NZ Movies at Cannes
A Wellington movie that was originally jilted by the Film Commission is being trumpeted at Cannes.
Paul Murphy’s new feature Second Hand Wedding, which opened in New Zealand this week, is the only Kiwi film to have its market premiere at the prestigious annual festival which opened in the French resort town on Wednesday.
Murphy – son of Kiwi film-maker Geoff Murphy, who made Goodbye Pork Pie – is in Cannes for its premiere tomorrow night.
The New Zealand Film Commission, which is understood to have initially rejected scripts for funding, contributed $850,000 to its post-production work, after seeing a rough cut of the film which is based on New Zealand’s love affair with garage sales.
The commission has paid for five staff members to attend Cannes this year and is assisting another eight producers.
Only two other New Zealand-made films will be shown in full at Cannes – The Tattooist and The Song of Good. Both films have already been shown internationally.
The commission is also marketing several movies that are still shooting or are in postproduction, including Niki Caro’s adaptation of Elizabeth Knox’s novel The Vintner’s Luck, about a 19th century French winemaker; the Topp Twins documentary Untouchable Girls; and Toa Fraser’s second feature film Dean Spanley, a British-New Zealand co-production starring Sam Neill and Peter O’Toole.
Speaking from Cannes, NZ Film marketing head Kathleen Drumm said it was a difficult market because of concerns about a global recession. “There’s definitely a bit of a feeling of depression in the market. However, we continue to pitch New Zealand films and we have a really strong lineup.”
Films getting the most interest were Dean Spanley, The Vintner’s Luck, which is shooting now in France, and Second Hand Wedding.
“People say, ‘We want uplifting comedies, we want films that our audiences are going to have a good time at. We like family films and we like films with wedding in the title’, so we’ve had a lot of interest in the film,” Ms Drumm said.
Trailers will be shown at Cannes for several other films, including Vincent Ward’s Rain of the Children, which has its premiere in Sydney before showing in New Zealand in July. [stuff]