South Pacific Pictures marked its 30th anniversary in 2018. With drama production at its core, this collection highlights the production company’s prodigious output. The collection spans everything from Marlin Bay to Westside — including hit movies Sione's Wedding and Whale Rider — plus the long-running and beloved Shortland Street. In the backgrounder, longtime SPP boss John Barnett reminisces, and charts the company’s history.
Kiwi-born Keith Park commanded the Royal Air Force division which defended London during the Battle of Britain. His command is dramatised in this Greenstone telemovie. Historians Stephen Bungay and Vincent Orange offer accounts of what happened, alongside archive footage from World War ll. This excerpt sees Park hosting Winston Churchill as his forces are stretched to breaking point by a German attack. After returning home, Park went on to chair the Auckland International Airport Committee and serve as an Auckland City Councillor. John Callen directs and narrates.
This collection is a celebration of the eccentric, exuberant career of NZ screen industry frontrunner Tony Williams. As well as being at the helm of many iconic ads (Crunchie, Bugger, Spot, Dear John) Williams made inventive, award-winning indie TV documentaries, and shot or directed pioneering feature films, including Solo and cult horror Next of Kin.
Actor Michelle Ang (The Tribe) stars in this Nesian Mystik music video which features beautiful people partying. Ang's character meets band member Te Awanui Reeder in the street, where he gets her phone number. Later she meets up with him and the rest of the Nesian Mystik crew at a party. The track, which peaked at number five on the Kiwi music charts, features a sample from The Style Council's 'Shout to the Top'. The Auckland hip hop group produced a record-breaking 11 Top 10 singles, and were key to the commercial breakthrough of Kiwi hip hop in the early 2000s.
Nesian Mystik mixed Māori, Tongan, Samoan and Cook Island heritage to become one of the biggest names in New Zealand music. The group started out in the late 90s in the music room of Auckland's Western Springs College, and were soon joined by St Paul's College student Feleti Strickson-Pua. The band's major influences included R’n’B, hip hop, reggae, and their central Auckland Polynesian upbringing. Guitarist David Atai and vocalist Donald McNulty also composed music for hit show bro 'Town. The group finally called it quits in early 2011 — after 10 years, 11 New Zealand top 10 singles, and four albums.
The Cult follows two groups: the members of a commune, who have renounced all contact with the outside world, and a loose-knit team of 'liberators', keen to reestablish contact with commune members they care about. The first prime time drama from Great Southern Film and Television won six of its 11 nominations at the 2010 Qantas Film and Television Awards — including for the acting of Lisa Chappell and Danielle Cormack (as a devious doctor). It was nominated for Best Drama. The moody 13-part thriller was created by Kathryn Burnett and Peter Cox.
The Dominant Species is a loopy look at the relationship between people and cars in 1975 Aotearoa ... from an alien's eye view. Nifty animation and special effects intersperse the automotive anthropological survey of Mark IIs, VWs, anti-car activism and car-washing. There's a dream sequence involving a ladykilling Jesus Christ atop a car, and Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries scores a rugby match traffic jam (also used in a famous scene in Apocalypse Now). Filmheads will note the tripped out assembly is flush with formative industry talents (see this guide by director Derek Morton).
Dave Gibson is one of New Zealand's most experienced producers. Under his command, company Gibson Group made programmes for local and international audiences for over three decades. In 2012 Gibson was made an Officer of NZ Order of Merit for services to the screen industry; in 2014 he sold his shares in Gibson Group, and began a four-year stint as Chief Executive of the NZ Film Commission.
This film tells the story of Antarctica’s emperor penguin (the inspiration behind Happy Feet) and how they survive vicious blizzards and -50°C temperatures. It also retraces the epic “worst journey in the world” which explorer Edward Wilson made to discover these remarkable birds. Max Quinn won a best director award at the 1994 NZ Television Awards for the Antarctic Trilogy Emperors was part of. The trilogy helped establish NHNZ’s relationship with Discovery Channel. As this backgrounder explains, the scene of a penguin falling through ice (clip one) became a YouTube hit.
After immigrating to New Zealand from South Africa when she was 11, Megan Alatini (née Cassie) became a contestant on reality show Popstars in 1999, soon winning a place in girl group TrueBliss. The band topped the Kiwi singles and album charts. In 2002 Alatini joined the main cast for the fourth season of The Tribe as warrior Java, acting alongside her real-life sisters Meryl and Monique. Alatini also acted in the short-lived Atlantis High. In 2006 she was a judge on New Zealand Idol; the following year she competed on the third season of Dancing With The Stars, where she ended up runner-up behind Suzanne Paul.