Take a best-selling American author, her New Zealand love stories, add a German film crew and you get the spices in a hot new TV film season to screen on Stratos Television from June 1.
The free-to-air New Zealand broadcaster (via Freeview Channel 21) has a rapidly growing reputation for delivering New Zealanders a fresh TV diet.
These five TV films, based on the work of Emilie Richards, explore the realities of love, romance, and self-realisation. Screening on Wednesday nights at 8.30pm, they are in German with English subtitles.
While on a sabbatical, Emilie wrote several novels set in Australia and New Zealand.
“I get my inspiration from the lives of the people I meet, normal people who have mastered great difficulties and whose struggles haven’t brought them any kind of fame,” Emilie says. “I write for people who live their life with courage and joy, and I hope that this will also inspire my readers and viewers.”
Her New Zealand stories are the backdrop for the TV films created by German company ZDF Enterprises. The German and Kiwi crew shot the series on location throughout New Zealand with a mix of local and international actors
Carol White, sales and marketing manager for Stratos Television, believes that the stories lend themselves well to TV adaptation and show New Zealand through a new lens.
“The series is beautifully filmed and gained a huge audience in Germany thanks to the complex characters and setting,” Carol says.
The first film is ‘Days of Forgiveness’ which airs at 8.30pm on June 1. The story follows Julianna returning to Waiheke Island to get revenge on her ex-lover’s family, which drove her father to commit suicide. When Julianna comes face to face with the man she once loved, old wounds open and life gets complicated.
‘Days of Forgiveness’ will be followed up with four other films titled ‘Just Think of Us Both’, ‘Forever New Zealand’, ‘Longing for New Zealand’ and ‘Paradise at the End of the World’.
Stratos Television is an independently-owned, New Zealand media company, which broadcasts free-to-air nationwide via Freeview (Channel 21), via satellite on Sky Digital (Channel 89) and through TelstraClear cable.