After an astounding year for local film, New Zealand is enjoying a strong presence at international film festivals. How can we make sure film festival hype equates to real outcomes for our films and filmmakers?
The producers of three recent festival successes delve into their experience taking the film to an international audience including how they dealt with media, buyers and critics to get the film the best exposure they could.
For our first Writers’ Room of 2015, hear from New Zealand producers Tim Riley (Turbo Kid), Tom Hern (The Dark Horse) and Paula Jones (Hip Hop-eration) as they talk to producer Julia Parnell (Loading Docs) about growing and maintaining international interest in their three very different films.
Tuesday 24th February, The Loft, Q Theatre, 305 Queen Street. Join us for a drink at 7pm in the main bar for a 7.30-8.30pm session. $5 koha appreciated.
NZ-Canadian co-production Turbo Kid, a post-apocalyptic action comedy has been an instant hit. The film had its world premiere at Sundance Film Festival last month and is due to screen later in the year in the Midnighters section of SXSW 2015. The film is written and directed by Montreal-based filmmaking trio Anouk Whissell, François Simard and Yoann-Karl Whissell, and produced by Ant Timpson (NZ), Tim Riley (NZ), Anne-Marie Gélinas (CAN) and Benoit Beaulieu (CAN).
Written and directed by James Napier Robertson, The Dark Horse is an inspiring true story based on the life of a charismatic, little-known New Zealand hero, Genesis Potini, played by Cliff Curtis (Once Were Warriors, Whale Rider, Boy). The film had its world premiere at the New Zealand International Film Festival and won six awards including best picture, best director, best screenplay and best actor at the New Zealand Film Awards. It had its North American premiere at Toronto IFF and went on to screen at the prestigious IFFR in Rotterdam where it won the Audience Award, and became the film with the most votes on record in the history of the film festival.
New Zealand feature documentary Hip Hop-eration follows Waiheke-based hip hop crew Hip Op-eration (aged 65-95) as they prepare to attend the World Hip Hop Dance Championships in Las Vegas. The film had a successful local theatre release in late 2014, and won best documentary, best director and best cinematographer at the New Zealand Film Awards. It screened in competition at the prestigious IDFA in Amsterdam, where it was the fourth most popular film of the festival, and went on to win the Audience Choice award at the Santa Barbara Film Festival in February 2015. The film is directed by Bryn Evans and produced by Paula Jones and Alex Lee.