for AMC, BBC America and SundanceTV. In this role, he is responsible for the development of original international commissions and co-productions as well as selecting acquisitions for each network. For SundanceTV, he oversees the co-productions LIAR (ITV) and ROSEHAVEN (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). Prior to joining the AMC Networks group, Loveall served as vice president of original programming at Pivot, developing scripted drama, comedy and animation projects, as well as overseeing international co-productions including FORTITUDE (Sky Atlantic) and PLEASE LIKE ME (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). He has also held a number of programming-focused positions at ABC Signature Studios, The CW and other production companies. Loveall holds a Bachelor of International Relations and Political Science degree from the University of California at Davis. He is based in Los Angeles.

Chris Oliver-Taylor started his career at the BBC in London, before emigrating to Australia in 2000. He worked in various senior production roles at ABC TV before becoming Head Business & Operations in 2008. In 2011, Chris moved to the independent production sector as Managing Director of Matchbox Pictures. During this period, Matchbox produced a highly acclaimed slate of programming, garnering numerous Australian and international awards. Chris’ Executive Producer credits include THE SLAP (NBC/ABC Australia), THE HEIGHTS (ABC Australia), GLITCH (Netflix/ABC Australia) and WANTED (Seven Network Australia). Chris was also the Lead Executive in Australia for CAMP (NBC) and HUNTERS (Syfy). In 2018, Chris was appointed Fremantle’s CEO Asia Pacific. Fremantle Australia creates, produces and distributes television content including ESCAPE FROM THE CITY, FAMILY FEUD, GREAT AUSTRALIAN BAKE OFF, WENTWORTH and NEIGHBOURS. Recent projects include: PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK, THE X FACTOR, AUSTRALIA’S GOT TALENT and AUSTRALIAN IDOL.

Christine Bartlett is an award winning and highly sought-after writer for both film and television. She is co-creator, co-executive producer and writer of the new Australian drama FIVE BEDROOMS (TEN) and was also co-script producer and writer of the first season of PLAYING FOR KEEPS (TEN). Christine also wrote six seasons of the acclaimed television series OFFSPRING. Her other television writing credits include: PARTY TRICKS, THE WRONG GIRL, MR &  MRS MURDER and the award-winning HOUSE HUSBANDS. Christine’s debut feature, THE WEDDING PARTY, was voted the most popular Australian film at the Melbourne International Film Festival in 2010. It went on to screen at more than 20 international film festivals, collecting numerous awards. Her short film, TICKLER, picked up the Tropicana Award at Tropfest Short Film Festival in 2001 and went on to win numerous awards at festivals worldwide.

Dante Di Loreto is an Emmy award winning producer of numerous successful television movies and series. Currently serving as Fremantle’s North American President of Scripted Entertainment, he oversees the company’s scripted productions and develops new series for its pipeline. He is currently working on a slate that includes: Neil Gaiman’s AMERICAN GODS (STARZ), GORMENGHAST (in development with Neil Gaiman and Akiva Goldsman) and DARK ONE (a multi-media experience being developed with Brandon Sanderson). Di Loreto also plays an active role within Fremantle’s global scripted network and its international catalogue of major dramas which includes: THE YOUNG POPE (HBO), HARD SUN (HULU/BBC), PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK (AMAZON/FOXTEL) and MY BRILLIANT FRIEND (HBO/RAI). Television drama produced by Di Loreto has received multiple Emmy nominations and wins, including: GLEE, AMERICAN HORROR STORY, TEMPLE GRANDIN (HBO movie) and A NORMAL HEART (HBO movie).

Jonathan Glatzer is a US-based writer/producer working for such shows as SUCCESSION (HBO), BETTER CALL SAUL (AMC), BLOODLINE (Netflix) and BLISS (Sky TV). Along with his fellow writers, he has been nominated for a Primetime Emmy, five WGA awards and won a Peabody Award and a BAFTA. In film, he is writing a feature for Marc Forster and Bold Films about the origins of Greenpeace. In 2009, he co-wrote and directed Steve Coogan and Molly Shannon in WHAT GOES UP (Sony Pictures). Along with Sharon Horgan, he is currently developing a limited series based on THE SUN ALSO RISES with Fox 21.

Louise Fox is an accomplished Australian screenwriter, who started her career in children’s drama and sketch comedy including FAST FORWARD and FULL FRONTAL. She went on to join the writing teams of numerous award-winning adult drama series, including multi-award-winning series LOVE MY WAY, the STAR WARS live action television series and CAMELOT (Starz). She also wrote an episode for the acclaimed first season of ITV drama BROADCHURCH. Recently, she wrote drama series, THE KETTERING INCIDENT (Porchlight Films and Foxtel), and was the co-creator/showrunner/Executive Producer on all three series of the multi award–winning drama GLITCH (Matchbox Pictures/ABC/Netflix). Her short films HELP ME and A NATURAL TALENT screened at multiple festivals around Australia and worldwide. She also wrote the screenplay for acclaimed Australian feature, DEAD EUROPE (SeeSaw). She currently has various projects in development in Australia and internationally.

Nicola Larder is a UK-based Executive Producer who co-created the globally successful, Emmy Award winning drama series MARCELLA (Netflix/ITV) starring Anna Friel. Shown in over 200 territories globally on Netflix, the third series premieres in Autumn 2019. Nicola originated the idea on which COBRA is based, a new drama series starring Robert Carlisle and written by Ben Richards (New Pictures/Sky One). She has worked with some of the world’s top writing and directing voices, including Irvine Welsh, Baltasar Kormákur, Katie Baxendale, Blake Harrison and Lars Lundstrom. Nicola worked at the BBC in continuing and returning series, including producing popular series’ WATERLOO ROAD and CASUALTY, and working on NEW TRICKS. Nicola moved to Sky where she worked in drama commissioning on THE TUNNEL and DRACULA, before going freelance to create MARCELLA, produced by Buccaneer Media.

The ten successful projects and their teams are:

(*Not Her Real Name)
Pip Hall / Carmen J Leonard / Deborah Cope

All of Me
Daniel Musgrove / Natalie Medlock / Shoshana McCallum / Peter Salmon

Chasing Pure
Carey James Carter / Gavin Strawhan / Rachel Lang / Steven Ivan Zanoski

Roxane Gajadhar / Angela Littlejohn

Drunk Poetry
Briar Grace-Smith / Victor Roger / Desray Armstrong

Donna Malane / Paula Boock / Carthew Neal

Hannah Marshall / David de Lautour / Gareth Williams / Kelly Martin

Kath Akuhuta-Brown / Greg McGee / Philippa Rennie / Robin Scholes / Lee Tamahori

The Different Girl
Alison Maclean / Philippa Campbell

The Harder They Fall
Matthew Saville / Luke Sharpe / Gerard Johnstone

More information on the teams can be found here


Last updated: 
Thursday, 6 June 2019