Walter to Present for TVNZ OnDemand

TVNZ OnDemand is expanding its burgeoning slate with Walter Presents, a curated selection of non-English language TV series.

Curator Walter Iuzzolino has been hand-picking these for Channel 4’s All4 platform in the UK since 2016 and has started to roll out the service globally.

Channel 4 saw the brand of Walter Presents as “the complete opposite of Netflix and Amazon and an algorithm-driven recommendation system,” he said at a Belgium TV convention.

They wanted to create almost an old-fashioned thing where you build a relationship based on trust [with the audience]. The idea was to be small and personalised and there’s no algorithm or research that goes into the editorial choice.

Iuzzolino argues Netflix and Amazon are flooding the market with too much money and not enough distinctive programmes.

There is money coming in, which is great but there is risk associated with that because there is an overwhelming amount of product on the shelves. While it is a golden era for international drama, as a curator I just see too many titles and they are these premium, globally-conceived titles that are actually quite culturally non-distinctive. That is a worry for me.

The first four Walter Presents choices will stream from July 22: Vanished by the Lake (season one), The Adulterer (S3), 13 Commandments (S1) and Elite Squad (S1-2).

The Guardian said Lake “has all the coincidences of a classic French thriller … the requisite good-looking cop and a close-knit-community riddled with secrets”, The Adulturer is an award-winning Dutch drama (“an enjoyable romp that’s worth checking out”, Entertainment Focus), 13 Commandments is, according to The Scotsman, “Seven with a Belgian twist“, and Iuzzolino dubs Elite Squad a “gritty, violent, fast-paced French cop show for all lovers of Spiral and Braquo.”

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