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October 2013

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Welcome to our October Newsletter

Mr Pip

A note from Graeme Mason

As you know, my term as Chief Executive at the NZFC will come to an end at the start of November, when I leave to take up the role heading Screen Australia.  The Board has a recruitment process for my replacement under way and I understand that they hope to be able to announce the appointment of a new Chief Executive within the next few weeks.

In the meantime, in the event that there is a gap between my departure and a new Chief Executive starting, Mladen Ivancic has agreed to be Acting Chief Executive.  Mladen currently holds the roles of Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Financial Officer and is well known to you all.  He is highly respected by our stakeholders and staff for his expertise and knowledge and I am confident that the leadership of the Film Commission will be in safe hands.

You can read more about this here.

I have enjoyed my time here in New Zealand and have found this job extremely rewarding. I am honoured to have worked with so many talented and committed people and while I am looking forward to the new role, I will miss the many people I have got to know here.

I wish you all the best,

Graeme Mason

In this Issue

In Cinemas Business Development Scheme Changes to Large Budget Screen Production Grant Criteria Joint Documentary Fund Professional Development Update Short Film Update imagineNATIVE Reporting back from Toronto Funding decisions for September and October 2013


Mr Pip

In Cinemas

Last week a record seven NZFC-supported feature films were screening on commercial release in local cinemas.  Highest ranking title Mr Pip (pictured left and above) was in sixth position in the weekly charts with a first week total box office of $380,000 and  a $5,934 screen average on 64 screens. Its box office after 10 days is in excess of $600,000.

Low budget feature documentary, Gardening with Soul, has had four weeks of commercial release and has reached a total box office of $329,552.  It is currently on 27 screens.

Other NZFC titles in cinemas at the moment are Antarctica: A Year on Ice, Giselle, The Weight of Elephants, Romeo and Juliet: A Love Song and White Lies, which has now completed 15 weeks of release and achieved box office of nearly $550,000.


Business Development Scheme

We are pleased to release further information on our Business Development Scheme announced at the Big Screen Symposium in August.  The purpose of the scheme is to enhance the development of New Zealand screen businesses.  Applicants can apply for up to $1 million over three years. 

The deadline for expressions of interest is 5pm on Friday 29 November 2013. 

For further information please see our website here.

Changes to Large Budget Screen Production Grant Criteria

As part of the Screen Sector Review the Government has introduced changes to the Large Budget Screen Production Grant (LBSPG) criteria for television productions.  The threshold has dropped to NZ$4 million (from NZ$15 million) for qualifying New Zealand production expenditure and the list of eligible formats of television has broadened from just television drama.  Changes around additional audiovisual content and feature films shooting simultaneously or concurrently have also been made since the revised LBSPG Criteria were published on 1 August 2013.

In addition, new wording around crediting the New Zealand Government and providing promotional materials has been included in both the LBSPG and SPIF Criteria.  The new criteria are available on our website.

Joint Documentary Fund

The NZFC and NZ On Air are pleased to announce support for the feature documentary Waves of Anzac Cove, through the Joint Documentary Fund.  Waves of Anzac Cove is an Australia/New Zealand co-production produced by Owen Hughes of Frame Up Films and Alan Erson of Essential Films, directed by Tony Krawitz, presented by Sam Neill and written by Owen Hughes and Sam Neill.  The documentary will receive $470,000.

Both agencies are also pleased to announce that development funding has been committed to one other project to be produced by Thomas Robins and David Stubbs of KHF Media and directed by David Stubbs.

The Joint Documentary Fund is specifically intended for documentaries that meet the challenging requirements for both theatrical appeal and broadcast.  The fund is not exhausted and we intend to make another call for proposals in the near future.


Professional Development Update

We seek training and professional development opportunities that progress careers and help to grow our overall industry.  We are pleased to be able to support individual filmmakers as well as work alongside industry organisations to provide valuable training opportunities. 

The Professional Development Services Programme has recently launched with the expressions of interest phase just closed. This comprises a significant portion of our professional development focus and you can read more about this three year programme here.

Here are details of other initiatives.


Short Film Update

We are pleased to welcome Whetu Fale as Acting Short Film Manager.  Whetu has been working in film and television for more than 20 years and has a background in writing, acting, directing and producing.

Lisa Chatfield, currently our Short Film Manager, has been appointed as Acting Head of Development and Production.  In this new role she will be responsible for overseeing short films, feature film development and professional development in continuing our commitment to helping filmmakers progress their careers.

We'd also like to congratulate David White and Paul Wedel, whose short film I KILL is one of 15 finalists for the 2014 Cinema Eye Honour for Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Short Filmmaking.

For a full short film update please go here.




We are delighted that this year the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival in Toronto has turned its international spotlight on Māori artists.

imagineNATIVE is arguably the world’s largest festival of indigenous films and media arts.  This year the festival will screen more than a hundred films including documentaries, shorts and feature films between 16 and 20 October.

You can read more about imagineNATIVE here.

Toronto Co-production Lab

Reporting back from Toronto

We were pleased to support three feature films screening in Toronto International Film Festival this year; Giselle, White Lies and Beyond The Edge

Beyond The Edge, written and directed by Leanne Pooley and produced by Matthew Metcalfe, was named runner-up in the People's Choice Award for Documentary.  This was the second triumph in this class for Leanne Pooley whose Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls won the award in 2009.

A number of filmmaker events, training and networking opportunities run in conjuction with the festival.  This year Robin Laing and Fiona Copland attended the Co-production Lab in Toronto (pictured) and Fiona also attended the International Financing Forum.  You can read more here.

Funding Decisions


Funding decisions for September and October 2013

Please read the details of our funding decisions for September and October here.


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

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New Zealand Film Commission