Te Ahi Kā ('the home fire') is an initiative to ensure New Zealand films have a life far beyond their festival premiere or initial release. It will ensure that future generations can enjoy our films for years to come.
Celebrating New Zealand and New Zealanders
New Zealanders love seeing our stories, landscape and people on screen. Our films reflect our culture, values and achievements. For over 40 years the Film Commission has supported films made in New Zealand by New Zealanders. We have celebrated them here and around the world.
A home for New Zealand films
The term 'Te Ahi Kā' ('the home fire') shows our intention to be the home for New Zealand films. This initiative will ensure our films will be enjoyed by future generations of New Zealanders, here and overseas. We see the Film Commission as kaitiaki (guardians) of New Zealand films.
Actions for a healthy future
The Film Commission is vitally interested in our films and the careers of the filmmakers who make them. That is why we have taken the following actions to ensure a healthy future for our films.
- In 2013 the Film Commission started to digitise films not currently in hi-res formats. We are creating an archive of films that can be enjoyed by future generations.
- In August 2014, UK sales agency HanWay Select started to represent a collection of New Zealand films in all available territories outside New Zealand and Australia. In October 2014, they presented an initial collection of 40 New Zealand films to the MIPCOM market as a director-driven, auteur collection.
- In some cases, a filmmaker might choose to have their film represented by a third party agent. In this case, we will support that film by supporting the filmmaker in documenting that relationship.
- For new films, we assist filmmakers to find a suitable sales agent to professionally represent their film.
- Once sales and festival activity is completed, all films return home to Te Ahi Kā. We will continue to ensure we have a 'living' archive by responding to all requests made.
Reaching wider audiences
Fire is the heart of a home. It unites people and is a perfect environment for storytelling. The rich heritage of New Zealand films shows a country discovering its unique cultural identity. We want New Zealand films to reach audiences far beyond their initial release or festival premiere and we are committed to increasing the number of people watching New Zealand films. We will do this in the following ways.
- We are conducting ongoing research to ascertain who is watching New Zealand films, and where and how they are watching them.
- We have created NZ Film On Demand, an online platform that enables New Zealand films to reach a much wider audience.
- We are continually exploring ways to bring New Zealand films to schools and communities throughout the country.
- We partner with sales agents and local distributors in making international film festival selections.
- We encourage new distribution and marketing models and explore new ways to help our films find international audiences.
New audiences in Australasia
Under Te Ahi Kā, the Film Commission wants to create new opportunities for our films in Australasia. However, many of our films are still licenced to local distributors or broadcasters. We are exploring ways to help these films continue to find an audience in New Zealand and Australia as rights become available.