Creators and Producers Discuss The History and Success of TVNZ’s The Panthers [Exclusive Interview]

The Panthers

The Panthers

New Zealand’s The Panthers is quickly being recognized as one of the best television series coming from the island. The story is compelling with a diverse cast that shines the light on racial history in that nation. After the Toronto International Film Festival, the creators and producers of Tom Hern, Halaifonua Finau, and Crystal Vaega sat down via video conference call to discuss with LRM Online’s Gig Patta the success and history of the Polynesian Panthers.

Here’s the official synopsis of The Panthers:

1974, Auckland, New Zealand: Will ‘Ilolahia, the black sheep of his Tongan family and “The Professor” of the streets, is frustrated by his community being stuck in a broken economic and criminal justice system. In the face of increasingly aggressive racial profiling from the government and police force, Will and a group of young, Polynesian street-gangsters and university students take inspiration from Huey P. Newton and The Black Panther organization in the United States and form their own revolutionary movement, The Polynesian Panthers, as a catalyst for demanding justice and equality.

Whilst trying to live up to his conservative, immigrant parents’ expectations and not be completely blinded by his love for the street queen, Tessa, Will must grow up fast to become the history-making revolutionary that his community so desperately needs him to be.

ALSO CHECK OUT: Dimitrius Schuster-Koloamatangi on Playing Will ‘Ilolahia in TVNZ’s The Panthers [Exclusive Interview]

The series features newcomers Dimitrius Schuster-Koloamatangi and Lealani Siaosi with international stars Beulah (Hawaii Five-O, Thank You For Your Service), Frankie Adams (Mortal Engines, The Expanse), and veteran actor Roy Billing (The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Underbelly).

The Panthers is currently streaming on TVNZ OnDemand.

Watch the exclusive interview with Tom Hern, Halaifonua Finau, and Crystal Vaega below. Let us know what you think of it.

Source: LRM Online Exclusive, TVNZ

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