Black.White

8:30pm Thursday, August 23 on Prime

Documentary Series

Part Two

This programme focuses on three women of the New Zealand Paralympics cycling team – the novice, the world champ and the veteran. Each has a different story but they share the same goal…. to medal in London. 44 year-old Fiona Southorn was a shy kid at school. She was born with only one fully-formed hand and endured a lot of teasing growing up. She didn’t medal at her two previous Paralympic Games and after the Beijing Paralympic Games she gave up cycling all together. It took her two years to find the desire to make one last medal bid and now she’s hungry for success.

As a young mum, Jayne Parsons endured years of domestic violence. The beatings robbed her of her sight. Now 50, she’s one of our gutsiest athletes, winning a Bronze medal at the Beijing Paralympics and a Gold medal at the World Track Champs in 2011. Jayne and pilot Sonia Waddell were on track to medal in London until Sonia’s surprise retirement in January, just a few weeks before the vital qualifying World Track Champs in Los Angeles. With less than six months to go, Jayne must start over with a new pilot. 22 year-old Phillipa Gray is new to cycling. Phillipa has Usher’s Syndrome which affects her hearing, sight and balance. She’s partnered with ex-Tall Fern basketballer, Laura Thompson, making a strikingly strong, athletic duo. Phillipa’s intimidated by her new environment and sees herself as the understudy for the team. She knows she has much to prove to secure her place. She wants a medal and to enjoy the glory… before her sight is gone completely. Part two of two.

8:30pm Thursday, August 16 on Prime

Documentary Series

This two-part documentary series tells the story of swimmers and cyclists who will represent New Zealand at the 2012 London Paralympic Games. New Zealand has one of the strongest Paralympic swimming squads in the world and tonight we learn about Cameron Leslie, Sophie Pascoe, Rebecca Dubber and Nikita Howarth. Cameron was born without fully formed arms or legs. He has just one thumb so lacks the ‘paddle power’ normally provided by hands. He was just a toddler when his parents introduced him to the pool. Cameron says his body felt free in the pool, and it allowed him to forget his disability. When a coach dismissed his potential, Cameron was crushed and almost gave swimming away.

But he found a new coach who believed in him and four years ago broke the world record in the 150 metre individual medley in Beijing, winning a gold medal. He intends to retain his Paralympic title in London. 19-year-old Sophie lost her lower leg in a lawn mower accident when she was just two-years-old. Her other leg is badly scarred and lacks power, but her powerful upper body ensures she wins time and again at events all over the world. She won three gold medals and a silver medal at the Beijing Paralympic Games making her New Zealand’s dominant medal winner for both Olympic and Paralympic athletes in 2008.

At this year’s games she’s chasing six medals from six events. At just 13, Nikita Howarth is New Zealand’s youngest Paralympic athlete ever. Born without hands, Nikita has bags of natural talent. Her family and coach really want her to go to London and win a medal. Rebecca is 19-years-old and vying for a spot on the team. She was born with lumbosacral agenesis, a spinal abnormality affecting her lower body. Four years ago she just missed qualifying for Beijing. Now she’s showing selectors she’s got what it takes to win a medal in London. Be sure to follow all of these inspiring athletes through their final 12 month build up to the 2012 London Paralympic Games. Part one of two.

Have you ever wondered what’s it like to live in someone else’s skin? That question will be answered in the provocative and insightful original series Black.White, premiering Monday, November 12th at 12:20am on 3.

Black.White examines race with an extraordinary approach by putting new faces on an African-American family, the Sparks, and a Caucasian family, the Wurgels. Through the transformative power of make-up by Academy Award nominated make-up effects artist Keith VanderLaan (The Passion of the Christ), the Wurgels become black and the Sparks become white, which challenges their beliefs and core values in ways they could have never imagined.

Black.White

In addition to the pressure of their newly assumed race, the Sparks of Atlanta (Brian, Renee and their son Nick) and the Wurgel family of Santa Monica (Bruno, Carmen and their daughter Rose) share a home in Tarzana, California for the duration of the experiment.

Don’t miss this fascinating new series, Black.White premieres Monday, November 12th at 12:20am on 3