International producer, distributor and channel operator, Blue Ant Media and pioneering, New Zealand-based unscripted producer, Dame Julie Christie jointly announced a new partnership that will see Christie acquiring a majority stake, and assuming the role as CEO, in New Zealand-based, international factual production company, NHNZ, which has now been rebranded as NHNZ Worldwide. The production company will continue to be based in Dunedin. Blue Ant Media will continue to own NHNZ’s existing catalogue of award-winning series and documentaries and a significant minority stake in NHNZ Worldwide. Sam Sniderman, Co-President, Global Content Production, Blue Ant Media has joined NHNZ Worldwide’s Board of Directors.
“NHNZ has achieved a great deal of success and is celebrated as one of the most respected natural history and factual production houses in the world. I’m very excited to now be a part of this company, having acquired a majority stake in NHNZ Worldwide,” said Dame Julie Christie, CEO, NHNZ Worldwide. “I love the documentary and natural history genres, and while they will continue to be the backbone of our production business, I am excited to build a slate of projects in other categories, as we expand into other production hubs around the world.”
“Dame Julie is not only an internationally-successful, unscripted television producer but also an established and influential leader in New Zealand in both the public and private spheres. Her expertise and business acumen will serve NHNZ Worldwide well as she builds upon the production company’s 40-year legacy and paves the way to future growth,” said Sam Sniderman, Co-President, Global Content Production, Blue Ant Media.
Dame Julie Christie was the founder and creative force behind New Zealand’s Touchdown Productions, an international TV production company that sold unscripted formats to 30 countries, most notably The Chair, Miss Popularity and Treasure Island. The company was sold to Eyeworks in 2006 after which she became CEO of Eyeworks New Zealand & Australia. Julie has also executive-produced three feature films: The Tattooist, LoveBirds and Mr. Pip. Since 2013, she has served in numerous governance roles in media, sport and economic development. The acquisition of a majority shareholding in NHNZ Worldwide marks her return to television production and the role of company CEO. A multi-award winning producer, Julie was New Zealand’s 2008 Veuve Clicquot Businesswoman of The Year and in 2017 was made a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to governance and television.