Production is underway in the lush and remote northern tip of New Zealand on “Far North,” a premium drama series for Sundance Now.
The fact-based series stars local acting legend, Temuera Morrison (“Star Wars,” “Once Were Warriors”) and award-winning actress, Robyn Malcolm (“Top of the Lake”) as an everyday couple who foil an international crime ring’s largest ever deal in the Pacific.
The series was researched and created and is being directed by David White (“This Town,” “Meat”). The screenplay was written by White, Suli Moa (“Shortland Street,” “The Panthers”) and Mingjian Cui (“Inked,” “Meme”).
Filming will take 14 weeks in total, with seven of those on location in Ahipara, where the real events took place. The completed show will be delivered as six one-hour episodes, with All3 Media International handling rights sales outside of the producer territories.
South Pacific Pictures and White Balance Pictures are producing for Sundance Now (U.S.), Paramount+ (Australia), Warner Bros. Discovery (New Zealand) and All3Media International. The show is executive produced by Kelly Martin for South Pacific Pictures and White for White Balance Pictures. Chris Bailey and Nicole Horan, produce and line produce respectively.
Funding comes from Te Puna Kairangi, the New Zealand Government’s Premium Productions for International Audiences Fund, alongside Sundance Now, Paramount +, Warner Bros. Discovery NZ and All3 Media International.
Other key cast include: including Dimitrius Schuster-Koloamatangi (“The Panthers”); former Variety and IFFAM talent to watch Xana Tang (“Mulan,” “Sweet Tooth”); Fei Li (“Island of Yesterday,” “Eternal Romance”); Gabriel Chao Ren (“Power Rangers,” “Cowboy Bebop”); Maaka Pohatu (“Savage,” “Wellington Paranormal”); and Fay Tofilau (“26:29”).
“This project has been six years in the making and we are beyond thrilled to now be in the production phase. ‘Far North’ is an epic story based on real life events and audiences are going to be taken on an incredible journey when they watch the series,” said Martin, CEO of South Pacific Pictures.
“ ‘Far North’ is an exact delivery on Sundance Now’s promise of providing our audiences with high-quality, thought-provoking, incredibly well-acted and captivating programming. This story only gets more interesting with each new piece of discovery,” said Shannon Cooper, VP of programming at Sundance Now.
Sally Habbershaw – All3 Media EVP Americas called “Far North” an “important co-production between the USA and New Zealand.” “South Pacific Pictures’ thoughtful telling of a genuinely extraordinary true story that saw international crime land on the quiet shores of a small community. The production’s investment into the local region and talent is a testament to the care taken by the production team into this emotional drama.”