Sweet Dreams Kiwi


The sweet dreams of four New Zealand singers are explored in this documentary as they try to sing their way to a career in country music.

We follow the fortunes of the four New Zealand competitors up for the prize; effervescent mother-of-two, high school musical director and choirmaster Lesley Nia Nia; hard case Pukekohe butcher balladeer Max Smith; Camille Te Nahu – formerly of Gisborne and now a Sydneysider who has made the move to crack the big time and Karla Rogers, an Auckland spare parts coordinator who was born in Kaitaia and has been singing in country music clubs since the age of eight.

The New Zealanders are competing against four Australians in the contest and it’s an uphill battle.  Australians like Americans, have long embraced country music with popular festivals such Tamworth and the mainstreaming of country music stars.  Featured in the documentary is ex-pat New Zealander Stanley Del (sister of Jenny Morris), now a household name in Australian thanks to a successful country music career.

Above all, Sweet Dreams Kiwi illustrates the glorious talent New Zealand has in country music. Talent nurtured in the draughty old footy halls cum country music clubs that most singers get their start in and culminating for a few in the Trans-Tasman Entertainer of the Year Award.

For Lesley, Max, Camille and Karla it’s a nervous wait as they prepare to take the stage with the possibility of their sweet dreams becoming a reality.


Promotional Trailer

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Production Details

Producer: Ken Burns

Exec producer: John Harris

Network exec: Geoff Steven

Director: Hannah Wallis

Concept/researcher: Truda Chadwick

Writer: Arthur Baysting, Hannah Wallis

Online editor: Hamish Hill

Offline editor: Scott Flyger

Production manager: Karren Woolly

Camera: Simon Ellis, Rewa Harre, Yves Simard

Sound: Peter Brebner, Terry King, Ant Nevison

Narrator: Stephen Papps

Production accountant: Glenda Paterson

Funded by: TVNZ