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Hone Tuwhare appearing in Between the Lines. Click to view more...

We have, and will continue, to cover a wide range of social issues affecting all New Zealanders - from eating disorders to gambling addictions to the parole process.

We reflect New Zealand’s diverse cultural identity examining a broad range of New Zealanders from teenage fathers to artists to ambulance drivers.

Raconteur is represented on the international stage by Beyond Distribution Ltd.


  Between the Lines - Dennis Glover
Denis Glover (1912-1980) has become one of the most important poets in New Zealand's literary history, as well being the first to establish an independent literary press.  Between the Lines - Denis Glover explores a man who persistently undervalued his own poetry, but was viewed by many in New Zealand as a poet of the common man. Others remember Glover as the drunken, clumsy, bawdy poet who allowed his sense of humour to get in the way of his writing.  This documentary takes a candid look at a man who is renown for capturing New Zealand's identity, whilst challenging, exploring and highlighting significant issues that emerged during his lifetime....more>
  Madame Morison
"one of the very best profiles of an artist that I have seen on local broadcast this year"
- Ron Brownson, Senior Curator New Zealand and Pacific Art, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki
2006 Arts Laureate Julia Morison creates her work from something arbitrary, like a drip of paint, the crazing of two incompatible varnishes, or a squirt of polystyrene foam. After thirty years of practise, and now teaching University students, Morison's career has seen her multi genre work installed in galleries and public art spaces in Australasia and Europe. Deep and surreal, like her work, teasing images and glimpses reveal Julia Morison the artist, as a complex individual with many layers to herself and her art ...more>
  Up for Parole
Every year 7000 inmates are called to Parole Board hearings in New Zealand.  They're normally held behind closed doors but for the first time in New Zealand cameras will allow us an insight into these hearings. Up for Parole follows three separate Parole Board hearings and also explores the impact of these three crimes on the victim's and families involved. Victims of serious crimes are told when a hearing is coming up and for many of them it's a time where they are forced to relive their nightmares. The Parole Board's job isn't to decide if a prisoner has been punished enough, but to see if an offender is safe to release into the community. It's often a thankless task....more>
  A Clinical Approach
Theatre that's colourful, character-driven, with a touch anarchic or grotesque, influenced by dance theatre and art house film. Established in 1999 by Lucette Hindin, Anastsia Dailianis and Haydn Kerr. Now the innovative theatre makers have grown to a core group of five with a large network of affiliated actors and artists, Who create original performances, touring and running workshops in Christchurch, Wellington, Dunedin and Leipzig, Germany. Using music, video, film, dance and traditional stage techniques, the team work with concepts rather than scripts - challenging for even the most accomplished actors.  This documentary shows artistic flare that expands the stage far beyond our current conception....more>
  Bad White Art
Tony de Latour's career is at a turning point, and we have a unique opportunity to see an artist move from the pre-eminent to esteemed. This piece is a snapshot of an artist, at the crucial time of stepping from beings just another painter, to one of New Zealand's greats, according to three of Australia's top gallery owners. Ray Hughes Gallery in Sydney  - one of Australia's strongest contemporary spaces -has for the first time asked Tony for a stand-alone show. Using music from Tony's own collection -  Dunedin garage band The Clean -a dark hard-edged feel, this documentary  echoes Tony's works . This  complements the 'bad white art' theme Tony's picked up, and the sketchy pencil-case art style that's often attributed by curators as coming from the 'Bill Hammond school' of South island artists....more>
  Distinctly Grahame Sydney
It is difficult to think of the parched central Otago landscape that makes up the majority of the lower South Island without thinking about Grahame Sydney. This association has grown and developed since the outset of his career in the mid 70's, when his egg tempera paintings articulated a sense of place that struck both a regionalist and nationalist nerve. Barren woolsheds, road signs, cloud formations or portraits, whatever the subject, such is the universal appeal of Sydney's work that Elton John, Nelson Mandela and Sam Neil own his paintings.  Sam Neil is "always keen to see what Grahame is going to do next."
Sydney fans are more widespread than most. Such is the popularity of his work that his paintings are sold to a private waiting list, and many have never been seen publicly. His lithographs are eagerly awaited and quickly sell out. Poet Brian Turner poses the question "Why people want to keep Grahame Sydney in a box as a landscape artist."...more>
  Made in New Zealand - Margaret Mahy
Margaret Mahy is a household name, where her books have imprinted many reader's lives. For Mahy life began in a large Whakatane family, as the eldest of five children - obvious inspiration for her stories - and, like most of her books she's very family orientated. It's a common expectation that to New Zealanders Margaret Mahy's a household name, overseas also she's considered a groundbreaking author whose books have been on the bestseller lists since the seventies. Margaret Mahy is an international wonder in both literary circles and in homes around the world.  With books printed in dozens of languages throughout Europe she's extremely well known for her young adult fiction. This documentary reveals just how highly regarded Mahy is, with interviews with her UK publisher and the NZ producers of her latest creation....more>
  Rock Canvas
New Zealand's rock art is reasonably young on a world scale, but for New Zealanders it's a crucial, and until recently, rarely known part of our history. The Ngai Tahu Maori Rock Art Project was initiated with help from New Zealand 1990's Commission, New Zealand Historic Places Trust and University of Otago, evolving from Ngai Tahu South Island Maori Rock Art Project -Te Kaupapa i nga Tuhituhi Tawhito o Te Waipounamu.
The majority of New Zealand's rock art is located in the South Island and depicts animals, humans, abstract designs, mythical forms and waka. This art helps us understand what life was like for the first people who made their mark on Aotearoa. Travelling throughout Canterbury this story shows New Zealander's their own rock art and the processes involved in preserving these ancient artworks....more>
  I Do Down Under
Weddings - love them or hate them they're one of the most anticipated, anguished over and memorable days in a couple's life.  And while the number of couples tying the knot in New Zealand is on the decline - couples choosing to travel to New Zealand has been steadily on the rise - with, it being estimated, over 1000 couples choosing to marry here last year We take a look at the international wedding industry through the eyes of 31 year old wedding co-ordinator Vanessa Leeming.  Starting out ten years ago she is now the owner of one of the country's biggest wedding planning companies and co-ordinates weddings all over the country. We follow her as she organises weddings for five couples from all over the world - catering to her clients' every whim - from transport and accommodation right through to marriage licence and dress hire. The documentary takes place in the height of the wedding season and is filmed all over the South Island - from the bottom of Mount Cook to a West Coast beach, punting down the Avon River in Christchurch to a wedding overlooking Lake Hayes....more>
  St John 24/7
Hurrying through the city streets with it's lights, siren and focused crew, an ambulance conjures feelings of security, comfort and relief to most of us. Yet few of us realise that in most cases at least one of the crew will be a volunteer. Beyond the obvious ambulance, this is the story of an organisation, largely composed of volunteers, quietly going about it's business wherever we place ourselves in harms way. In the critical area of primary emergency care, with the demands of advanced training, high levels of stress and often dangerous environments, an army of over six thousand New Zealanders is mobilised every week to help staff the services of St John. From the road sides and sidelines; the mountains and waters;  the raves and rock concerts; twenty four hours a day St. John can reach the injured and distressed. From 4pm on Friday through until the 8am on Tuesday we watch as lives are saved, injured tended and the lonely comforted by one of the largest volunteers organisations in the country....more>
  The Naked Bum
The bum is something we all have in common and yet how much do we really know about it, and it's functions? We sit on it, we expel our waste through it, it enables us to stand, walk and climb stairs. We clothe it, we admire it - some of us even derive sexual pleasure from it and yet apart from 'does my bum look big in this' we rarely drop it into conversation. The Naked Bum asks New Zealanders from a wide and varied background about their bum - and it's functions. We ignore our bowels at our peril. New Zealand tops the world in bowel cancer statistics with New Zealand women having the highest rate of colon cancer in the world and New Zealand men and women together putting New Zealand third in the international rectal cancer rates. The Naked Bum looks at attitudes and opinions, health issues and the role the bum plays, as an outlet for our waste, something to sit on - and something to admire....more>
  Real Dads Revealed
For many men fatherhood is the most important role they will ever play in their entire life. And like a lot of roles in today's society, that role is changing. From the stern, authoritive and distant father of our fathers, a new man has emerged.  Today's dads want to play a bigger part in raising their children. Silently they're reducing hours, juggling shifts or simply quitting work to take on the most important job of their life. Fatherhood. Real Dads revealed  explores the changing role of fatherhood in New Zealand by examining the position from the point of view of the hands-on-Dad, and the generations either side of him; daughters, sons and grandfathers share their recollections and opinions. This documentary  looks at where our fathers think their parenting role is headed, and what impact the changing role of Fathers is having on our children. It examines the stereotype of the cardy wearing, meek and mild househusband, and reveal dads that have taken the opportunity to play an active role in parenting, covering the whole spectrum of manhood. ...more>
  Married – Again & Again
Is marriage the ulitmate life affirming relationship? For two out of five New Zealanders this is definitely so.  Rather than living together they choose to remarry.  They'll disrupt their lives, blend families move house and move cities in order to fulfil the belief that their remarriage is another chance at wedded bliss. In this documentary we look at those who have vowed never again, those who have done it, are doing it and some who have married again and again....more>
  The Naked Vagina
There is not one word to encompass the female reproductive, urinary and sexual functions.  Of course there are plenty of derogatory names but this programme is an informative piece and it is not our goal to offend the female population.   The only word that gets is the sum of all the parts of the female sex organ is "vagina".  Although it is not entirely accurate it is the only one we've got. Recently the vagina has taken centre stage in several parts of the world including Australia, America and Great Britain.  Eve Ensler's book "The Vagina Monologues" has been received with open arms.  The book has since been turned into a live dramatic performance that has packed playhouses internationally. The topic of the vagina might be considered to be sort of a no-man's-land in the media.  Are people afraid to talk about it?  Is it that people are afraid to look at it?  Education is the only way women and men will truly understand and appreciate the complexities of the vaginas.  Our viewers preconceived ideas will forever be perpetuated if this documentary is not made.  The vagina must not be ignored. The Naked Vagina – making it okay to discuss, look at and get to know the Vagina....more>
  Teen Dads
Teen Dads looks at the dilemmas teenage dads face as they try to balance two vastly different roles - being a teenager and being a dad. Adolescent years are complex enough, becoming a dad during these years makes it even tougher. We meet three young men who are currently facing the fact that they are a dad;  what that really means for them and how it impacts on their lives. They have to deal with issues most teenagers know nothing about, from the birth of their baby and how to change a nappy, to guardianship rights and financial responsibilities. Very few teenage boys are adequately prepared for fatherhood....more>
  The Naked Penis
Hardly ever seen in public - except on statues, flashers and streakers - the penis nevertheless has quite a story to tell. Until now it has been a story shrouded in privacy, modesty, embarrassment - even ignorance - with consequences for men's health, both physical and psychological. In The Naked Penis, the male trousers are unzipped so that men can reveal their thoughts on everything from size, form and function to circumcision, vasectomy, sex-change, and serious health problems such as cancer. Ordinary men - and some extraordinary ones - talk candidly about their own genitals, how they work or let them down, and what they think about masturbation, circumcision, vasectomy, erections and sexual health....more>
  Taking a Gamble
A documentary on gambling addiction, specifically gaming machines. It's easy to understand why people get hooked on alcohol and drugs because both involve a substance, something tangible.  But gambling?   Who in their right mind would become addicted to a gaming machine?  That's the essential point.  Gambling is a mental disorder.  An Unseen Addiction. It affects one in four people. This documentary follows four gamblers as they attempt to give up their addiction....more>
  The Naked Breast
The Naked Breast brings out the breast in our society. This documentary takes a look at the breast in the twenty first century through upbeat interviews with New Zealand women and men. We explore attitudes, desires and a good dose of realism. Breastfeeding, breast cancer, nipple piercing, breast implants and reductions, and the uplifting industry of underfashions come under the spotlight. The Naked Breast follows our breasts through society as they flirt with fashion, give life and take life.  The Naked Breast  broadens the context in which breasts are generally viewed in media in a fun and informative fashion. The breast, irrespective of size, is responsible for the survival of the species and unfortunately, the death of more women each year than our national road toll....more>
  Search Against Time
If you're lost, stranded, or injured somewhere in the New Zealand bush, or even in the suburbs, how do you know you're going to be found?  Who's going to find you? Search Against Time is an observational documentary looking behind the scenes of that most New Zealand of organisations, Land Search and Rescue (SAR).   Shot mostly in Canterbury,  it features the vital role played by the trained volunteers;  the hundreds  of  men and women  who  are prepared to drop what they're doing for no return other than the satisfaction of helping others. We focus on two searches;  the Ashburton search for Kirsty Bentley; before it became a police operation, and an intensive six day search  looking for an  elderly tramper lost on
Mt Grey. ...more>
  Dying to Eat
This documentary allowed sufferers and their families to tell their personal stories in the daily battle against anorexia nervoa and bulimia nervosa; the signs, the struggles, the guilt, and the long road to recovery. This documentary shows anorexia is not a state of mind that can be turned off and on at will.  This illness can, and does, happen to anyone.  No galmourising of thinness, no using of skeletal forms; just ordinary New Zealand families caught in the grip of this tenacious, complex and often fatal illness.
Dying to Eat  explores the complexity of the illness, the importance of early treatment and reinforces the need for community support, understanding, and openness....more>
  Making Ends Meet
When we speak of the poor in this country, it's always file footage from the state house ghettos of Otara.  These images of people, usually Polynesian, frequently unemployed or single parents, are the images we've come to associate with poverty now we've finally got used to the word.  Those on benefits are the neatly audited underclass of New Zealand. There is another social stratum which we can define as poor by our own and international standards.  The working poor.  And because of the way our system works the families social researchers describe as 'those reliant on limited income paid employment (poorly paid jobs) are often worse off than those on benefits. Making Ends Meets   follows three families  to test out the premise that if you can just get a job then everything will be all right.  That you can pull yourself up by your bootstraps.  That poverty can be averted by a bit of good honest work....more>
  Scorched Memories
Forty-one people perished in what is still the greatest fire disaster in New Zealand's history.  The Court of Inquiry's findings apportion blame, but no one was held to be accountable.   Would a Court of Inquiry today reach that same conclusion? This documentary traces moment by moment the events of that day,  looks at the circumstances that permitted it to happen and asks the questions who was responsible
and should they have been held to account?  On Tuesday 18 November,  firemen in Colombo Street were still dampening down the charred remains of the bodies of forty-one staff and the shell of Ballantynes Department store.   At near-by King Edward Barracks, the staff were assembled and a roll call taken, and about now were becoming aware of the gravity of the situation. This chilling story of human tragedy contains all the elements of grand drama:  heroism, mystery, intrigue. ...more>