Issue date: 
Thursday, 2 October 2014

A new collaboration between NZ On Air and the NZ Film Commission will produce three feature-length documentaries for cinema, television and online release.

The two agencies launched Doc Connect earlier this year – as a way to encourage documentary-makers to push boundaries and consider innovative ways to distribute their films.

The three projects that will be funded through Doc Connect all identified a clear understanding of their audience and how they would reach them.

City Of Dreams by FishEye Films is set among the ruins of post-quake Christchurch where a group of passionate artists and entrepreneurs are reviving the creative heart of their city and fighting for its place in the future. It will have a theatre release and will screen on prime time on TV One.

Te Taki A Merata Mita – How Mum Decolonised The Screen is a personal retrospective look at the life and influence of filmmaker Merata Mita. It will be directed by her son Heperi Mita and will reveal her work in the context of her life as a Māori filmmaker, mother, activitist, feminist and teacher. It will have a cinema release and will also screen on Māori Television.

The third funded project is We Kill which removes the comfortable barrier most consumers have between the packaged meat we buy and the living animal it once was. Made by White Balance Pictures it is an extension of themes explored in previous short films I Kill and OINK. The documentary will have a cinema and online release.

“Finding subjects that will work on multiple platforms and for a variety of audiences is a challenge, but one these directors and producers have risen to with their proposals.The variety of content and means of delivery demonstrates willingness to think outside the square to connect  audiences with content,” says NZ On Air Chief Executive, Jane Wrightson.

Dave Gibson, Chief Executive of the Film Commission says, "There's big growth in cinema audiences for feature length documentaries at the moment and adding in TV and online audiences, these films should find a wide New Zealand audience."

Doc Connect is the first collaboration under the new ‘virtual agency’ Screen NZ, announced in June by the NZFC, NZ On Air and FilmNZ.

Funding details

NZ On Air and the NZ Film Commission will each contribute 50% of the below funding.

City Of Dreams, Fisheye Films for TV One and theatre, $366,085
Te Taki A Merata Mita – How Mum Decolonised The Screen, Arama Pictures for Māori Television and theatre, $391,005
We Kill, White Balance Pictures for online ( and theatre release, $199,998

Last updated: 
Thursday, 2 October 2014