“Man Enough,” the New Zealand version of Australian documentary format “Man Up,” which tackles male mental health issues, is due to land on TVNZ 1 this month.
Fronted by “Celebrity Treasure Island” host Matt Chisholm, the series (2 x 44′) is backed by men’s health charity Movember and was produced by Wellington-based production outfit Gibson Group during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the series, Chisolm sets out on a personal journey into the world of masculinity, on a mission to break the silence around male suicide and challenge ideas about what it means to be a modern man. He visits rugby clubs, construction sites, boardrooms, men’s barbershops and boxing gyms, asking whether men can be “man enough” to open up.
U.K.-based independent factual distributor TVF International is launching both “Man Enough” and “Man Up” globally this week at the virtual Mipcom market. TVF International acquisitions manager Julian Chou-Lambert acquired the original format and licensed it to the Gibson Group.
“It’s very rare that a TV series can actually save lives, but ‘Man Enough’ has the potential to do just that, by encouraging men to open up and seek help,” said Chou-Lambert. “Male suicide and mental health are sadly global issues, which have been exacerbated by the pandemic, so this kind of show is needed now, more than ever. It’s incredible that our long-term partners Gibson Group have been able to produce such an entertaining and impactful show despite COVID-19 restrictions.”
“People have opened their hearts and shared their expertise in the most generous ways so that ‘Man Enough’ has an impact by mixing humor and great actuality, with detailed insights into a very serious topic,” Gibson Group’s executive producer Gary Scott said.
Movember’s original “Man Up” series aired in Australia in 2016 on public broadcaster ABC and VOD platform Stan. It was developed in collaboration with the University of Melbourne and Heiress Films, funded by Movember, and was created to address the issue of thousands of men and boys taking their own lives each year.
Sarah Coghlan, Movember’s head of health promotion, said: “As we found in Australia, we are facing a big challenge for men in New Zealand. On average we lose one man to suicide each day and yet Kiwi men are often taught to be tough as nails and fit in with traditional masculine norms.”
“Using creative media interventions to encourage men to be more emotionally expressive, and to ultimately shift the needle when it comes to behavior change and better mental health is an approach Movember is focused on around the world,” added Coghlan.