New Blood – We have a winner!
James Watson (28) and Vince McMillan (27), filmmakers from Auckland, have won year two of TVNZ’s New Blood Web Series Competition with their pilot, Kura.
More than 700 hopefuls entered the competition with the top five being selected by our panellists, including Ngahuia Piripi (Shortland Street), Thomas Sainsbury (Shortland Street), Adam King (AFK), AUT Lecturer Jim Marbrook and Luci Hare (Auckward Love).
In four weeks, the top five pilots were viewed more than 47,000 times combined and 7,979 votes were cast. With 45.7% of the public vote, it was Kura that took out first place.
Kura’s creators, James and Vince, will receive $100,000 from TVNZ and NZ On Air to create a full web series to screen on TVNZ.co.nz.
James and Vince both work in the film and television industry and came up with the concept a few years back, but it wasn't until they saw the New Blood Web Series Competition call-to-action they actually sat down to pull the proposal together. They’re excited about what this win means for them:
“We are so overwhelmed by the positive reaction we have had to the first episode of Kura. The amount of support from not only people we know, but from complete strangers has really blown us away. We can’t wait to create and share more of this uniquely New Zealand story with the world."
TVNZ’s New Blood Manager, Kate Simmonds, is excited to see Kura win the competition.
“James, Vince and their team did an incredible job with their pilot, which was up against some very tough competition. Ultimately, however, Kura’s distinctly Kiwi characters and bold storytelling resonated with New Zealand and will now be turned into a full series. I can’t wait to see what Billy-John gets up to in his final week before making his ‘fresh start’ in the G.C.”
NZ On Air Chief Executive Jane Wrightson says Kura is a great choice by the public because it authentically reflects a unique part of Aotearoa. “New Blood has delivered up another fresh perspective from new storytellers. Kura has a look and feel you won’t find elsewhere; local stories should feel like our own, have a real NZ identity,” said Ms Wrightson.
Kura follows Billy-John and his best mate Hotene over their last week together in Papakura. Billy has decided to leave behind his current life for a fresh start on the Gold Coast of Australia. As he farewells his friends and whānau, we get a taste of his life in South Auckland and discover what matters most about the place he calls home.
Kura will be available to view on TVNZ.co.nz next year.
The TVNZ New Blood Web Series Competition was made with the support of NZ On Air.