A new prime minister, the loss of some legendary Kiwis, and the crowning of a new (unofficial) national anthem were just some of the events that helped shaped NZ On Screen’s most viewed titles in 2017. Nicky Harrop looks back on the year that has been.

In March this year, came the death of celebrated local cartoonist Murray Ball, creator of Footrot Flats. In 1986, Ball's work made the leap to the big screen, when Footrot Flats: The Dog's (Tail) Tale became our first animated feature film. Here, in one of NZ On Screen's most viewed titles this year, he speaks about the process of creating the movie, and revisits a number of scenes.

Watch The Making of Footrot Flats here:

April saw the loss of another famous Kiwi with a Footrot Flats connection, comedian John Clarke (who voiced the role of Wal in the film). NZ On Screen hosts several titles in which Clarke features, and many saw considerable traffic as news of his death broke. Among them, this 2011 ScreenTalk interview, a 1975 Grunt Machine appearance, and this 2004 clip from Face to Face with Kim Hill.

See an excerpt from Face to Face with Kim Hill - John Clarke here:

In May, to celebrate New Zealand Music Month, nzherald.co.nz and NZ On Screen hosted a poll to determine our unofficial national anthem. Over 7000 Kiwis voted for their favourite, selecting from a pool of 13 classic local songs. By the end of the month, a clear winner had emerged – Patea Maori Club's still-brilliant Poi E. Special mention must also go to The Exponents perennial favourite Why Does Love Do This To Me?, and the adopted Kiwi (by way of Engelbert Humperdinck) anthem Ten Guitars, both of which were also propelled into our most viewed by their inclusion in the poll.

Watch the Poi E video here:

As the 2017 General Election began to heat up, all eyes were turned to our now-Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern. At the same time, it seems many fingers were turned to keyboards, in search of information on her partner, television presenter Clarke Gayford. NZ On Screen's profile of Gayford generated a large number of views throughout the campaign, easily landing it in the site's top five most viewed titles of the year. In this documentary, linked to the profile, Gayford can be seen heading to Antarctica, taking his much-publicised love of fishing to the ice.


Watch Extraordinary Kiwis - Clarke in Antarctica here:

And then there was the head shaking, the odd eye-roll, but definitely no surprise in the NZ On Screen office, to see this episode of The Gravy amongst 2017's most viewed. Exploring the 'sexy side' of buttoned-down New Zealand, the title continues to draw a large number of viewers to the site, although a glimpse at their search terms suggests they may well be confused, if not a little deflated, to realise they've landed on a Kiwi arts series.

Watch The Gravy here (R16):