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Distributed for Intellect Ltd

New Zealand Film and Television

Institution, Industry and Cultural Change

Despite challenges arising from a limited population and the difficulty of obtaining adequate funding, both the film and television industries of New Zealand have been the source of significant achievements and profound cultural influence. Charting their emergence and subsequent development through five decades, New Zealand Film and Television looks at these two increasingly vibrant cultural and creative industries. While there is a growing body of academic work on film and television in New Zealand, relatively little exists that examines the specific cultural concerns, local industries, institutions, and policies involved, which this book addresses in full.

291 pages | 30 halftones | 7 x 9 | © 2011

Film Studies

Media Studies

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"Powered by expert knowledge and brilliant research, the authors of this book cast new light on filmmaking and television production in New Zealand. Tracing the two industries side-by-side over a long stretch of history produces a number of revealing comparisons and contrasts. There is much debate about the future of television and film in New Zealand, and this book is very timely in providing a thoughtful, in-depth background to the issues. As an innovative study of media institutions, political forces, and cultural trends, this will be valuable reading not only in New Zealand but in all countries that are striving in today’s competitive environment to maintain healthy film and television industries."—Roger Horrocks, University of Auckland

Roger Horrocks, University of Auckland

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Glossary of Māori Terms
List of Abbreviations

    New Zealand Screen Production and Political Economy
    ‘New Zealand-Domiciled’ Feature Film and Television Drama
    The Institutional Ecology of New Zealand-Domiciled Screen Production 
    ‘Localness’ and ‘Universality’
    New Zealand Screen Production and Cultural Considerations
    Research Questions and Chapter Organisation
Chapter 1: Television in the Era of Public Monopoly (1960–88)
    Television and National Culture
    The Inception of Television
    The Single-Channel Era (1960–74)
    Two-Channel Independence (1975–79)
    Two-Channel Complementarity: The First Years of TVNZ (1980–88)
    ‘Public Service’ Objectives in Programming
    Māori Television
    Locally-Produced TV Drama in the Monopoly Era
    The Institutional Culture of TV Production
    Three Landmark TV Drama Productions
    Pukemanu (1971–72)
    The Governor (1977)
    Erebus the Aftermath (1987)
Chapter 2: Pioneers, Mavericks and the Inception of a National Cinema (1960–88)
    Cinema, Industry and National Culture
    The Film Industry Working Party
    Television and the Emergence of a Fledgling Film Industry
    The Development of the New Zealand Film Commission
    The NZFC’s Founding Act of Parliament
    Halcyon Days: The First Years of the NZFC (1978–82)
    The Tax Shelter Years (1982–84): A Production Boom and Bust
    NZFC Policy Directions in the Mid-1980s
    Neo-Liberal Politics and Some Initial Impacts
    New Zealand Film-Making: The Achievement of a Production Industry and a Distinctive Voice
    New Zealand Feature Films: Three Contrasting Examples
    Sleeping Dogs (1977)
    Vigil (1984)
    Ngāti (1987)
Chapter 3: Television, Neo-liberalism and the Advent of Competition (1988–99)
    The Neo-Liberal Turn and the ‘New Zealand Experiment’
    Neo-Liberalism and Television
    The Restructuring and Deregulation of Broadcasting
    The New Broadcasting Legislation
    The Creation and Role of New Zealand On Air
    NZoA’s Funding Allocation Strategies
    Successes and Failures: The First Decade of Competition
    The Proposal to Sell TVNZ
    Commissioning Culture after Deregulation
    The Independent Sector, Local-Content and South Pacific Pictures
    TV Drama Production in the 1990s
    Case Study of Shortland Street (1992–)
Chapter 4: Neo-Liberalism and the Consolidation of a National Film Industry (1988–97)
    Challenges for the NZFC in the Late 1980s
    The Emergence of an NZFC Script Development Policy
    Changes in Television, New Zealand On Air and New Horizons for the Film Industry
    Alternative Forms and Related Strategies: Short Films and One-Off Dramas
    Renewed Production, Consolidation and Success
    Changes of Direction for the NZFC
    The ‘Low Budget Film’ and Other Developments in NZFC Funding Criteria
    International Collaborations
    Further Changes to NZFC Directions and Policy: The Ruth Harley Era
    Case Studies of An Angel at My Table (1990) and The Piano (1993)
    Case Studies of Once Were Warriors (1994) and Heavenly Creatures (1994)
Chapter 5: Television after 2000: Digital ‘Plenty’ in a Small Market
    Public Television Post-2000: The TVNZ Charter and Other Initiatives
    Establishing a Māori Television Network
    Unrealistic Expectations and Conflicting Objectives: The Failure of the TVNZ Charter
    Intensifying Competition in a Deregulated Television Market
    Free-to-Air Digital Television and New Digital Channels
    The Post-2000 Context for TV Drama Production
    Locally-Produced TV Drama and the Influence of New Zealand On Air
    Case Study of Outrageous Fortune (2005–10)
Chapter 6: New Zealand Cinema and Internationalism (1998–2010)
    Film Industry Criticisms of the NZFC
    Cultural Considerations and  a Change of Government
    The Film Production Fund Trust: Operation and Outcomes
    The Screen Industry Taskforce and Other Government Initiatives
    Branding New Zealand: Peter Jackson and ‘Wellywood’
    Enticing International Investment: The Large Budget Screen Production Grant
    The Implications of an International Presence
    Facilitating Local Production: The Screen Production Investment Fund
    Maintaining New Zealand-Domiciled Feature Film
    The NZFC and Māori-Themed Feature Films
    Case Study of Whale Rider (2002)
    Case Study of Boy (2010)
    Evaluating the Changing Context for New Zealand Film Production (2008–10)
    Institutional and Cultural Change in Television
    Institutional and Cultural Change in Film
    Key Influences on New Zealand-Domiciled Feature Film and TV Drama


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