TVNZ Online Drama Wins New Zealand's First International Digital Emmy Award

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Reservoir Hill, an exclusively online TVNZ drama where viewers could interact with the main characters has won New Zealand's first International Digital Emmy Award. The ondemand TV drama beat off stiff international competition in the Children and Young People Category.

TVNZ Ondemand - Reservoir Hill

When we set about our five year strategy to inspire New Zealanders on every screen, our intention was to be the best pound-for-pound digital media company in Australasia. But we just beat the world!

Reservoir Hill was a national trail-blazer - an exclusively online drama where viewers could interact with the main character. Now, it’s also made history by earning New Zealand’s first International Digital Emmy Award.

The award winners were announced on April 12 at a ceremony in Cannes, hosted by actor Jason Priestley (Beverly Hills, 90210). The TVNZ Ondemand drama beat off competitors from Hong Kong, Canada, Finland and the United Kingdom in the Children and Young People category.

TVNZ’s Chief Executive Officer Rick Ellis is thrilled with the show’s international achievement.

“When we set about our five year strategy to inspire New Zealanders on every screen, our intention was to be the best pound-for-pound digital media company in Australasia. But we just beat the world!”

General Manager of Digital Media Tom Cotter is similarly delighted with Reservoir Hill’s prestigious award.

“The award proves TVNZ’s ability to innovate on a world stage. I couldn’t be happier for the team who worked on the project: the production company KHF Media, TVNZ’s Digital Media, and New Zealand On Air, all of whom are an exceptional and passionate bunch of people.”

The production masterminds behind the concept, David Stubbs and Thomas Robins, were at the ceremony in France to pick up the Emmy and were elated at the achievement.

“It feels amazing. We're thrilled for the team here at KHF Media: the cast, crew and writing team who worked tirelessly on a project we were all proud of,” Stubbs says. “It's also awesome for TVNZ and New Zealand On Air who backed the unusual and innovative project.”

Andrew Shaw, TVNZ’s General Manager of Commissioning, Production & Acquisition says the accolade “is proof once again of New Zealand’s top quality drama commissions.”

Reservoir Hill was consistently one of the most viewed shows on TVNZ Ondemand during its eight-week run, and will be given a special feature length screening on 16 May within New Zealand.

The series follows 16-year-old Beth Connolly (played by Beth Chote) as she arrives in a mysterious new town where nothing is quite as it seems.

Comments on social networking site Bebo helped to drive the story forward, as well as viewers who sent text messages to Beth offering her advice after each episode. The messages were then reflected in the weekly drama, as well as in Beth’s video blogs.

International Academy of Television, Arts and Sciences president Bruce Paisner praised the innovative interactive element to Reservoir Hill.

"This year's winners have masterfully demonstrated how to enhance the viewers' multi-platform experience," Paisner said.

Reservoir Hill will be screened as a feature-length event within New Zealand on 16 May, and is still available to view Ondemand at http://www.tvnz.co.nz/reservoirhill.

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