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Friday, 13 April 2018


Cannes Film Market and Festival 2018

New Zealand Film Commission CEO, Annabelle Sheehan and NZFC staff will attend the Cannes Film Market this year. Approximately 30 experienced New Zealand producers and industry have confirmed their attendance.

The Cannes office is once again at Residence L’Imperatrice, 42 la Croisette (next door to the Grand Hotel) and open from Tuesday 8 May through to Wednesday 16 May. 

If you are attending  and haven’t let us know yet, please email lesa@nzfilm.co.nz so we can include you in any planned events. We can also connect you with other Kiwi filmmakers attending and refer you to reputable accommodation providers.

And feel free to join the Kiwis in Cannes 2018 Facebook group.


Festival News

Yellow is Forbidden, directed by Pietra Brettkelly and produced by Brettkelly, Richard Fletcher and Naomi Wallwork, will be the first New Zealand film to screen In Competition at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival.  The film’s world premiere will also feature in the festival’s prestigious Opening Weekend. 

Yellow is Forbidden is a modern-day Cinderella story, where the diminutive and daring Guo Pei’s dream of being selected into the exclusive yet savage world of haute couture doesn’t end at the ball. The film weaves global power dynamics and the opposition between art and commerce with a hankering for oppressive Imperial Grandeur.

Yellow is Forbidden will follow its Tribeca screenings with screenings at Canada's Hot Docs Film Festival.

You can read more about Yellow is Forbidden and Tribeca here.

Also screening at Tribeca this year is short film, Fire in Cardboard City, directed by Phil Brough and produced by Orlando Stewart and Matt Heath.  

This is the film's second outing at a major international film festival in 2018 after premiering at the Berlin Film Festival in February.

The Breaker Upperers had its world premiere at SXSW in Austin, Texas in March.  A hilarious comedy about two best friends who run a business breaking-up couples for cash, the film was written, directed and stars Jackie van Beek and Madeleine Sami. Carthew Neal, Ainsley Gardiner and Georgina Conder have produced the film under the Piki and Miss Conception Films banner with Taika Waititi as executive producer. 

The SXSW screenings generated great reviews for the film, like this one in Variety.


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New Zealand Retrospective at Neuchâtel

A retrospective of 20 New Zealand films will be screened at the 2018 Neuchâtel International Film Festival (NIFF). Celebrating 40 years of New Zealand film, the programme, called 'What We Do In New Zealand' includes Smash Palace, The Scarecrow, The Quiet Earth, Boy, The Devil Dared Me To, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Utu Redux, Perfect Strangers and Mr Wrong.

The full programme of films will be released in June.

NIFF is a festival dedicated to fantasy and related genres held annually in Switzerland since 2000.

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In Cinemas

The Breaker Upperers, written, directed and starring Jackie van Beek and Madeleine Sami will open in New Zealand cinemas on 3 May. 

The Breaker Upperers is being released by Madman Entertainment and you can view the trailer here.


The Meg Teaser Trailer Launches

New Zealand’s marine locations are featured prominently in the epic, action-packed 3D adventure The Meg, the first major motion picture to be filmed on Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf, as well as at the city’s new Kumeu Film Studios.  Audiences got a first look at the film – and these locations – with the just-released teaser trailer for The Meg

The Meg stars English action icon Jason Statham, Chinese actor Li Bingbing and New Zealander Cliff Curtis.  Jon Turteltaub directs.

New Zealand’s easily accessible and diverse locations, and opposite seasons to the Northern Hemisphere make it an ideal location for international productions.

The New Zealand Film Commission, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), Warner Bros. Pictures and Gravity Pictures entered into a partnership on The Meg, as a part of the New Zealand Screen Production Grants' 5% uplift.

You can view the trailer here.

You can read more about The Meg here.


Vale Michael Eldred

On 5 March 2018 the New Zealand film industry lost one of its great champions and supporters with the passing of Michael Eldred, General Manager of Transmission Films New Zealand.

In a career that spanned Australia and New Zealand, Michael was an enthusiastic and vocal advocate for New Zealand films. He was behind the successful releases of a diverse range of titles including The Dark Horse, Chasing Great, The Orator, My Year with Helen, Out of the Blue, What We Do in the Shadows, One Thousand Ropes and The Dead Lands.

As a friend, colleague, ally and collaborator, we will miss Michael greatly.  Our thoughts are with Sally, Nicolas and his family.



Screen Industry Survey 2016/17

Results for the 2016/17 Screen Industry Survey released on 10 April by Statistics New Zealand show film production is strong with New Zealand film production revenue increasing 15 percent to $1.1 billion in 2017. While the overall volume of production has been driven out of Auckland and Wellington, it’s important to highlight significant growth in the regions.

  • Northland up 71% ($7 million to $14 million)
  • Waikato up 233% ($3 million to $10 million)
  • Otago up 67% ($21 million to $35 million) with Otago hosting several New Zealand and international productions.

Other key highlights include:

  • Film production revenue from Auckland increased 37% to $489 million in 2017.
  • Wellington remains the main player in film production with gross revenue of $631 million in 2017.
  • Revenue from overseas sources increased 19% to $792 million in 2017.
  • There were 3% more screen businesses operating in Otago/Southland than in 2016.
  • Employment figures, which remain a year behind other figures quoted in the survey, remain stable with 13,900 employees working in 26,600 jobs or contracts during 2016.
  • For the first time, the survey collected data about online-only screen content. The gross revenue of production and post-production sector businesses from online-only programmes was $26 million.

You can read the full survey here.


Love New Zealand Film

In 2018 the New Zealand Film Commission is celebrating 40 years of New Zealand films. To highlight the magical moments created in New Zealand films, we collaborated with Lotto to create a trailer. Lotto contributes annually to the Film Commission's budget.

The trailer has screened in cinemas since Boxing Day 2017 and will launch on television and online on Sunday 15 April. So keep an eye out for that!


Congratulations go to....

Writer/director/producer Dustin Feneley and producer Desray Armstrong whose feature film, Stray, will screen in competition at the Moscow International Film Festival in April. Dustin and Desray are both attending the festival with the film's lead actor, Kieran Charnock with the support of the NZFC..

New Zealand project There’s No I in Threesome (Monsoon Pictures International), which won the Hot Docs Prize at last month's The FACTory International Pitching Forum at AIDC. Directed by Jan Oliver Lucks and produced by Alex Reed and Alexander Behse, the project is a revealing story about an engaged couple experimenting with non-monogamy.

Fiona Apanui-Kupenga whose film, Making Good Men, won the Grand Prize at February's Pacific Documentary Film Festival in French Polynesia. The film examines the challenges faced by, former All Black rugby player Norm Hewitt and actor Manu Bennett.

Loading Doc, The Coffin Club which screened at SXSW in Austin Texas in March. Created by filmmakers Briar March and Kim Harrop, the comedic documentary musical features a group of free-spirited Kiwi seniors who have formed a community group to construct and customize their own low-cost coffins.

Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie whose performance in Debra Granik's film, Leave No Trace, had her named as one of the five breakout stars at this year's Sundance Film festival by The Hollywood Reporter.

The eight female directors who have been selected for the Directors and Editors Guild of New Zealand (DEGNZ) Emerging Women Filmmakers Incubator.  The selected directors are Chantelle Burgoyne, Linda Darby-Coring, Hiona Henare, Abi King-Jones, Agnes Peel-McGregor, Lauren Porteus, Michelle Savill and Asuka Sylvie.

The recipients of the 2018 WIFT Awards.  The event was held in Auckland on 1 March, and you will find a list of the winners in all categories here.

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Fresh Shorts Development Lab 2018

The 2018 Fresh Shorts Development Lab took place from  6 – 8 April, with 24 shortlisted teams, a total of 60 filmmakers.Two teams with funding from other NZFC initiatives also attended.

The teams participated in three days of workshops, covering story development, idea generation, festival strategy, crowd funding, pitching and marketing, as well as individual mentoring from industry mentors. Following the lab, teams will meet with mentors for a month to further develop their projects prior to final funding selection. Up to seven films are chosen each round to receive grants of $10,000 or $30,000.

You can read more about Fresh Shorts here.


Seoul Screenplay Development Support Program

The City of Seoul and Seoul Film Commission are implementing the 2018 Seoul Screenplay Development Support Program to encourage the planning and development of foreign visual media content collaboration. The program provides a workspace for overseas directors, producers, and writers who are currently developing projects set in Seoul to use during their stay in Seoul as they write and research their screenplays.

Screen Wellington is collaborating with the Seoul Film Commission to ensure a space for a Wellington creative team on this great initiative, and follows the signing of an MOU between the cities of Wellington and Seoul in January 2018.  This is a great opportunity for Wellington filmmakers seeking to develop an official co-production between New Zealand and South Korea. 

Applications are due by 30 April 2018 and the process is outlined here.  Please direct all queries to Seoul Film Commission’s International Affairs Team at nina@seoulfc.or.kr, with a cc to katie.frost@WellingtonNZ.com.

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On the Small(er) Screen

Throughout April, the Rialto Channel will be screening New Zealand documentary films at 8:30pm on Thursday nights. Films included in the season are Meat, Pecking Order, The Free Man and Spookers.

Thursday nights at home just got a whole lot better!


EDF Plus

Led by story consutant, writer and producer Karel Segers of The Story Department, EDF Plus was held 28 February - 3 March.  The workshop, which interrogated stories and loglines, was for EDF teams who the NZFC's development team felt could benefit from further support to develop their scripts. 

A survey following the programme indicates the participants enjoyed the workshop and felt it was helpful, informative and inspiring.


New Facebook Group for New Zealand Filmmakers

The Film Commission has launched a new Facebook Group for New Zealand filmmakers looking for opportunities and screen industry news as it happens. It’s also a great place to engage directly with us and get the answers you need, as NZFC staff operate in and monitor the group.

We’re using the group to post about all the interesting screen practitioner stuff:

  • Residencies
  • Festival deadlines
  • Upskilling
  • Screen industry trends
  • International productions inbound

Join the group here.


New to NZ Film On Demand

New films that have recently been added to NZ Film On Demand include Tickled, 25 April, When a City Falls, Born to Dance and Pecking Order.

The site can now be used with Apple TV devices and with Chromecast. Instructions for setting up your Apple TV or Chromecast can be found here.

We recently updated the site's DRM. HDMI and VGA outputs are common channels for piracy and can no longer be used between some computers and TVs.  The DRM software checks security and, where security demands aren’t met, won’t allow the film to play. 

The best way to stream to your television from another device is via Chromecast or Apple TV.

There are over 120 feature and short films available to stream at NZ Film On Demand.


Feature Film Festival & Market Travel Funding

A reminder to let our International team know if you’ll be attending Beijing, Cannes, Shanghai or any other upcoming international film festivals, markets or summits during 2018.  The new online application process for contributory travel funding assistance is outlined on our Producer International Travel Fund page.  Please contact international@nzfilm.co.nz with any queries. Early applications for contributory travel funding are encouraged.


Staff News

There have been some changes in the Business Affairs team.  Larissa Barbour has chosen not to return to work at the end of her maternity leave and Rochelle Cooney has returned to private practice. In May, Chanel Christie will also be leaving us to travel overseas. 

We would like to introduce you to our two new colleagues in the Business Affairs team.

Katie Baker, Senior Business Affairs Executive
Katie provides commercial and legal advice.  She deals with a broad range of contractual and compliance matters  including those related to film closings. Katie gained experience in commercial law firms in New Zealand (including as an external advisor to the NZFC) and in the United Kingdom. Katie works part time and looks after her two young children when she isn’t at the NZFC.

Kate Mooney, Business Affairs Legal Junior
Kate provides legal and administrative support to the Business Affairs team. She graduated from Victoria University of Wellington with a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Film and Media, and completed an exchange to Stockholm University, Sweden in 2016. Having also worked at the Light House Cinema, Kate is passionate about the film industry, particularly the behind-the-scenes work that goes into making it all happen.

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Feel free to send any questions, feedback or comments regarding this newsletter info@nzfilm.co.nz.

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