Chief Content Officer appointed.
NHNZ Worldwide has announced the appointment of Sue Woodfield as its first Chief Content Officer. Sue is a former Head of Commissioning and External Production at Discovery/ TV3 and a content industry leader with extensive experience creating, commissioning and executive producing thousands of hours of top-rating and award-winning programming across multiple genres and platforms. A former network executive whose career includes making content for Discovery, BBC, Sky, NBC, ITN, ZDF and Reuters. Content ranges from hit entertainment shows to award-winning dramas and documentaries, agenda-setting factual programmes and the creation and adaption of successful global formats.
Sue said “I am thrilled to join NHNZ Worldwide at this exciting time in its evolution. The company has a proud history and I am keen to help strengthen and broaden its proposition as it rises to meet the challenges of the fast changing global content landscape.”
Learn more about Sue by clicking here.
VP, US Development appointed. August 2021
NHNZ Worldwide has announced the appointment of Ally Weinberg as Vice President of Development, based in our Los Angeles office.
Ally previously rose the ranks at Pie Town Productions, most recently serving as Vice President of Development where she developed new series, including HGTV’s powerhouse hit Flip or Flop. Prior to Pie Town, Ally worked at NBCUniversal, helping oversee shows such as American Ninja Warrior and Knife Fight. She has developed for a myriad of buyers, including HGTV, TLC, Food Network, Magnolia Network, Travel Channel, A&E, and WE TV. Before working in development, Weinberg got her start casting and producing series such as America’s Next Top Model and House Hunters.
Ally said “I’m excited to join the growing development team and focus on bolstering NHNZ Worldwide’s US presence!”
Te Puna Kairangi Premium Fund supports the Aotearoa New Zealand production sector recovery from COVID-19 by supporting high-quality productions that tell New Zealand stories for global audiences. Applications were assessed against the five Key Objectives of the fund as developed with Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage and Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment which are: to boost economic growth, increase employment, create cultural benefit and respond to COVID-19 with speed to market and develop skills and capability.
“The field of applications for this first round was incredibly strong,” said Christina Milligan, Independent Chair of the decision-making panel. “The level of experience, talent and expertise across the submitted projects was outstanding, and made the selection process extremely challenging for all.”
“This is an exciting opportunity to tell Aotearoa’s stories to international and local audiences at a time when there is huge global demand for content, and boost the screen sector’s post-COVID recovery,” said NZFC CEO Annabelle Sheehan. “I would like to commend the partnership of the three agencies, the Panel and the Heads of Fund for their mahi throughout the difficult decision-making process.”
Kaihautū Te Māngai Pāho, TMP CEO Larry Parr agrees that Te Puna Kairangi is a successful collaboration, “The significant support the Panel had allocated two Māori-led projects must be applauded.”
“The projects selected represent a beautifully broad array of ideas, that will engage both local and international audiences, and include two feature films, high-end factual and drama series, and an acclaimed children’s series,” said NZ On Air Chief Executive Cameron Harland.
Across the five projects there is an anticipated collective spend of almost $56 million in a range of locations around the country, with an estimated spend on local jobs during production of over $32 million. International investment in these projects is over $19 million.
Funding of $21 million across five applications was approved by the independent funding panel. The Panel has members from Te Tumu Whakaata Taonga (New Zealand Film Commission), Irirangi Te Motu(NZ On Air) and Te Māngai Pāho lead by Independent Chair, Christina Milligan.
Conditional offers have been made to:
Better the Blood (Drama Series, 6 x 60 min)
When tenacious Māori cop Hana discovers a series of killings are retribution for a centuries-old crime, she must stop the killer before he comes after her family. But will the hunt to find him mean losing her faith in justice?
Produced by Carthew Neal, Morgan Waru, Taika Waititi, Michael Bennett, Jane Holland.
Directed / Written by Michael Bennett.
Mystic Series 2 & 3 (Drama Series 2 x 8 x 30 min)
Set in the fictional town of Kauri Point, MYSTIC is a contemporary adventure series with environmental themes, following a group of complex young characters whose friendship revolves around horse riding.
Executive Produced by Richard Fletcher, Simon Crawford-Collins, Produced by David Stubbs, Directed by Aidee Walker, Caroline Bell-Booth, Laurence Wilson, Written by Amy Shindler, Beth Chalmers, Hamish Bennett, Martha Hardy-Ward, Sam Shore, Briar Grace-Smith.
The Guinea Pig Club (Feature Film)
When maverick Kiwi surgeon Archie McIndoe defies the British establishment with his radical plastic surgery methods aimed at healing the horribly burned bodies and – most importantly – the tortured souls of heroic fighter pilots shot down in WW2, he risks his career, reputation, and marriage. In the process he teaches an entire town to give these broken men a will to live and hope for the future.
Produced by Tim Sanders, Directed by Roger Donaldson, Written by Mike Riddell.
Our Big Blue Backyard Series 3 (Documentary Series, 6 x 60min)
Our Big Blue Backyard dives deep into six of New Zealand’s spectacular and diverse marine environments to reveal the drama and surprising challenges in the lives of the charismatic wildlife characters who live there.
Produced by Judith Curran, Kina Scollay, Directed / Written by Judith Curran, Bill Kerton, Laura Evers-Swindell.
The Convert (Feature Film)
Munro, a soldier turned lay preacher comes to New Zealand to minister to the first colonisers but he is converted by the powerful chief Maianui to serve a different purpose.
Produced by Te Kohe Tuhaka, Robin Scholes, Bradford Joseph Te Apatu-o-te-rangi Maaka Haami (EP), Troy Lum, Andrew Mason Directed by Lee Tamahori Screenplay by Shane Danielsen with additional writing by Lee Tamahori, Bradford Joseph Te Apatu-o-te-rangi Maaka Haami. Based on a Screen Story by Michael Bennett. Pūmatanga Māori -Tātai Waitara Māori Bradford Joseph Te Apatu-o-te-rangi Maaka Haami, Ngamaru Raerino.
Aotearoa’s Stories Destined for Global Screens.
May 7th 2021
Five successful screen projects have been selected in the first round of the $50 million Te Puna Kairangi Premium Productions for International Audiences Fund.
Blue Ant Media Enters Partnership with New Zealand Based, Global Media Executive and Unscripted Producer Dame Julie Christie
Dame Julie Christie has acquired majority share of New Zealand-based, international factual production company, NHNZ, now rebranded as NHNZ Worldwide
(Auckland, New Zealand/Toronto, Canada - February 26, 2021) - International producer, distributor and channel operator, Blue Ant Media and pioneering, New Zealand-based unscripted producer, Dame Julie Christie announced jointly today a new partnership that will see Christie acquiring a majority stake, and assuming the role as CEO, in New Zealand-based, international factual production company, NHNZ, which will be rebranded as NHNZ Worldwide.
Blue Ant Media will continue to own NHNZ’s existing catalogue of award-winning series and documentaries and a significant minority stake in NHNZ Worldwide. Sam Sniderman, Co-President, Global Content Production, Blue Ant Media has joined NHNZ Worldwide’s Board of Directors.
“NHNZ has achieved a great deal of success and is celebrated as one of the most respected natural history and factual production houses in the world. I’m very excited to now be a part of this company, having acquired a majority stake in NHNZ Worldwide,” said Dame Julie Christie, CEO, NHNZ Worldwide. “I love the documentary and natural history genres, and while they will continue to be the backbone of our production business, I am excited to build a slate of projects in other categories, as we expand into other production hubs around the world.”
“Dame Julie is not only an internationally-successful, unscripted television producer, but also an established and influential leader in New Zealand in both the public and private spheres. Her expertise and business acumen will serve NHNZ Worldwide well as she builds upon the production company’s 40 year legacy and paves the way to future growth,” said Sam Sniderman, Co-President, Global Content Production, Blue Ant Media.
Dame Julie Christie was the founder and creative force behind New Zealand’s Touchdown Productions, an international TV production company that sold unscripted formats to 30 countries, most notably The Chair, Miss Popularity and Treasure Island. The company was sold to Eyeworks in 2006 after which she became CEO of Eyeworks New Zealand & Australia. Julie has also executive-produced three feature films: The Tattooist, LoveBirds and Mr. Pip. Since 2013, she has served in numerous governance roles in media, sport and economic development. The acquisition of a majority shareholding in NHNZ Worldwide marks her return to television production and the role of company CEO. A multi-award winning producer, Julie was New Zealand’s 2008 Veuve Clicquot Businesswoman of The Year and in 2017 was made a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to governance and television.
Blue Ant Media is a privately held, international content producer, distributor and channel operator. We own and operate numerous production companies in North America and Asia-Pacific under the Blue Ant Studios banner, creating content for broadcasters and streaming platforms in multiple genres including factual entertainment, natural history, documentary, adult animation and drama. Our distribution business, Blue Ant International, offers a substantial catalogue of content, including one of the world's largest 4K natural history offerings.
NHNZ on Realscreen’s
Global 100 List
Congratulations to NHNZ on being named on Realscreen’s Global 100 list honoring the world’s top production companies.