Mediaworks Three today confirms it has commissioned new telemovie Toke from Banijay Group’s Screentime New Zealand. Marking the first feature-length script from writer Kewana Duncan (Ngāti Tara, Tokanui), the action drama will go into production later this year, and air on the network in 2020.
Set in the sleepy town of Tokerangi, New Zealand, Toke centres around three underachieving kiwifruit orchard workers – Georgie, Taki and Henare. While innocently raising funds to travel the world, the trio accidentally grow a strong strain of weed, and find themselves drawn into the secretive world of the high-stakes global cannabis industry. From small-town workers, to international marijuana experts, the group’s stock quickly attracts customers alongside unwanted attention, and, as the lines between legal and illegal blur, it is not long before they are in way over their heads.
Kewana Duncan comments: “Toke is a mad-cap, entertaining caper set in a hearty remote Māori community. I am thrilled to continue working with the experienced drama producers at Screentime to reflect a part of small-town Aotearoa to a primetime audience.”
Philly de Lacey, Executive Producer and CEO of Screentime New Zealand: “We’re so proud to be partnering with Kewana Duncan on his first-ever feature-length script. Championing diversity on and off-screen, Toke is the perfect balance of drama and comedy, and we can’t wait to shine a light on these areas and stories that rarely make it to screen.”
Toke will be executive produced by Screentime New Zealand’s Philly de Lacey, with Duncan directing alongside Charlie Haskell (The Gulf and Straight Forward). The series follows the success of Screentime New Zealand’s latest “world-class drama”, The Gulf, which will be available to buy at this year’s MIPCOM. Both titles are distributed globally by Banijay Rights.