NZ Film Festival Update
The days grow shorter and the nights draw out, all the better for your Festival workers to tie down as much as we can of our programme before that annual cinephile cataclysm known as the Cannes Film Festival blows everyone else off the radar for two weeks. Our Sandra Reid will be where the action is and we expect the text messages to be flying between the screening rooms of Cannes and our 24/7 office on Kent Tce. If you think Sandra’s assignment sounds fabulous, you’re partially right, but you’ve probably never tried to persuade a sales agent to commit his or her latest masterpiece to a New Zealand screening immediately after its Cannes debut. “Like right now, s’il vous plait, before you head off to that post Cannes retreat you no doubt so richly deserve…”
Meanwhile in Wellington we’ve received a record of 137 submissions from New Zealand entrants, which leaves us about as available to take calls as those sales agents. At MIC Toi Rerehiko in Auckland there’s been a 40% increase in the number of entries received for the Festival’s Homegrown short film programmes. “We have received in excess of 140 short films for consideration,” MIC Toi Rerehiko’s Paul Rose tells us. “The quality of entries is very high and the judging panel have their work cut out for them this year.” This year’s judges are Deborah Lawler-Dormer, Executive Director of MIC Toi Rerehiko, Kathryn Bennett, Group Manager of Rialto Cinemas and filmmaker Simon Marler, Executive Director of Script-To-Screen. Homegrown selections will be made public on Wednesday 12 May.
Read on for announcements of four more documentary highlights from this year’s growing roster. It is a truism now that if you’re into adventure sports, then you’re also into getting it all down on film. Two New Zealand-made entries already selected to premiere with us celebrate spectacular footage from times when cameras were far from ubiquitous or readily portable. The two international documentaries announced here give more than a hint of the richness of this year’s ‘Portrait of the Artist’ and ‘Music and Dance’ sections.