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Thursday, 26 June 2014

JUNE 2014

Kia ora and welcome to the Newsletter for June. A lot has happened in the five weeks since our previous newsletter.

China Co-Production Development Fund

We previously announced an annual fund of $200,000 to support New Zealand filmmakers developing feature films as official co-productions with China. The fund is intended to cover costs associated with the advanced development of a film which is likely to qualify as an official New-China co-production.

Eligible costs include script development, travel to and from China, linguistic support in China and the cost of securing professional advice in China (i.e legal, regulatory, accounting). Up to NZ$50,000 is available for one film or slate.

Detailed funding guidelines and application forms can now be found on our website here

Applications will be accepted at any time from 1 July.


In This Issue

He Ara Testing Times At a Cinema Near You Producer International Travel Assistance Professional Development Awards Congratulations Screen Agencies Working Together Screen Advisory Board Members Announced Board Dates Keeping it Simple Coming Soon



He Ara

Congratulations to the three teams which have been selected to receive funding from the first round of He Ara.

The primary purpose of this fund is to support New Zealand filmmakers of Māori and/or Pasifika heritage to further create and develop a diverse range of quality New Zealand films.

Applications are being accepted for the second round of funding, until the 19th September.

Read more here.


Testing Times

In line with the NZFC’s policy to have a more pro-active role in helping our films reach the widest and most appropriate audience possible, we have recently introduced  test screenings for films late in post-production. Results are discussed collaboratively by the film’s producers, director, the NZFC and (where applicable) the NZ distributor. We are beginning to build meaningful measurements that can be used to provide constructive feedback on the cut of the film and its market opportunities.

We most recently test-screened Hip-Hoperation (Rialto Distribution) in Wellington with the filmmakers in the audience and observing the focus groups following the screenings. Producer Paula Jones said the test audience “was a positive and invaluable experience that really delivered for us as filmmakers.  It confirmed our audience and gave us confidence in our continued vision and direction for the film.”  Director, Bryn Evans, added “I have no doubt that the information gained by this experience will make this film stronger in the market place.”


At a Cinema Near You

Congratulations to the team behind What We Do in the Shadows which opened strongly at the New Zealand box office with $545,398 in the four days since its Thursday night opening.  The film was the second most popular film in our cinemas this weekend.

Now in its third week of release, New Zealand film Fantail continues to find its cinema audience, and remains in the top 25 list of films in release.

You can view the trailers for both films on our website here and here.

Please support your fellow filmmakers and go see these films in a cinema.

Producer International Travel Assistance

Travel assistance is available for producers with feature film projects in advanced development to attend key international markets to advance the packaging and financing of these projects.

We are assisting seven producers to attend the 37ºSouth Market in late July, with up to $2,500 each. The producers supported are: Aaron Watson, Ainsley Gardiner, Fraser Brown, Kelly Kilgour, Trevor Haysom, Vicky Pope and Zoe Hobson.

This year, Escalator films Orphans and Kingdoms (Fraser Brown), I Survived a Zombie Holocaust (Zoe Hobson) and indie films The Last Saint (Aaron Watson) and The Pa Boys (Ainsley Gardiner) have been selected to participate in the Festival’s Breakthru Screenings showcase.

The showcase presents Australian and New Zealand films seeking world sales agents and/or local distribution to buyers who are invited to attend the market.

Professional Development Awards

This award is to help cover the costs of a professional development opportunity either in NZ or overseas.  Applicants who have feature film credits or projects in development with the NZFC can apply for up to $5,000 to help cover the costs of a significant professional development opportunity in their area of expertise.

Funding from this award has been offered to: 

Emerging Producer, Nadia Maxwell:  $5,000 to attend the Binger Film Lab in June.  The focus of the lab was Filmmaking in the Digital Age.

Producer, Fraser Brown: $4,775 to attend the Binger Film Lab in June.  The focus of the lab was Filmmaking in the Digital Age.

Producer, Jill McNab: $5,000 to attend the Marketing and International Distribution Workshop through the Media Business School in June.

Director, Zoe Macintosh: $4,412 to attend the Judith Weston Directing Actors Workshop in LA  in July.

Writer, James Griffin: $5,000 to attend the World Conference of Screenwriters in Warsaw in October.



To the directors invited to participate in the Melbourne International Film Festival’s Accelerator director development programme. Abigail Greenwood (Eleven), Hamish Bennett (Ross & Beth) and Alyx Duncan (The Tide Keeper) will attend with the assistance of the NZFC. NZFC Short Film Manager, Whetu Fala, will attend the programme in a support role.

To Steven Saussey who received the Future Filmmaker Award at the Palm Springs Shorts Fest, for his short film Whisker, which was funded through the NZFC’s Premium Shorts scheme. The NZFC assisted Steven to attend the festival.

To Catherine Fitzgerald (ONZM), Frank Stark (MNZM) and NZFC Chair Dame Patsy Reddy (DNZM) on their recognition in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.

To all the filmmakers whose films have been selected to screen at the 2014 New Zealand International Film Festival, with a special acknowledgement to producer Tom Hern and writer/director James Napier Robertson whose film  The Dark Horse will open the festival in Auckland and in Wellington before releasing nationally on the 31st July.

Of the eleven feature films selected to screen in the festival, nine were made with funding assistance from the NZFC. The Dark Horse received production funding from the NZFC, Orphan’s and Kingdoms, Housebound and Everything We Loved were funded through the Escalator scheme and Aunty and the Star People, Cap Bocage, Hot Air, Voices of the Land (Nga Reo o te Whenua), and Te Awa Tupua – Voices from the River were completed with funding assistance from the Feature Film Finishing Grant.

Four of the six short films selected by Andrew Adamson for the NZ’s Best section were made with funding from the NZFC.  Cold Snap and UFO was funded through Premiere Shorts and Eleven and Ross & Beth were funded through Fresh Shorts; and four of the seven short selected for the Ngā Whanaunga Māori Pasifika Shorts collection of Māori and Pasifika short films curated by Leo Koziol and Craig Fasi, were made with funding from the NZFC – In The Rubbish Tin, Pumanawa: The Gift, Ahi Ka and Rising Dust.

The full list of New Zealand films selected to screen at the festival can be found at the Festival’s website here.

Screen Agencies Working Together

The New Zealand Film Commission, NZ On Air and Film New Zealand jointly announced earlier this month, their intention to  work even more closely together in the interests of the New Zealand screen sector.

While the agencies already collaborate on a number of projects, this process is now being formalised under a new ‘virtual agency', Screen NZ. 

Read more here.

Screen Advisory Board Members Announced

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce and Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Christopher FInlayson announced last week the formation of the Screen Advisory Board.

The six-member Board will help the New Zealand screen sector create the skills and connections to be able to generate their own intellectual property, compete internationally and attract overseas finance.  It will also the New Zealand Film Commission, Film New Zealand and the New Zealand screen sector to market and promote the New Zealand screen industry overseas.

Read more here.

Board Dates

The date for the October Board Meeting has shifted by a week and is now scheduled for Tuesday, the 7th and Wednesday, the 8th October.  Consequently the deadline for production applications will be the 26th August.

Keeping it Simple

We have decided to cease regular publication of the NZFC Industry Bulletin and from now on any information you will receive from us will be through the NZFC Newsletter. The newsletter will be published the week following board meetings.

Occasionally it may be necessary for us to publish an out of time newsletter but for the most part, information about events, courses, seminars, etc will be dispersed by the Guilds to their membership.

If you aren’t already, we strongly suggest you join your relevant industry guild. Not just because we are ceasing the Industry Bulletin, but more importantly because much of our industry consultation is done through these guilds.

Coming Soon

A new documentary collaboration between NZFC and NZ on Air will soon be announced as part of Screen NZ. Keep an eye out..


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

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