New Mansfield Drama to Screen in HD

A dramatisation of Katherine Mansfield’s early years as a writer will air in HD on TV One.

NZ On Air has commissioned Bliss from writer/director Fiona Samuel and producer Michele Fantl, who made the award-winning adoption drama, Piece of My Heart.

The $2.9 million production is the latest to get the green light under NZOA’s Platinum Fund, which the agency set up with the $15 million the Government previously allocated as charter funding to TVNZ.

“Without the Platinum Fund and TV One, this story would never have an opportunity to see the light of day,” Fantl said when the commission was announced.

TV One will screen the telemovie next year in its Sunday Theatre slot. Programming chief Jane Wilson called it “the perfect project” for the channel. “This kind of drama is expensive to make and could not be supported without significant public investment.”

Bliss is the 12th project to earn Platinum funding – and the sixth that will be shot in HD.

The others are: Stolen, a true-crime dramatisation for TV3, with South Pacific Pictures producing the Tim Balme script ($1.7 million); Tangiwai, a love story with the Tangiwai train disaster as its backdrop, for TV One, from Until Proven Innocent producers Donna Malane and Paula Boock ($2.7 million); Rivers with Craig Potton, a five-part South Pacific Pictures documentary that will air this year on Prime TV ($762,000); Facing Facts – Tamariki Ora: A New Beginning, a three-hour special about violence towards children scheduled this year for Māori Television ($328,247); and Canvassing the Treaty, the 90-minute arts documentary for Māori Television that first screened on Waitangi Day ($152,489).

Ironically, although the last three were HD productions, the channels for which they were commissioned are SD.

It’s also likely that four historical docu-dramas being shortlisted for TV One will be in HD.

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